What You Can Learn from These 3 Small Businesses Successfully Using Social Media

For most businesses in 2018, having a social media presence is now an essential element of a marketing strategy. Today’s online audiences are online to be informed, engaged and entertained by their favourite brands whilst ultimately expecting their voice to be heard and their needs listened to and met. It is up to you therefore to utilise this social media phenomenon and start reaping the rewards for your business from having a personable, valuable and engaging social media presence.

Whether you are a new business just starting out on social media or have already implemented your social media marketing plan, there is so much value to be gained in seeing examples of what other people and businesses are doing on social media and modelling their best practices. This article showcases three small businesses, that whilst all being in different industries and having different strategies, all display outstanding social media marketing efforts. So without further ado here are my top three small businesses successfully using social media and what you can learn from them.

 

Kim Garst

Kim Garst is a social media expert, successfully informing, influencing and engaging her audience through her small business social media firm, Boom Social. Kim is very active amongst several social media platforms and is a perfect example of someone who has developed a powerful social presence through providing excellent customer service, strong branding and regular, engaging, varied and tailored content that businesses and those looking to start on the entrepreneurial path are drawn to. This approach has established Kim as an renowned thought leader, with her impressive influence within the industry testimony to that.

Kim’s approach to communicating with her audience is definitely one to admire. She really puts the social in social media and takes the time to respond to every social media interaction on her Facebook and Twitter. Whether it is thanking someone for sharing her article, sharing good advice or sharing the many business and social media tips, quotes and motivational pieces she has, she is always active and always listening to her audience, resulting in a presence that not only demonstrates her successful approach to becoming a well trusted, well informed and personable industry influencer but also by providing real-time, socially connected customer service, she is able to create more trust and credibility with her audience.

Another area in which Kim excels is her impressive visual branding, successfully creating a consistent look and feel across her website and all of her social media profiles. Kim makes sure that her advice, quotes, tips and other motivational sayings are delivered on good, high quality branded photos and by combing this approach with another one of her triumphs, that is her impressive use of relevant hashtags on Twitter, such as #socialmedia, #BizTip and #SocialMediaMarketing she is able to ensure that her branded messages target and reach others beyond her immediate circle, making it easy for people searching certain kinds of content to find her.

Ultimately it’s no surprise Kim is a social media expert, she demonstrates her expertise, personality and outstanding customer service skills to businesses worldwide by simply sharing engaging resources and advice through her website and social media platforms and ultimately listening to and engaging with her fans. It’s such a simple strategy but is the very foundation of a successful social media presence.

Key Takeaways

  •     Ensure you humanise your brand by being genuine, honest and authentic in order to create truly personal and meaningful connections.
  •     Aim to become a thought leader in your industry through actively sharing useful resources and tips with your fans.
  •     Maintain a consistent strong branding throughout all of your online presence.
  •     Utilise Hashtags to reach new audiences.
  •     Dedicate time and resources to listening to and engaging with your fans and make demonstrating your excellent customer service skills a priority.

 

 

Brew Dog

BrewDog is a brewery in Scotland using social media to ‘Push limits and challenge conventions with award winning craft beer’. Along the way they are gaining a reputation for courting controversy but at the same time offering a bold, provocative, irreverent and most of all highly impactful and successful approach to social media marketing.

Whilst causing controversy or offence is not for the average content marketer, BrewDog not only gets away with it, but revels in it, due to their complete self-confidence in their philosophy and a no qualms attitude towards telling everyone about it. At the very basic level this shows a great case study of a business with a strong brand ethic, something which should be admired.

Having a strong philosophy (that is, their love of beer and challenging the conventional big breweries) instantly makes every post and status update crafted in a purposeful way and directed towards a goal and BrewDog is testament to this end. With cleverly produced and humorous videos, stunts such as driving a tank through the streets of London, projections onto the British House of Parliament and serving beer out of dead animals, they court controversy, divide opinion and importantly attract publicity and attention for themselves whilst perfectly demonstrating with their edgy, out there image that earns them a very targeted and loyal following.

In the midst of the controversy, BrewDog however is testament of a brand with an excellent social and collaborate strategy, in that they strive to involve their customers is every aspect of their journey. From asking for suggestions for wording on their new labelling, engaging their audience through regular questions on Facebook and Twitter, right through to their brilliantly successful crowd funding venture, they genuinely show they care about their audience and are interested in involving them in the business and listening to their thought and opinions.

Another area in which BrewDog excel is through their ability to successfully capitalise on up-coming events and trends, cleverly ensuring they secure coverage and attention for themselves while continuing to show their personality and appease their loyal following who are expecting these bold, clever and out there antics. Their ‘Hello, my name is Vladimir’, a ‘not for gays’ beer in protest at Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay laws, launched to coincide with the Winter Olympics in Sochi, is a great example of their excellent use of capitalising on a worldwide event. Whilst this controversial approach divides opinion, it ultimately garners them a lot attention which is crucial for small businesses in terms of brand awareness and keeping their brand in front and centre of their target audience’s minds. After all, without this provocative marketing approach BrewDog may not have had such a large impact in a crowded marketplace.

Ultimately, BrewDog have remained true to their philosophy, personality and attitude and this has simply been transferred to their marketing efforts. Through varied, regular and interesting blog posts, to clever and humorous videos to boost viral reach, right through to the two founders being active throughout their social media profiles which helps humanise the brand and show personality, it’s hard to find fault with a brand that is confident, consistent and clever in their approach no matter who it might offend.

Key Takeaways

  •     Be provocative, but only where it suits your brand.
  •     Make strategic use of relevant national or world trends and events to attract attention and grow your fan base.
  •     Be true to your strong brand ethic and recognise the importance of continuing conversation whether or not your brand or your approach is particularly liked.
  •     Put your customers at the forefront of your marketing, always listen to, learn from and encourage and engage your audience.

 

 

Daylesford Farm

Daylesford Farm is an organic farm in Gloucestershire with farmshops and cafes in London. Daylesford Farm is excelling in their social media efforts as they clearly understand the importance of sharing quality content and engaging with their audience and as such have brought the social and collaborative experience to the forefront of their marketing efforts.

Where Daylesford Farm truly excels is within their use of content and engagement strategies. Throughout all their social media channels Daylesford Farm place emphasis on providing valuable, targeted and engaging content fine-tuned to appeal to and capture their audience’s interest and attention. Every tweet, retweet, post and status update is shared with a purpose in mind, so whether it’s offering seasonal recipes to try, great tips, facts, competitions, testimonials, articles promoting sustainability in food and farming, humanising the business through showing the faces behind the brand or news and updates relating to their cookery school, farm shop, cafe and other activities, they ensure that each post is purposeful, informative and useful to their audience. In doing so, Daylesford Farm has given their social media followers lots of reasons to engage with and revisit their profiles and this is reflected in the high engagement and sharing levels of their updates.Importantly amongst their efforts they also cross promote each piece of content across their social media platforms and demonstrate well their impressive understanding of the need to tailor the content for each different platform. The result of which means that they attract and form a relevant, captive audience that regularly comes to their social media platforms to interact and be informed and entertained.

