Alison Clinch is the Director and Owner of Equanimity Services, a boutique Marketing Communications consultancy. With more than 20 years’ experience in Marketing Communications, it’s fair to say that she’s found her niche and loves that what she does is described as ‘work’.
For part three in this social media series we’ll look at how to ease the burden of coming up with regular content, creating a calendar template for social media updates so you can schedule your posts in advance, and aligning your posts with topical news and events
A friend and I were talking recently about why we loved social media so much. I think she hit the nail on the head when she said, “It’s a brilliant information aggregator”. Facebook is my favourite social media application for keeping up with what’s going on. I rely on it for updates from my family and friends, businesses I’m interested in, and staying abreast of industry news. For the most part, the businesses that I follow on Facebook are excellent content contributors. They understand what their audience is interested in, and they deliver it. Consistently.
When you make the decision to become active on social media, you also need to consider how you’re going to generate content, and importantly, be realistic about the commitment you need to make. Just like websites that get launched and then never updated, there are an overwhelming number of social media accounts that get created and then infrequently, or never, revisited.
Below are my tips for maintaining an active, informative, social media presence.
Always be thinking about your social media accounts and what could be repurposed for a post. Examples:
- a story you read online
- key outtakes from a presentation you attended (with appropriate attribution)
- an article written about you or your business
- a video demonstration you found useful or entertaining
- before and after examples of work you’ve done
- a news item from the radio or television
- announcement of an upcoming event (either yours or a third party event)
- leads for opportunities
- report on breaking news in your industry
- previews of new products and services
- employment opportunities (either in your business or another complementary business)
Link your posts to what your audience is interested in:
As a rule of thumb, 20% of your posts should be about you or your business and 80% should be independent.
The best social media contributors are those that can take unrelated items and cleverly link them to topics that interest their audience. As well as making your posts more interesting, it will help avoid falling in to the trap of posting content which simply promotes your business and doesn’t offer value to your audience. Avoid shamelessly promoting your business – always consider the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) factor.
Create a calendar and write your posts in advance:
By creating a simple calendar of events, key dates and milestones you will begin to see the opportunities for generating content. On my website I have a sample calendar for May and June 2012 with a variety of events and key dates listed. (NB: This is a very generic list; I’d recommend creating a calendar which includes events and key dates related to your industry and business.) In the spreadsheet there’s room for you to write your own post related to the event, as well as what day and time you’ll post the update, and importantly, space to record the results you achieved from your post. Recording the results will allow you to see which type of posts your audience most appreciate and therefore where to focus your efforts.
For example, a client of mine is a financial planner and we created this post around World Tobacco Day (31 May):
Did you know the average, pack a day, smoker spends $120 per week on cigarettes? Today is World Tobacco Day and a great day to start the Quit journey. With the $120 per week saving, you could improve your health, and have a nest egg of $334,277 after 20 years! ((calculation assumes investment in a growth managed fund, 4% net income return per annum, 5% capital growth per annum and reinvestment of dividends).Contact JAK Financial today to see what we can do for you.
Be aware that creating content in advance doesn’t mean you can “set and forget” your social media accounts. While it will help to keep you on track, and ensure consistency of content, you need to make certain that you’re still responding to, and commenting on, current news and events relevant to your audience.