Social media is a vital part of any business — it keeps your customers aware of you and provides a quick way to get your name out there.
But it can also be incredibly difficult to come up with content, especially if you’re in a niche market. You might feel like you’re being repetitive. Or that you’re not offering the right content.
I occasionally feel that way, even if, as a web hosting company, we’re in a market that practically lives on social media. But it can be really difficult to work out what sort of content you want, how you want to show it off, and how to best organise it to match your business’s needs.
Here are my six tips for producing good social media content.
Let the content come to you
You could spend all day reading and searching for new content, or you could let other people do that for you. I subscribe to a lot of web development and design newsletters, which provide me with a lot of the content I put up on our Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook feeds. They’ve done the curation, I just pick which links would work best for our audience.
Along with newsletters, look at content hubs for your market. Running a restaurant’s social media? Look for local news, food blogs, and industry magazines. Trying to kickstart your stationery business? Look for productivity hubs, papercraft blogs, and bullet journalers.
The content is out there — you just need to find where it’s being collected.
Have a good organisation tool
Once you have a pile of possibilities, then you have to figure out how to best organise them. You don’t want to end up posting the same article over and over again, so you need a tool that not only lets you keep track of links you want to post, but also links that you already posted.
I personally use Google Keep. With the Chrome extension, I can quickly bookmark the article I’m reading, and later I can go through and organise them to match my posting schedule. Once I’ve posted a link, I archive it, so if I see it again, the Chrome extension lets me know I’ve already posted it, keeping me to new content.
Pick a schedule and stick to it
Once you have a good collection of content, then you need to schedule it. There are a lot of articles out there about the right time to post on the various social media channels, but you need to look at them with a sceptical eye, especially if you have a particular audience. Posting on Facebook during the evening might work best for a fashion or food brand, but it might not work for an office supply company.
You also have to think about when you’ll be available to respond to messages. If you post a message late at night, are you going to be there to answer a question someone might have? We post during UK business hours (between 9 am and 5 pm) so that people know we’re online and ready to help — either through social media or through our Support team.
Schedule everything in advance
Rather than constantly watching the clock to make sure you’re posting at the right time, get a system that lets you schedule posts. It’s an absolute lifesaver, especially if you’re thinking about tweaking your posting times to match your audience.
There are dozens of social media posting tools out there. We use Hootsuite, but there’s also Sprout Social, Buffer, SEMrush, and plenty of others. Even Facebook has publishing tools to let you schedule posts.
Once you know what your schedule is and what you want to post, start scheduling everything in for as far ahead as you can. And even if there’s a limit for scheduled posts, you can also put posts in your drafts.
Keep track of key metrics
You can post everything, but it means nothing if you don’t keep track of how your posts are doing. Each week, I track the number of likes, retweets, shares, click-throughs, and comments in a spreadsheet that goes back to last July (when I started working here). And since I keep track of all my links in Google Keep, if there’s a week where the posts were especially popular, I can go back and see what I posted.
Review, revise, keep posting
When you combine your key metrics and your post schedule, it makes it so much easier to review what works and what doesn’t. I regularly adjust our social media focus so that it leans more towards what people are interested in. It isn’t always perfect, but the beauty is that I can shift direction pretty quickly, just based on the amount of information I have on hand.
So regularly review, revise if needed, and just keep posting!