Daylesford Farm have also cleverly integrated social media into almost every aspect of their website. From the often overlooked but crucial clear placement of social media icons across all pages of their website, to utilising social media widgets on their website and the online shop where social media icons are clearly displayed for you to share the product, it is clear that Daylesford Farm is projecting themselves as a social brand. The key benefit here is that in doing so they have created this very social experience for the visitor, making it easy to connect socially and for the most part, you don’t have to leave the website to do so, which encourages viewers to stay on the website for longer, allowing Daylesford Farm to effectively increase their fan/follower base from their website.

Ultimately Daylesford farm clearly understand and demonstrate well how to get the best out of each social media platform. They tailor content well, provide excellent customer service and importantly provide varied, consistent and engaging content that regularly keeps their audience coming back for more.

Key Takeaways

  •  Ensure every post you create is designed with a purpose and your target audience in mind. Whether it’s to inform, entertain, educate or engage, make everything that goes into your post (tone, pictures, links etc.) work towards and compliment your overall purpose for the post.
  •  Make sure that on your website you provide the visitor with lots of opportunities to connect with you socially. You can do this by clearly displaying your social media icons on your website pages and utilising any website social widgets that can enhance your marketing efforts.
  • Provide fans with reasons to keep returning to your social media profiles by offering valuable content, competitions, industry insights, informative resources and anything else your target audience will find interesting.
  • Differentiate and tailor your social media strategy to match the platform you are using.

 

What are your thoughts? Who are your favourite brands successfully using social media?

‘‘Facts Tell but Stories Sell’’ Why You Should Use Social Media to Tell Your Brand Story

In the fast-paced, digital world in which we now live, how businesses successfully attract and keep the attention of customers is undergoing a shift. In all the endless amounts of information that is seen and shared across the internet every day one of the most successful ways to break through the information and have yourself heard is to harness the power of storytelling in your content marketing. By sharing your authentic and inspirational brand stories through conversations with clients, colleagues, customers and friends you instantly captivate and form a personal connection with them by encouraging them to become emotionally involved. It is in doing so that you harness the ability to shape and affect the personal and business lives of those who are listening to your stories in very big and real ways.

Sharing stories from your company founders, to your business morals and values, your business highs and lows and why you even do what you do sets the scene for a social relationship with your online audience and provides authenticity to your brand by showing there exists a real human behind your real business. Each small blog post, status update, photo, or video provides your audience with a small piece of your business puzzle that make up the elements of your story. As those pieces all fit together they give your customers the wider picture and put your business into context, helping them to better understand who you are, what you do, and ultimately tells them why they should care about you.

Thus why in a world where the consumer is now in control of what they view, share and on which platforms, you have to earn their attention by combining the power of storytelling with a platform that allows you to connect and share your story with your customers and encourage them to share those stories with others. The platform perfectly suited for this is of course social media.

Here are a few links to help get you inspired and help you to share your brand stories;

 

 

 

 

  • Click Here for 83 Engaging Ideas For Your Social Media Content!

8 Reasons Why Your Social Media Marketing Strategy is Failing and How To Fix It

You’ve set up your profiles, posted your content, followed a few people on Twitter… and now what?  Most businesses understand the power of using social media for business but struggle to create and execute a strategy effectively. Here’s a quick guide to the most common reasons why a social media strategy (or lack of!) fails and what you can do to fix them and get things back on track.

 

  1. Not Having a Clearly Defined Social Media Marketing Strategy in the First Place

Before you jump in and start forming your social media presence, you need to develop a plan with key strategic elements that will ensure your social media presence is going to be a successful addition to your marketing strategy. All too often businesses get their profiles set up and quickly start posting without considering key elements such as what types of content will I post and when, how will I measure success and if my customers are even on this social media platform. The result of which is a rushed, inconsistent and unsuccessful presence that is not going to be positive for your brand or provide any value to your customers. So on a basic level to help you get started, before you begin just ask yourself these questions;

  • Why do I need to use social media and what do I want to gain in using it?
  • Who are my audience?
  • Are they on social media and if so what platforms are they using?
  • What messages do I want to share with them and how am I going to do it?
  • What content am I going to create?
  • How often am I going to post?
  • What social media platforms will I use?
  • How will I measure my success?

 

 

2.      Not Using the Right Platforms

Failing to develop a marketing strategy often leads to businesses not utilizing the best platforms for them. Many take a ‘join all platforms’ approach in the hopes that it will gain them maximum exposure, when in reality it has the opposite effect. It’s much more valuable for you for example to have three well-developed, active platforms than having to stretch your resources across seven many of which may not even play host to your target audience. From this, it is important to have a clearly defined target audience and to know where they spend their time online. So rather than jumping straight into Twitter or Facebook just because they have the highest number of members, take the time to really consider what platforms are right platform for your business. Do this by performing research on your current customers’ social media habits to  find out where your audience likes to spend their time, the type of content that they find most appealing, and how they like to engage with content. All of this information will help you form a concise strategy that will maximise potential for success

 

3.      Having Incomplete and Inconsistent Social Media Profiles. 

 All too often poor planning leads businesses to have an inconsistent image, voice and persona across their social media platforms. From incomplete profiles, to different profile images across platforms and different messages being shared, not having consistent branding fails to reinforce to your audience your brand message. From this, it is important that before you engage in social media that you are clear on what kind of image you want to portray of yourself and make sure to keep it consistent across all platforms. This consistency equally applies not just to the ‘voice’ you portray but also to the creative aspects, that is the overall presentation including the colour scheme and typography. If your brand or company uses certain colours then be sure to apply these consistently across the presentation of all your social media platforms. This also extends to a company logo or picture, make sure they are up to date and reflective of the image you want to portray. By setting consistent guidelines over the presentation and integration of your branding into your page it ensures that all these factors support and are in line with your overall branding and help reinforce your message and brand across all social media platforms.

 

 

4.      Not Using Analytics

 Analysing your metrics shows you a wealth of information and insights. It can show you whether your network is growing and how fast, how much of your website traffic is referred from social media and what content resonates best with your audience. Failure to analyse this data however is a huge mistake, without it you have no insights as to whether you are a making a successful and measurable impact and whether you are actually reaching the overall goals of your social media presence. In addition you will remain unaware as what you are doing right and what areas are in need of improvement which leads to poorly guided future decisions and the continued use of tactics that aren’t driving results. You don’t have to suddenly become a meticulous number cruncher however but you should pick several important metrics that are representative of your overall goals and regularly track and analyse them to make sure they are growing in a positive and successful way.

 

 5.      Not Posting Content that’s Interesting, Varied and Encourages Engagement

 Social media is centred on having conversations and engaging with people. That being said, many businesses make the mistake of sharing content that is simply an update of what they are thinking or doing or random images of cats to encourage likes that ultimately has no real substance or value in what they are sharing. To avoid to making this mistake every post and tweet you post should have a clearly defined topic as well as delivering something valuable to the reader, whether that be entertainment or information. You must also write your content with your target audience in mind so rather than trying to appeal to a generic wider audience, write content that contains specialised information and analysis that those interested in your services or in your sector would read. A common mistake made with posting is not including some form of media content such as a relevant video or picture that can lead posts to look uninviting and not capture a reader’s attention.  To avoid making this mistake make sure to post insightful and valuable content that your readers will want to read and looks visually appealing also.  Posts with some form of media such as a photo or link always get more clicks so it is vital that you try to include some form of relevant media.

