Sometimes, we all encounter the dreaded WRITER’S BLOCK (yes, even us content marketers). It can strike when we least want it to. And in this day and age, businesses must consistently produce attention-grabbing, engagement-worthy content to be able to remain relevant in the eyes of their customers – and this notion can be a daunting prospect to say the very least. But fear not, friends! This list of 10 types of content should get those creative juices flowing again!
A few things to keep in mind before we jump into it… social media for business is largely a BRANDING tool. It is to provide your potential customers with content that is inherently VALUABLE to them; it is not merely a platform to advertise ad-nausea. It is a place for people to learn how great your business is and what makes it unique and special. Think of your business as a person with unique traits and characteristics, interests and opinions. This is a place to build the identity of your business and form a meaningful relationship with your customers…so that they do not merely think of you as a place that provides services or goods, but as a friend.
That being said, here are a few ways to post content that is going to garner engagement and build an emotional bond with your audience. Most importantly, these posts will hopefully start a conversation with your audience that helps you understand who they are!
1. Fun/interesting/unique products:
As a business you do one of two things: you either sell a product(s), or provide service(s). You are likely a part of your because you feel passionate about it, or somehow connected to it. So share that feeling with the world! Show your product or service at its finest moment!
For example, if you own a car dealership – more specifically a BMW dealership – then show an image of a beautiful custom car. By someone liking your page, they’ve already expressed an interest in your product. So, show something they can drool over…and tag the custom car maker for potential shares on their end!
Humor is an incredibly powerful tool. And nothing quite says modern humor like the meme. You may not even know the word, but if you’ve been on the internet (particularly social media sites) then you’ve most likely seen them and laughed at them. Their humor is brief, witty, and highly shareable (which is arguably one of the most valuable qualities that a social media post can possess). Plus, due to their popularity, they are ABUNDANT. You can find memes about practically anything. Or, if you’re comically inclined, you can always make your own in a short amount of time.
3. New Customer/Customer Appreciation posts:
Ever heard of a thing called #FanFriday? It’s a hashtag trend that is a way for businesses to showcase and celebrate the items owned by, or services rendered for, specific customers. Not only is it a great way to encourage that customer’s loyalty, but it also shows that your business takes the time to notice and appreciate each and every one of your customers individually. This resonates with other potential customers, whether they realize it or not. Overall, it shows that your business values its patrons and listens to what they have to say. And honestly, who doesn’t like to feel noticed and special?
Plus, it’s a great moment to thank new customers and grab a photo with them at the peak of their post purchase happiness! (However, make sure you get photo release agreements signed, depending on your state and local laws if you do.) They will most likely share this post, which their friends will see. In essence, this becomes an endorsement of your business from a reliable, trusted source.
4. Sales Events or Special Events/Contests & Giveaways:
Just because you want people to like your content, it does not mean you have to entirely ignore the fact that you’re trying to sell something. This is especially true when it comes to one thing: EVENTS. People love to go out and do things, and if you have got some big to-do going on (especially if you are a local business with a physical storefront), by all means PROMOTE IT! Create an event on Facebook, encourage people to attend – let them know what they’re in for if they do!
Having a big sale? PROMOTE IT! People love deals! Let them know that you love giving them deals! You can even make it a unique to social media kind of deal! For example, “Mention this post to our front desk staff and get 10% off of your manicure!” Create a custom, eye-catching image to include, or perhaps make the promotion a contest as well! The possibilities are endless!
5. Staff life:
As I stated before, the more that you can humanize your business – the better. One way that to do this is by sharing the genuine fabric of your business – the people who work there! Has someone recently win an award? Share the achievement with an image! Did you have a birthday party for Bill in Accounting or did Carol from HR just have a baby? Congratulate them!
Consumers usually appreciate a business that recognizes the hard work and personal achievements of its employees. By showcasing your unique community, your potential customers and clients are able to see your business in a real light and relate to the people that contrive its existence. Additionally, it will show your customers where their money is going and the many great people that it will benefit.
6. Social Media trends/hashtag trends:
With each industry come respective hashtags. I previously mentioned #FanFriday, but that is just one of THOUSANDS. Most of you have probably heard of #ThrowbackThursday (also known as #TBT), in which posts from the past are shared on Thursday and give your audience a peek into the history of your business. Hashtags, though originally only a part of Twitter, are now essential to posting on nearly every social media platform. They are now part of the basic vocabulary of social media. Often, campaigns have their own unique hashtags and they have the power to do everything from making your posts more accessible, when it comes to searches, to even showcasing the fact that you are a modern business with digital media savvy!
7. Holiday posts:
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Get in on culturally relevant holidays by referencing them when engaging your consumer base! Everything from #NationalDogDay to #StPatricksDay can garner some fantastic engagement. HOWEVER – a word to the wise: some holidays are taken very seriously and should be treated accordingly. Be cautious when choosing whether or not to post about holidays such as Memorial Day; and if you choose to, make it entirely in honor of the men and women who have served our country and NOT about your business. Another holiday to be careful with is Christmas. While it may be perfectly fine to post something containing the message Merry Christmas, perhaps consider including “and Happy Holidays” as well so as not to ostracize those that do not celebrate it. Another useful holiday-related post is holiday hours – whether you will, or will not, be open during the holidays, it’s good to let people know. They will appreciate the heads up.
8. Interesting news (relative to your industry or physical location):
Things happen in your industry that have a global impact. It doesn’t matter if you sell dog collars or surgical supplies – your industry has fascinating things happening! There is a wealth of stories concerning current events just waiting to be shared. Another word to the wise – CHECK YOUR SOURCES and also READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE before posting… you don’t want to be attached to something that you didn’t realize you were inadvertently promoting. There are a lot of junk news organizations out there. Always use reputable sources – no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
9. Just for fun posts/engaging questions:
And if you’re REALLY at a loss, there’s no harm in putting out something that’s just plain fun! When it comes to social media, most people just want to feel good and see content that makes them happy. So go ahead, post a favorite motivational on Monday and include #MondayMotivation! Or just say celebrate the end of a workweek with a cute picture of a puppy…because who doesn’t love puppies?
Or, say you sell lipstick… show models wearing two of the shades you sell and ask people which color they like better. People love to give their opinion on social media, and starting a conversation is the best thing you can do in a social space. The most unique quality of social media is its interactive capabilities, and people love to feel heard. Don’t talk at people on social media – talk with them!
One of the rising stars of the digital realm is video. Videos are engrossing, and get the most organic reach on Facebook than any other post type. But keep in mind your audience’s attention span – videos that are more than thirty seconds long should be used with care… more than two minutes, used sparingly… more than five minutes – almost never. It all depends on the quality of the content. One more warning – watch the WHOLE VIDEO. Don’t put something out there you might regret.
These are just 10 examples of types of content to share on social media, but the sky is the limit. One thing that is universal though, is this: PLEASE, if you are going to use social media platforms, manage them regularly! Start conversations, answer questions and show that you care. Contrarily, don’t let trolls get the best of you… there are people out there with nothing better to do than bash everything they come across. Don’t feed in to their misery and let them affect your business’ identity.
Some final advice – don’t be afraid to try new things and have fun. Consumers want to connect with the personality of your business and the people that make it run.
What content has worked for you? Are there any sources you rely on to overcome writer’s block? Share your comments and questions below!