Social media is about being part of a community.

It’s being with a group of people who have similar interests and to share ideas and information about a topic. 

Think of a conversation that you’ve had when both sides are listening and contributing vs. one person doing all the talking. 

One of my favorite analogies for social media is by John V. Wilshire who said…

“If advertising is a firework, then social media is a bonfire.”  

Fireworks grab your attention because they’re big and bright but they burn out quickly so you have to keep lighting more to keep the audience’s attention. And fireworks are expensive!!!

Building a bonfire is a slow process that draws a few friends at first and then magnetically pulls in more and more friends with smaller more meaningful conversations.

There’s a sense of community around a bonfire because it brings everyone together around something interesting, and everyone tends to it to keep it going.

That’s just so perfect and the way that you should think about building your community on social media.

You don’t just create a Facebook page and leave it (or it will burn out 😉).  

You need to tend to it to build your audience.

BEFORE you get to this point of creating content, it’s SO important to have done the research on your audience first.

Knowing your audience is first and foremost and then you can be sure to listen to what they’re talking about and sharing.

All of this will inform and guide your content planning.

Here’s a few of the things that I do to plan content for clients…

1. LOOK AT WHAT’S WORKING

If you’ve already been posting on your pages, take a look to see what content has the most engagement; comments, likes and shares. Post MORE of that!

I use a management tool called Sprout Social but if you don’t have that kind of tool, just look directly on each platform.

    • On the Facebook ‘insights’ tool, look at ‘posts’. It’s a quick and easy way to see engagement and what people want more of.
    • Instagram insights can be accessed from your profile on the app. Just tap the 3 lines at the top right and then click on insights to view your content. Click on ‘see all’ and you can view which posts had the most engagement.

 

2. GET PERSONAL

You have to promote your business at some point throughout the month but remember that posts directly related to your business don’t always have to be about selling your product or service.

You could highlight your staff’s accomplishments or company milestones or show them behind-the-scenes.

All of these create a personal connection with your followers.

I follow my chiropractor on Facebook and their post with the highest engagement (because I’m nosy) was when they took their staff to a theme park to ride roller coasters.

Their fun was infectious through their pictures and made me feel like they prioritize their staff and therefore their patients…and in turn must be good people/doctors (which they are)! 

 

3. SEARCH KEYWORDS

Identify 5-10 key words related to your business.

These are industry terms or topics that your ideal customer would be searching for to find information related your business.

There’s a bunch of different ways to go about this but here’s a few…

    1. Search directly on any social media platform to see what people are saying about your business and keywords.If you find something that your community would be interested in, SHARE IT on your page and BE SURE to add your thoughts on it or why you think they should see/read it.

      Retweeting without a comment is a missed opportunity to talk to your followers. THIS is brand building.

      For a pet transport client, I do a keyword search for ‘funny dog videos’ to plan their content. If you don’t have a car, they’ll drive your pet wherever you need them to go.

      For this client, funny dog videos are a good way to add variety into our content and especially because people on social media really just want to be entertained.

    2. Set up Google Alerts! Go to https://www.google.com/alerts and set up alerts based on keywords.

      You’ll get an email every day with news about content that may interest your community.For a nail salon client, we get news about “manicures” and “nail trends”.

      When this gem came up on J Lo’s engagement manicure, we knew our audience would love it. Most articles now have social media icons for easy sharing.

4. PLAN FOR RELEVANT HOLIDAYS

Do a Google search of holidays, not just the traditional ones but the social media holidays too. 

Be sure they line up with holidays your audience would be interested in.

The silly ones can be really fun like Jan 25th “#OppositeDay” or May 4th (my personal fave) “#StarWarsDay”, i.e., #Maythe4thbewithyou

One of my clients is an art museum. On #NationalHatDay, we shared a post of a famous artist in a hat. It had great engagement and was one of our most shared posts in 2019.  

For reference, here’s a link to 2020 social media holidays by social media maven, Louise Myers at bit.ly/2020socialmediaholidays


5. BE PART OF THE COMMUNITY – LIKE AND SHARE OTHER PEOPLE’S POSTS!

Create an appointment on your calendar to spend time every day – even if it’s just 10 minutes – looking at your news feed for content that you can share.

These are people or accounts that you follow and who likely follow you back.

Sharing their content with your followers is
1) a nod that you are listening and interested and
2) if they’re sharing it, your followers will likely want to see it too. Now you’re part of the conversation. 🗣️

AND be sure to monitor your social media platforms for people who are tagging you.

Based on your settings, you might have to approve when someone’s post shows up on your newsfeed.

When someone tags you be sure to comment on it and respond!

 

6. CREATE A CONTEST 

We created a Facebook poll for our nail salon client and asked followers to tell us if they preferred long or short nails.

It included a photo of each on the post. Everyone who responded was entered into a random drawing.

The winner had never been to the salon before and ended up getting a pedicure as well.

Needless to say, the client was hooked and wanted more! 

IN SUMMARY…
You’ve heard the phrase, ‘content is king’ and it is. It’s the initial spark that gets people to come to your bonfire.

But once they’re there, your engagement and interaction with them is what keeps them there tending to the bonfire (sharing, liking, commenting on your posts). 

This isn’t an all-inclusive list of content creation but it’s a good start.

I’d love to hear about your ideas for developing content…or if you need help with your social media content, please send me a note laurie@lauriederuntz.com.

Thanks,
Laurie