 

6.      Posting Too Much, Not Enough or at The Wrong Times

 It is common to see businesses that either continually post unvaried and spam type messages all day across their platforms or leave it weeks without updating their content then have a sudden surge of content posted across their profiles in a day. What those businesses don’t understand is that in order to get the most out of using social media as a marketing tool, you need to post varied and informative content consistently and at the times where your audience is most likely to see it otherwise your posts may be overlooked or ignored, causing your brand to miss out on important engagement opportunities and lack of interest generally leads to unfollows and unlikes from consumers. It is therefore vital that you figure out a comfortable writing routine that works with your editorial calendar, be it posting daily or several times a week, and stick to it in order to maintain consistency and maximise your impact. This process involves some experimentation to find the best publishing schedule for you along with tracking your metrics to see when people are most active and your engagement and feedback rates for your posts. There are however two things that should always be considered and will dictate your posting schedule; your company goals and what your audience wants.

 

 7.      Not Listening and Responding to Your Audience

 The fact that customer service through social media is quickly becoming an expectation of consumers means you’re publicly open to both criticism and praise online. Many businesses take the approach of taking several days to respond to comments, or only responding to positive interactions or worse not responding to either at all. Ultimately, people want quick responses from you if they interact with you online and if you fail to respond you ultimately develop a negative image for yourself by not acknowledging good and bad interactions and importantly miss out on opportunities to make valuable connections with customers and learn important feedback that can help develop your business in the future. From this, make sure to always have someone available to monitor interactions and what people are saying about you not just in your work hours. After all, you may only be working and online at 9 – 5 but that doesn’t mean your audience is.

 

 

8.     Not Having the Right Person Managing Your Social Media Presence

Ultimately, whether it’s yourself, your sister an intern or a freelance social media manager, the person you have put in charge of your social media presence is in control of how your brand is presented publicly online and ultimately how successful your presence is going to be. It is vital therefore that you choose someone who has a true understanding of what your brand stands for, knows how to successfully market on social media and is proactively working with you to make sure both you and your audience are getting the best out of using social media.  Remember it’s more than just simply having a presence, it’s also about knowing how to market yourself successfully and it is that point where that general family member, friend or inadequate social media professional is not going to successfully perform.

How to Write an Effective Blog Post and 8 Quick Content Ideas to Get You Started!

Blogging is often considered at the heart of social media and is an important aspect of marketing your business. Done right it can establish you as an authority within your sector, drive traffic to your website and increase sales so is a vital tool for a business. Whilst anyone can write a blog post, it takes focus, effort and dedication to effectively write strong posts and maintain a blog that keeps your readers engaged and coming back for more.
Before you begin writing for your blog one of the first things you must do is to have a clear understanding of the target audience you are writing for. This involves you knowing and learning aspects about them from what content resonates best with them to what needs, interest, problems and questions they have as customers. So ensure your content contains specialised information that your customers will want to read. In doing so will not only will you be maximising interest and engagement from your readers, you will be proving your expertise in your industry.

 

HEADLINE

The headline represents one of the most important parts of your blog post. It is the deciding factor on whether a reader is compelled enough to click on and read your blog post or not and for this reason needs to be grab attention and be concise in stating to the reader the benefit of clicking the link and reading the content. Whilst there is no definitive perfect headline template, there are several key characteristics of a powerful headline that compels the reader to click on. Powerful headlines are very concise and specific, they focus on the reader and what interests them and also are keyword-optimised ensuring the right type of reader is going to find them.

20 Example Headline Templates That Grab Attention
• How to Get The ______ you Want Using ______
• 5 Secrets your ______ Won’t Tell you About ______
• 10 Things ______ Can Teach You About ______
• 5 Little Known Ways to ______
• The Ultimate Step by Step Guide to ______
• Best Practices for ______
• 100 Shocking Statistics About ______
• Now You Too Can Have ______ with These 5 Easy Steps
• How to be a World-Class ______ Like ______
• How to ______ a ______ You Can Be Proud Of
• 10 Things you Must Know About ______ But Don’t
• 15 Things you Never Knew about ______
• 5 Unexpected ways to be Successful at ______
• Why Your Business Needs to Know About ______
• 3 Things You Must Do After ______
• How to ______ in ______Days
• 20 ______ Every ______ Should Include
• 10 ______ Mistakes that I Should Have Done Differently
• Why I Don’t Do ______
• 11 ______ Tips I Wish I Had Known

 

OPENING PARAGRAPH

The opening paragraph or introduction is meant to provide the setup for the main content and put the subject matter into context. This section of the blog post needs to clearly explain to the reader what your blog post is going to address and compel them to feel as though they will achieve a significant benefit from reading on and taking in what you have to say. As a general guide there are several key characteristics of a successful opening paragraph that you need to include.
Be Direct – Online readers prefer to be clearly told what they are about to read and why they should do so. So avoid over complicated, artsy style writing and make it clear to the reader what you are talking about and why they should listen and take note.
Be Concise and Compelling – The success of getting readers to read your whole post lies in how well you convince them at the start of your blog post that they simply have to read on. So whether you are offering exclusive content, a competition or some highly valuable advice, make it clear to the reader and in doing so give them a compelling reason to want to read on.
Be Bold and Creative – Ensure you set yourself apart from other generic blog posts by being creative. Don’t stick to generic writing styles, layouts and subject matter as being bold but still informative and valuable can attract a lot of attention and encourage a reader to carry on and read the whole post.

 

THE MAIN BODY

The main section of your blog will provide the substance to what you have outlined in your title and opening paragraph. It is important within this section you adhere to several characteristics that constitute a well written blog post;
Logical Structure – You need to ensure that your blog follows a clear and logical structure that flows coherently, making the topic easy for your reader to understand.
Short and Succinct Sentences – Short and succinct sentences ensure readers keep interest as it makes your content easily scannable and digestible, an important aspect for skim readers.
Examples and Evidence – Providing evidence and examples that back up your points helps you appear more of an authority with your writing as well as helping your readers to grasp concepts by offering clear and obvious examples that clearly support what you are discussing.
Images – Having a variety of images helps the visual appeal of your post as they break up the blocks of text and help to visually illustrate specific points.

 

CONCLUSION

The conclusion should be a short statement that clearly summarises and wraps up your post. This is the area when you should also include a clear call to action in which you direct the reader onto a next step after they have finished reading your post. Whether it is a link to an external site or encourages them to subscribe, you need to ensure the connection with you doesn’t end when your blog post does.

 

PROOF READING AND OPTIMISATION

Once you have finished writing your blog you need to consider the important factors of proof reading and optimisation before you publish your post. This process includes a thorough read through of your blog looking into areas such as formatting, grammar, spelling, keyword placement and other optimisation opportunities. Look to analyse these several key areas;
Strategically Placed Keywords – By including relevant keywords and phrases that your target readers are using and strategically placing them throughout your blog post you tailor your content in a way that is going to ensure you are targeting reader’s needs and the chance for maximum search engine visibility. Look to strategically place these keywords across your post from your URL, to your blog title and subheadings.
General Formatting – Ensure your blog post is readable and visually appealing by thoroughly checking your formatting and paying attention to key areas such as including sub-headings to help break up text, breaking large blocks of text with images, being consistent with font choice and text size and generally ensuring ease of read with succinct sentence structure and clearly made points.
Correct Links and Visuals – If you have included links ensure that they point to the correct location. If you have included visuals such as pictures and videos also ensure you reference and credit where you got them from.

 

8 QUICK CONTENT IDEAS FOR BLOG POSTS

Tips and How-To’s
Providing informative tips, advice and how-to posts can be very useful to your customers and has the added benefit of promoting your product and its uses.

Behind the Scenes/ A Day in the Life of
People love to see behind the scenes as it shows them an aspect of your business that they wouldn’t normally see. ‘Day in the life’ posts are a popular example.

Contests and Other Exclusive Content
Running a contest and sharing exclusive content always generate engagement and interest. Just make sure the content and/or prize you offer is relevant and valuable to your audience.

Relevant Industry News and Updates
If you know any relevant news/ events that are going to interest or affect your customers then share it with them and you will become a trusted industry news source.

Compile a Useful Resource List
If you come across any valuable and informative resources such as links, websites, books and products related to your business and industry, then share it with your customers. This can go some way towards establishing your blog as a trusted source of information.

Customer Testimonials / Success Stories
A customer testimonial goes a long way in terms of establishing credibility and interest in your product or service. So if you have received a good recommendation or someone has found another useful use for your product then share it on your blog.

Interviews with Industry Leaders/ Key Figures
If you have an industry expert that is of interest to your customers or have celebrity contacts then conducting an interview and sharing it on your blog is a sure-fire way to attract attention, even more so if they share exclusive content.

Share Content that Helps Humanise Your Brand
Sharing stories from your business founders, staff members, charity work to your business morals and values and your business highs and lows helps your audience get to know and care about you as it shows there exists a real human behind your real business.

 

Top Tip: There are plenty of ideas for content out there. Every book you read, event you attend, blog you visit and interview on the news you hear, is rich with ideas for content. So keep your eye out and keep a notepad handy so you always write down any ideas. But what happens for those times when you run dry? Here are four tools to help generate content for your blog:

 

  • Google Trends: Google Trends keeps you up to date on the day-to-day pulse of your audiences’ interests. With Google Trends you can see the frequency and popularity of Google searches related to your topic and test the subject with Google Trends.
  • MyBlogU: This free online platform allows you to crowdsource and brainstorm with other content creators.
  • Quora: This is a crowd-sourced, question-and-answer website where questions are asked, answered, edited and organised by its community of users. This can help lead you to the types of questions that real people are asking. As well as having the benefit of building your authority, engagement, and traffic from being a regular contributor on Quora.
  • Buzzsumo: A fantastic source for research, with Buzzsumo you enter a topic or a URL in its search box and then displays a wealth of information. Buzzsumo provides backlinks and shows the content that performs best on social media.

Creating a Social Media Marketing Plan [The Ultimate Checklist]

‘If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.’

Whilst Benjamin Franklin wasn’t speaking to the owner of a local cupcake company looking to start a Facebook page when he said those words, they still ring true when it comes to a business starting out on social media. Just as you wouldn’t set up a business without a business plan, you can’t just jump straight into social media, start aimlessly posting and expect the customers to come rolling in. Rather, you have to sit down, grab a cup of coffee and develop a clear social media strategy. While there’s no one-size fits all solution, you can find social media success if you’re armed with the right questions to get you started. After all, a plan equals focus and focus is what is going to drive your business forward online.

 

What Objectives do I Want my Business to Achieve by Using Social Media?

Whether you want to use your social media presence to gain exposure for your brand, directly educate and interact with your customers, promote specific products and services or all of the above, clearly identifying your objectives is the critical first step towards a successful social media presence. Identifying your objectives in the beginning ensures a multitude of critical elements of your social media marketing, it allows you to effectively tailor your content and posting schedule, provide value to your customers, right through to helping you accurately measure your success as you will be aware of the most appropriate metrics to track efficiently.

 

Common Social Media Objectives

  • Build Brand Awareness
  • Drive Traffic to Website
  • Provide Customer Service
  • Engage with Fans
  • Establish Thought Leadership
  • Launch New Products or Services
  • Generate Leads and Increase Sales
  • Research and Insights
  • Build Your Community
  • Improve SEO
  • Competitive Analysis

 

What is the State of My Current Social Media Use?

If you are already present on social media, you need to take a good hard look at your content from the eyes of a new (or potential) fan or follower. There is a whole host of important questions you need to ask yourself when you look through your online presence. Here’s a few taken from the checklist I use when I conduct a Social Media Audit;

  • Assess their presence: has it been thought through? Profile/cover photo/about section completed, effective and branded?
  • Can potential followers immediately get a sense of company culture, products and services on offer?
  • Content: How does their content support their strategy? What content receives the most clicks, likes and shares? Are they sharing engaging content? Do they encourage engagement? Offer something valuable/useful? How often is it updated? Are they engaging back with fans? Do they use hashtags effectively? How do they use images to tell the company story?
  • How are the individual platforms being used to drive traffic to the main web presence? Is it clear what the next step is that they want fans/followers to take? Call to actions in tweets/pins/posts?
  • Record numbers of followers and following – are they both relevant and targeted audience?
  • When the last time was their Twitter / Facebook/Pinterest etc. presence was updated?
  • What feedback do they get from followers?

Who are My Target Audience?

Determining the audience that you want to reach and engage with on social media is fundamental to your strategy.  Whether your target audience is your current or potential clients or customers, affiliate businesses, thought leaders or all four, your aim is to create a successful social media strategy that matches and is tailored towards understanding and acting on your target audience’s behaviours online. Creating Buyer personas helps you define and target the right people, in the right places, at the right times with the right messages. When you learn important factors about your target audience from their age, job status, income, interests, problems, to their likes, dislikes, motivations, where they spend their time online and in what format they like to digest their content online then it becomes easier to target them on social media. The key is to remember that the more specific you are the more successful and targeted you are going to be with your social media strategy that will bring real results and conversions for your business.

 

What Platforms am I Going to use for my Business?

What platforms you choose to use will ultimately depend on where your customers are and which ones are best suited for your business. Spend the time researching where your current customers are online and what platforms can be best utilised with your resources and business. The key is to not spread yourself too thinly across lots of social media platforms just because you think this will gain your business more exposure, rather it is much more effective to run a handful of platforms consistently and efficiently and to spend the time reviewing the platforms you are on to make sure they are as effective as they can be. You should also keep up to date with research into new technologies and platforms that your business could potentially utilise in the future.

Selecting the Right Social Media Platforms for Your Business

Each social media platforms is unique, with its own best practices, style, and audience. The key to choosing the right social media platforms relies on you having a clear understanding of your objectives for social media, your target audience and what resources/ information you have to share. Simply put, choose the ones that best fit your strategy and the goals you want to achieve on social media. You don’t have to be on them all—just the ones that matter to you and your audience.

To help you decide the best platform, ultimately ask yourself these questions;

  • Purpose – What information do you want to share with and communicate to your audience?
  • Format – In what format is the best way to present this information? Videos, Podcasts, extended pieces of writing etc.
  • Platform – Which social media platform will allow me to share this message best and which platform has the correct audience that I want to reach?
  • Time – How much time can I devote to a social network? Aim for at least an hour per day per social network. Once you get going, tools like Buffer can help you effectively manage your time.
  • Resources – What personnel and skills do you have to work with? Visual social platforms like Pinterest and Instagram require good quality images. Social platforms like blogging emphasize quality content. Do you have the resources to create what’s needed?
  • Audience – Where do your potential customers hang out? Which social network has the right demographics for you?

Have I Done my Research?

A successful social media presence is always aided by a good, solid foundation of prior research. You should look to do initial research into key areas such as your competitor’s social media, your target audience demographics, the latest trends and news in social media, marketing and business as well as many others. Conducting research and paying attention to changes in your industry and audience for example should also be a regular and active occurrence as things, especially social media, evolve and change so you need to keep up to date to ensure your strategy is as relevant and effective as possible.

  • Market Research – Who is your target audience? How do they behave on social media? Where are they online?
  • Competitors – Which platforms are your competitors using? Are they directly engaging with prospects online? What are they good at online? In which areas could they improve? Can you get case studies? (Both successful and unsuccessful examples?)
  • Latest Business and Social Media News, Trends and Techniques – Do you know the latest techniques on your social media platforms that are effective? What is changing in social media and/or business that could affect your marketing?

Am I Clear on My Marketing Voice and Tone?

The temptation at this point might be to jump right in and start sharing. Before you do however, it is crucial to cultivate a voice and tone of your marketing that effectively encompasses your brand.

To help you with this, start with questions like these:

  • If your brand was a person, what kind of personality would it have?
  • If your brand was a person, what’s their relationship to the consumer? (A trainer, friend, family member etc.)
  • What do you want your customers to think about your company?
  • Describe what your company’s personality is not
  • Are there any companies that have a similar personality to yours? Why are they similar?

 

Who is Going to set up and Maintain my Businesses Social Media Platforms?

In the beginning you will need to decide who will implement and maintain your social media accounts. Whether you want to run them in-house or hire a social-media marketing manager or firm, you need to ensure that the person who is in charge of your platforms can effectively represent your brand and has the know-how to create and maintain a successful social media presence. That person is going to ultimately control how your business is presented to others in the online world so you need to be absolutely confident that they are the right person for you and your business.

Have I Chosen My Core Topics?

The key to a successful content strategy is finding the core topics you want your business to be known for and the topics that attract and keep the attention of fans and followers. What topics or categories best represent your company? For most this is a combination of 3 areas,

  • Your Passion – the topic you are passionate and love to talk about
  • Your Assets – the topic you’re known for and skilled and trained in
  • Market Reality – is there a demand on social media for the type of content you are offering?

 

What Resources/ Content do I Have at my Disposal? 

Each social media platform has a certain type of content that is best suited towards it, for example Pinterest is inherently visual and as such requires good-quality and memorable images to be effective. From this, you need to understand what type of content that the platforms you are using is most effective and importantly what content resonates best with your audience. Once you are clear on both these aspects, you will be able to form an effective content strategy with maximised effectiveness. It is important that you share with your audience a diverse and interesting mix of content types that encourages engagement so you need to think about the types of questions you will ask, updates you will share and ultimately what resources you have that you can utilise and repurpose for your social media platforms.

What Should I be Posting?

A quick glance through any social media article, research and blog post will show an emphasis and push towards sharing visual content. This trend towards the visual has plenty of anecdotal evidence too, with it being a widely known fact that image posts get more views, clicks, re-shares, and likes than any other type of post. On Facebook, photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs on links than text-based posts. Similarly for Twitter, in a study of over two million tweets from verified users across a number of different industries, Twitter found that photos have the greatest effect on retweets. Photos average a 35% boost in Retweets with Videos getting a 28% boost. What does this mean for your business? Simple. You must prioritise producing good quality visuals in your social media content strategy.

So now we have established that you need to incorporate the visual into your content strategy. It’s time to take a look at what elements should make up your other content. There are hundreds of rules, strategies and theories on the best way and most effective ways to structure your content, the most used and most simple but effective strategy I use is the 70:20:10 rule.

The 70:20:10 rule

As a general rule of thumb, the rule states;

  • 70% of posts should add value and be brand and business building, stuff that your followers will find interesting, valuable and insightful and that supports who you are as a company.
  • 20% should share ideas or content from other sources e.g. blogs, digital PR, websites, other social media channels etc.
  • 10% should be self- promotional – your offers, discounts, marketing and promotional, sales etc.

 

21 Quick-Fire Example Content Ideas

  • Business Tips: People love to hear valuable business tips.
  • Humour/Relatable: Whether it’s a funny meme or something funny that’s happened in your life or your business, share it.
  • Inspiration/Motivation: Inspiration is the number one most shared type of content across every social media platform.
  • Open-Ended Questions: People love to talk and they love to answer questions.
  • Offers and Deals: Did you know that getting deals is still the number one reason that people like brands on Facebook? We all love a good deal.
  • Behind the Scenes/Sneak Peeks: People love to feel like they’re a part of what’s happening in your business.
  • Opinions: You can give yours and/or simply ask for theirs. People love to give their feedback and feel like their voice is being heard.
  • Industry News: There’s a huge value proposition in this. Firstly, you are educating your community on things that are happening in your space or in your niche. Secondly, doing this routinely will help you become an industry news or thought leader.
  • Fill in the Blanks: It’s an alternative way to phrase a question and the best ones only require a one or two-word answer, which makes it easier for your fans and followers to answer and engage with.
  • Strike Up a Conversation: Take the time to strike up a conversation. It’s a great way to build relationships.
  • Testimonials: Let people know that other people value your services or your products.
  • Open Q&A’s: Are a great way to provide value and get some real-time engagement with your followers.
  • Polls: You can use a poll for a number of different things like collecting opinions and/or ideas. Polls are a great engagement tool, but it’s also a great way to get great information.
  • Caption a Photo: Asking your fans and followers to caption a photo normally elicits good engagement.
  • Make Predictions: People love predictions. They want to know what you think.
  • Crowd Source Ideas: Ask other people for ideas. Whether you’re getting ready to do a new product or anything of that nature…ask!
  • Highlight Your Customers: Let your social media followers know that you value them. It’s important.
  • Tech Tips or Tools: People love tools and they love tech tips.
  • Advice: if you have some great advice and you feel like its valuable then share it.
  • Share Video or Audio Clips: In some cases video and audio posts are more impactful than a simple text based or image post.
  • ASK!: Ask your followers what content they want to see.

 

What is my Publishing Schedule?

Whilst it is wonderfully easy for you to be told from a social media expert that you should post 2 Facebook posts a day, 10 Tweets and 2 Blog posts a week for example, the ironclad and definitive answer to the questions ‘What, When and How often should I post?’ is simple: It depends. Everything about the social media experience is about your individual audience and niche. What works for you might not work for me… the important thing is that you experiment and learn what does work for you.

Your publishing schedule is going to be ultimately dictated by three things, your business capabilities, the platform you’re using and your audience needs. In the beginning you will need to experiment to find a publishing schedule that works best for your business, goals and readers and is the perfect balance of what you want and what your audience wants. Part of this consideration is also understanding the nature of the platform you’re using to publish and whether it is one such as Twitter that favours several short updates per day or Facebook where posting 7+ times a week is effective. Ultimately, when you are creating a publishing schedule you need to ask yourself, Can you keep this schedule consistently? Can you always publish high-quality content at this rate? And will you have enough content for this schedule? Once you’ve discovered the most effective schedule for you, being consistent with your publishing schedule has the benefit of increasing SEO value, maximising value and engagement from readers and encourages readers to come back regularly for more.

 

How Often Should you be Posting?

As you have come to realise, everything about a business social media experience is unique to you. There is no one size fits all approach to what content to post, just like there is not one for about how often to post to social media either. Some of the factors that will impact your specific sharing frequency may include your industry, your reach, your resources, the quality of your updates and the social network you’re using. The best way to discover the ideal posting frequency is by looking at your own analytics and several tools available in the market, these are a great way to show you the best time of day to post on your social media platforms, how often and even when your audience is online. So what are you to do if you are just starting out on these social networks, with no audience and no history? This is where best practices come in. As a good example, SumAll, which compiled timing research from sites like Visual.ly, Search Engine Watch, and Social Media Today has created a great visual resource of what their extensive research found in terms of timing.

  • Twitter – 1-3pm weekdays
  • Facebook – 1-4pm and 2-5pm weekdays
  • LinkedIn – 7-8:30am and 5-6pm Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
  • Tumblr – 7-10pm weekdays and 4pm on Fridays
  • Instagram – 5-6pm weekdays and 8pm on Mondays with a sweet spot at 6pm
  • Pinterest: 2-4pm and 8-11pm weekdays with weekends being the best
  • Google+: 9-11am weekdays

 

How am I Going to Ensure my Business Branding is Representative and Consistent?

Having a social media presence is a great way to show a wider audience who you are, what you stand for and ultimately why they should love you. From this, it is important that you know clearly what your brand stands for and how this is going to be conveyed consistently and accurately across your platforms. This consideration needs to be applied to everything from the voice you want for your brand that can be consistently applied across all your posts to the creative aspects of your platforms- that is the overall presentation including the colour scheme and typography. By setting consistent guidelines over the presentation and integration of your branding into your social media platforms it ensures that all these factors support and are in line with your overall branding and help reinforce your message and brand.

 

Am I Going to Have to Create a Written Social Media Policy for my Employees?

If there are going to be several different administrators of your platforms or you run a business with staff members who have personal and/or business social media accounts, it is well worth creating a social media policy for your staff to sign so everyone is clear on their responsibilities and what is deemed appropriate and inappropriate behaviour when they are representing or discussing your business online.

 

Have I Considered My Mobile Strategy?

With ever increasing numbers of people accessing the internet and social media platforms from their mobile devices, it is vital that you optimise your profiles for mobile users and give them a mobile friendly experience. Therefore you should test and experiment with your platforms to see how they look on both your desktop and a variety of other mobile devices to ensure you provide a seamless experience for those visiting your social media platforms no matter what device they are viewing them from. When assessing your site from different devices, you should check for several key areas such as; do your images still remain high quality? Are the social media sharing buttons clearly positioned and working properly? If text is used, it is readable on a small screen? The time you spend to perfect your platforms from your desktop should also be spent on making your site work for mobile too, if you fail to do so then you could lose traffic and sales as you will not be providing users with a good experience.

 

How am I Going to Measure the Success of my Social Media Marketing Efforts?

Tracking your social-media marketing metrics is a fundamental part of the social media marketing process as it helps gauge which tactics are successful and which areas are in need of improvement. Put a plan in place that allows you to track, measure and assess your results consistently to see what content/strategies resonates best and to ensure you are successfully meeting your social media objectives and if they are still relevant to you. Adjust your strategy and your content when appropriate to keep your social media content fresh and your information topical. The more you post, the more you’ll discover which content, timing, and frequency is right for you.

 

Ultimately, Have I got a Clear Strategy?

Having a clear idea on every aspect of your social media marketing strategy is key to its success. Ultimately, you should easily be able to answer confidently and with clarity the below questions that form a basic social media marketing strategy. Part of maintaining a strong, successful presence is also to regularly assess whether certain aspects of your original strategy have changed (For example are your objectives still the same? Is there a new social media platform that your audience is using?) and then adjust your efforts accordingly. As you become a regular participant on social media you will find ways in which you need to improve certain areas and areas in which you excel in, so never stop learning and listening to what your audience and your analytics tell you.

 

Keep referring back to this handy checklist;

Setting Goals

  • Why have I joined social media?
  • What is my brand’s overall purpose?
  • What does my business aim to achieve with social media?

 

Audience

  • Who is our target audience?
  • Which social networks do they use?
  • What topics and sources of information are most important to them?
  • What problems can I help them solve?
  • What jobs can I help them complete?

 

My Brand

  • What is my brand voice?
  • What is the overall tone of my social media updates?
  • What emotions do I hope to convey through my brand’s messaging?

 

Content

  • What types of content should I post on which social platforms?
  • What type of content best supports my content marketing aims?
  • What are the main topics, categories or messages that support my brand?
  • Should I use social media to provide customer service?

 

Content Creation

  • What realistic resources do we have?
  • Who should set up and maintain my company’s social media accounts?
  • What is the workflow from content creation to publication?
  • How often should I post new content on my social networks?
  • How does social media fit with our other campaigns?

 

Measuring Success

  • How will I measure ROI and define success with my social media strategy?
  • What is working with my social media marketing efforts?
  • What is the customer journey from search to purchase?
  • Where does social media fit within my funnel?

 


 

This is an excerpt from my new book ‘The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses’ available in eBook and Paperback. Want to grab your copy? head over to Amazon! https://read.amazon.co.uk/kp/embed?asin=B079KJG7BC&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_rLDNAbJ6P5P8W

 


How a Local Butchers Shop Can Utilise Social Media: A Complete Guide!

Local Butchers shops can have many advantages over large grocery stores. Every market is unique, but personal service, hand-trimmed meat cut to order, and a butcher who is knows his customers’ preferences are a few things that make a local butcher special. Many times with a small local butcher chain, higher quality meat is sold because they have the advantage of personally choosing their suppliers sourcing meat locally from local farms, and knowing suppliers and farmers personally. All of which results in the highest quality and flavour meat when it’s sold. Yet all these features that ‘beef’ up the benefits of choosing you over a competitor matter little unless potential customers know about the shop through some form of advertising.

Many Butchers use social media and use it as a means to communicate and promote their products, news and special events and also to interact, inform and engage with their customers and community. Demonstrating their extensive knowledge and excellent customer service skills through regular blog posts, offering tips, recipes in addition to interacting with the wider community by getting involved and giving gift certificates as prizes at local events and sharing community news and encouraging customer loyalty through the use of loyalty cards. Moreover, a butchers presence on social media platforms comes not only from its own online activity, but also from everyday visitors who share content, express their opinions and experiences, and post photos on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

A local Butcher looking to utilize social media will be best served by channelling into using social media as a platform to promote their activities, interact with past and potential customers and share valuable facts, information and insights that will engage, inspire and interest their fans and followers.

 


Facebook

Where Facebook can really be leveraged for a Butchers is within the use of its extensive potential for user engagement. With over one billion active users, it is likely that many of your clients and competitors may already be there. It is compatible with any type of multimedia content meaning you can post videos, photos, and links to external content, allowing it to enhance and support your other online marketing efforts e.g. blog posts.

Purpose

  • Generate Engagement
  • Increase Brand Awareness
  • Generate Leads and Sales
  • Strengthen Customer Service

 

Key Metrics to Track

  • Likes
  • Reach
  • Conversion
  • Engagement

 

Twitter

Where Twitter can really be leveraged for a Butchers is within its use as a real-time public information network that gives your business greater exposure in web search results and makes it easy to build a community of potential customers who are there to discover and share interesting content. Twitter can also benefit a Butchers through the use of both creating and joining in with existing Hashtags. Twitter Hashtags categorize topics and discussions so users can quickly and easily connect with businesses and individuals with a common interest. In addition they can also be used as keywords to help easily find and connect with your target audience. Examples include #NationalHamburgerDay (May 28th) and #NationalButchersWeek (13-19 March) including generic hashtags such as #ShopLocal.

Purpose

  • Increase Engagement
  • Establish Network
  • Increase Brand Awareness
  • Strengthen Customer Service

 

Key Metrics to Track

  • Follower Quality and Growth
  • Brand Mentions
  • Retweets, Replies and Lists
  • Reach
  • Conversion Rate

 

Blog

Where Blogging can be really utilized for a Butchers is its use in improving search engine rankings and boosting industry perception placing you as an authority in your sector. By regularly updating your corporate Blog with valuable, interesting, engaging and relevant analysis and comment, it shows that you have a deep interest in your sector and are more informed than the average participant; giving potential clients a compelling reason to choose you over competitors.

Purpose

  • Increase Engagement
  • Increase SEO
  • Establish Authority
  • Generate Brand Awareness

 

Key Metrics

  • Reach
  • Engagement
  • Authority Share – Cites and References
  • Audience Growth
  • Conversion Rate
  • Subscribers
  • SEO Improvements

 

Example Blog Posts You Can Post

  • Our Top Tips to get a Deliciously Moist and Flavour Packed Turkey this Christmas #
  • 10 Great (and tasty!) Ideas for Using up Your Christmas Leftovers
  • 10 Top Tips to Cooking a Show-Stopping Steak Every Time
  • Quick and Easy Guide to Choosing the Best Cuts of Beef (could easily be a blog series for each variety of meat)
  • How to Keep Your Knives Looking Their Best: A knife sharpening tutorial
  • A Handy Guide to Freezer Storage times
  • A Day in The Life of a Butcher

 

 Proposed Content and Example Activity

The proposed content/activity schedule below is just a basic guide. How often you need to post will of course depend on many personal factors to your business, from what content type resonates best to your audience, to what social media channels then are most active on and when etc.

Activity

1x Weekly Blog Posts

  • Post blog post on a specified day in the week
  • Promote the latest post regularly across other social media platforms
  • Daily monitoring of blog, responding to any comments and interactions

 

5x+ Daily Tweets

  • Go through and find relevant influencers/ local businesses etc. to follow.
  • Search for and utilise any relevant trending hashtags.
  • Respond to questions and general interaction from followers.
  • Relevant retweets of positive brand mentions, customer reviews/photos and local news and events.
  • Go through and unfollow inactive/unnecessary accounts (if applicable).

 

1x+ Daily Facebook Post

  • Daily look for relevant influencers/ business pages etc. to like and interact with.
  • Respond to questions and general interaction from fans.
  • Sharing of any relevant and interesting items – positive brand mentions, customer reviews/photos, local news and events etc.

 

Content Ideas to Get You Started!

  • Update Audience on General Business News/Developments
  • Product Promotion

e.g. Beautiful handmade #sausages made with our #Fresh #Local #Pork this week! [insert picture of sausages] e.g. A small selection of the award winning meat we have to offer! [Insert video of meat on counter]

e.g. To all you gym goers we have plenty of offers on our fresh trimmed chicken fillets! [insert picture of chicken]

e.g. Try Something Different For Tea! Flavour-packed and straight to the oven! All Made Fresh and Daily! [Insert picture of ready made meal pack]

e.g. Come on down to the shop to pick up our award winning black pudding to transform your fry ups this weekend! #FryUpFriday

e.g Ready for the sunshine? We are! [insert picture of bbq style meat,chiken skewers etc]

e.g. Another quality display this morning from our highly skilled team [insert picture of counter with meat]

  • General Content from the Website repurposed for Social Media
  • Meet the Team, Awards and Accreditations etc.
  • Content (Both original and shared from news sources] about Your Area
  • Customer Testimonials

 

  • General Facts, Tips and Information surrounding the Industry

e.g. Did you know according to the Guinness World Records, the largest hamburger weighed 913.54 kg (2,014 lb) and was prepared by Black Bear Casino Resort, Minnesota, USA, in 2012. The hamburger was topped with 23.81 kg (52.5 lb) of tomatoes, 22.68 kg (50 lb) of lettuce, 27.22 kg (60 lb) of onion, 8.62 kg (19 lb) of pickles, 18.14 kg (40 lb) of cheese and 7.48 kg (16.5 lb) of bacon!

  • General Industry news and events that are interesting/relevant
  • Tips, Advice and Expertise
  • Post recipes, meat cooking advice and tips etc.

 

  • Engaging Industry Related Questions

e.g. Our delicious award winning bacon makes for the perfect bacon butty! What’s your sauce of choice – brown or red?

  • Any Special Promotions, Offers, Events you are Doing/Hosting/Helping
  • Give Peaks of Behind-the-Scenes Business Activities –Sneak Peeks of Future Work, Something Interesting in the General Work Day
  • General Useful Information – any special ways of doing things? Any events coverage? Have you featured in the press recently?
  • Competitions

e.g. To celebrate the bank holiday weekend, we are giving our customers 20% off our award winning (insert meat here) Get cooking this weekend and make it a meal to remember!

e.g. Staying in is the new going out – to win this hamper containing all the ingredients you need to cook a delicious meal for a perfect night in simply share this post and comment below with who you will be sharing it with for your chance to win!

  • Funny Pictures, Memes or Jokes #ButcherBanter

e.g I have just been offered 8 legs of venison for £150. Do you think that’s two deer? #ButcherBanter

  • Job Postings/Opportunities

 

67 Engaging Ideas for Your Social Media Content!

Never be stuck for social media content ideas again with this list of 67 ideas guaranteed to keep you inspired for a long time!

1. Explain How You do Something: if you have a unique way you make your product, handle complaints or welcome new customers then share it and describe your process.
2. Staff Profiles: help to humanize your brand by sharing staff photos and information.
3. Personal Stories: People love to see the humans behind the brand and read what they get up to, so if you have just graduated from university or you have just had a baby and you are happy to tell your audience, then share your stories.
4. Show Your Charity/Community Work: If your business supports a charity or gives back to the local community, document and share what you do.
5. Join or Create a Debate: if you feel you can add value to a relevant debate then join in, likewise if you want to hear someone’s opinions then create a debate yourself.
6. Create a Regular Feature: regular features are a great way of drawing readers back to your page, your regular feature can be anything from a ‘customer of the week’ spotlight to a monthly collection of useful online articles that will benefit your audience.
7. Useful Tips and Advice: Providing useful and informative tips and advice always generates interest.
8. Create a How-To: how-to posts are great for informing your audience and promoting your products uses. If there is more than one way to use your product or service? Or a way of using your product that no one has thought of? Then describe it in a how-to post.
9. Industry Experts or Celebrity Interviews: If you have an industry expert that is of interest to your customers or are lucky enough to have celebrity contacts then a quick and easy interview post with them can generate a lot of interest.
10. Keyword Research: Use Google Analytics or similar tools to see what search terms bring prospects to your site. You can then form your next post around those keywords.
11. Write a Series: if you would like to go into great depth into a topic or teach your audience something complicated, then break the topic into several parts.
12. Conduct Market Research: conduct market research and get your customers involved to share their opinions on your new product/ service etc.
13. Create a Contest: Contests always generate engagement and interest just be sure to make the prize relevant and worthwhile to your audience.
14. Take a Reader Poll: if you want serious questions answering or just simply for fun, polling you audience can be a great way to gather useful information and engage your audience.
15. Create a FAQ: compile a list of the most common questions you get asked, write the answers to them and share them.
16. Create an Award: Giving awards such as a “best of” is guaranteed to gather attention.
17. Share your Customer Feedback: customer testimonials can go a great way in terms of gathering attention, if you get a great testimonial then ask permission to share it.
18. Reveal Industry Secrets: People are always drawn to information that reveals secrets they wouldn’t normally find out. Therefore exposing secrets from your industry will be sure to get attention.
19. Tell your Story: everybody loves to read about other people’s dreams, aspirations and challenges, so write about why and how you started your business.
20. Add your Thoughts to a Popular Post: if you feel you can add value to a popular debate or post then join in and add your thoughts.
21. Share Relevant Breaking News: if you know that a current event is going to interest or affect your customers or audience then share it with them.
22. Ask Questions: is there something you want to find out or know about your customers? Then ask them and let your readers create the content.
23. Talk about Relevant Trends: sharing relevant trends helps you convey authority within your industry.
24. Create a Podcast: Record a quick interview with an expert, or just give a few of your own useful tips.
25. Create an Infographic: Infographics are highly popular on social networks so create and interesting and fact filled post and it’s guaranteed to get shared.
26. Report on a Conference: if you have visited a conference and gathered lots of useful information that your audience will find useful then share it.
27. Show Behind the Scenes: People love to see behind the scenes as it shows them an aspect of your business that they wouldn’t normally see. Take shots of yourself and your work day, your employees, or a picture of your office or workspace.
28. Review Books and Articles: if you’ve read a book or an interesting article you think your audience will find valuable and relevant, review it.
29. Review a Product or Service: If there is a product or service that is relevant to your customers then write about it.
30. Compare Products or Services: you could go beyond simply reviewing one product or service and compare two or more instead.
31. Post a Video: videos gather a lot of attention if they are inspiring and provide something valuable to the viewer whether that be information or entertainment.
32. Share a Highlight: document what the big milestones are in your business history and tell your audience about those important moments and how they changed your business.
33. Share your Passions: telling personal stories and aspects about you help to humanize your brand and inspire your audience.
34. Share your Visions: if your company philosophy is unique and you offer something different from your competitors then share it with your audience.
35. Share Something Inspiring: people like to feel inspired so write about what inspires you and keeps you positive.
36. Compile a Useful Resource List: having a resource list full of information such as good links, websites or good books related to your business, can be a very valuable resource for your customers.
37. The Story Behind One of Your Products/Services: if there is an interesting story behind one of your products or services then share it with your audience.
38. A Day in The Life: Day in the life posts work similarly to behind the scenes posts as they offer the reader an aspect of your business they wouldn’t normally get to see. Give customers an hour-by-hour account of a typical day at your business from the viewpoint of one of your employees.
39. Offer Something Special: if you have a special event planned or simply want to announce a new product then make sure you write about it. For extra attention make if you want to run a giveaway along with your special announcement then only make it available to blog subscribers for example.
40. Anniversary Posts: If you launched a product or service a year ago or had a milestone in your business then do an anniversary post a year later to describe what has changed since that event.
41. Round up The Best of Your Blog: if you have blog posts that are buried in your archive but you know is some of your most informative and interesting work then do a round-up at the end of the year and compile your 10 favourite blog posts for example.
42. Upcoming Events Your Business is Involved in or Attending: If you are attending an event then be sure to take photos and document what you do. Even if the event is not directly related to your business, taking photos and sharing them still has the added benefit of humanizing your brand.
43. Profiles of Businesses You Work With: if you work with some other great businesses then give them free advertisement and tell your customers about them. The likelihood is that the other business will return the favour.
44. Make a Prediction: share your opinion on what you think the future holds for an aspect of your industry.
45. Discuss Your Future Plans: give readers a sneak peek at what you have planned for the future to start generating interest.
46. Share Quotes: Whether they’re funny, inspiring or motivational quotes always perform well.
47. Share Statistics or Data: Show yourself as a cutting edge industry resource by share new, relevant industry statistics
48. Link to a Guest Post: Share a link to a post you contributed to another site.
49. Product Photos: You could share a photo of brand new product look, an employee using the product or a customer-submitted photo etc.
50. Humor: Some lighthearted humourous memes, images, gifs or videos can go a long way towards showing the personality of your business.
51. Giveaways: Giveaways are a great way to not only generate excitement and brand awareness but they also act as a way to say “thank you” to your fans and brand advocates.
52. Host a Chat: Engage your community by hosting a Google + hangout, Facebook or Twitter chat.
53. General Trivia: Share interesting industry trivia by sharing a regular ‘Did you Know’ fact feature.
54. Create a Free eBook: Share your interesting knowledge for free in an eBook and be rewarded by a free and easy way to capture contact information and generate new leads.
55. Create an Events Calendar: Encourage your readers to subscribe to your events and keep up to date with what’s happening in your business.
56. Show of Your Customer Service: Customer service through social media is quickly becoming an expectation of consumers. So grab the chance to show off how much you care about your customers by actively responding, engaging and helping your audience with anything they need.
57. Show of Case Studies: Show your worth and entice readers with a visual case study of your best work.
58. Ask for Reviews or Testimonials: Build social proof by asking (nicely!) for reviews and testimonials.
59. Provide a Recommendation: Give back and share the love by recommending a business you have worked with or a special person who has gone over and above for you.
60. Celebrate Odd Holidays: Did you know today is ‘Draw a Picture of a Bird Day’!? Use a tool like Days of the Year to find out what today’s bizarre/wacky holiday is and if it is relevant to your business then celebrate it with your audience to generate engagement and show your personality.
61. Thank Your Fans: Remind your fans you appreciate then by offering a simple thank you. This can go a long way to building connections with your fans. (If you really love them you can combine this thanks with a free giveaway!)
62. Post Teaser Content: Do you have something exciting and special coming up like a new product launch? Tease your audience with small clues to boost engagement and awareness.
63. Link to a Blog Comment: if someone has left a particularly interesting, controversial or helpful comment on your blog, post a link to it and get your fans and followers to weigh in.
64. Ask Your Fans for Content Ideas: Generate content that your audience wants to see by asking them what they want and need.
65. Use Your Website Analytics to Find Content Ideas: Look through your analytics to find out which topics generate the most interest from your audience and make those topics the focus for your next blog post etc.
66. Hold a Q&A Session: Give your fans the chance to ask you anything by hosting a live Q&A.
67. Recommend a Book/Service/App/Product: if you have come across something that you think your audience can benefit from, tell them about it.

There you have it! 67 engaging ideas for your social media content that should keep you inspired for a while. Have you got any ideas for content that you would like to share?