Writing content for social media may seem like an easy task, but it’s actually a challenge that many organizations struggle with. Preparing content for a corporate social media channel is different than writing posts for friends. Businesses and organizations have to write posts that cater to a more diverse range of people, that are relatively inoffensive, and remain relevant to the industry of the organization. Needless to say, many first-time social media writers find themselves with a severe case of writer’s block when they have to think of a month’s worth of original posts. To help, here is a list of 10 different types of social media posts that work well for businesses. Just think of three of each type and you’ve written enough posts for a month.
PR Posts – To start with the obvious, when writing content for a company’s social media channel, be sure to include to information on the company’s successes, important events, press releases and other announcements. Users expect the social media channel of an organization to be a clearinghouse for official information; ensure that you aren’t disappointing them by being too tight lipped.
Links to Useful Information – Posting links to relevant content is a good way to demonstrate that an organization is on top of industry news and is knowledgeable about their subject matter. Providing this kind of information will get people who care about the industry to come back to the channel so they can learn more. Links also provide an SEO benefit for an organization when they link back to their own pages. The effectiveness of links depends on the fan base. Some fans will choose not to click on links they see because they don’t have the time or they don’t want to leave their Facebook application on a mobile device.
Product Promotion – A lot of businesses want to know how to use social media to drive sales. The simple answer is to be subtle. Use the time of year to remind audiences why they need a product or service (e.g. spring cleaning, holiday gifts, etc.) or to highlight the best features. In most cases, it’s a good idea to limit the amount of direct product promotion that is done through social media. Turning a channel into a non-stop advertisement will normally deter more fans than attract them. The exception would be for stores that sell a wide range of visually stimulating products (e.g. artists, clothes designers, etc.) since these products are designed to be eye catching.
Tips and Advice – Posting content with tips and advice for common issues in the industry is another way to build trust and demonstrate a company’s value to target audiences. By posting the tips in a short text format, or possibly with a graphic, the information is more readily available to viewers than it would be in a link form.
Motivational Quotes – Inspirational and motivational quotes that are relevant to a company’s subject matter are a simple but effective way to appeal to almost every demographic. People like to read uplifting things, and if a page provides such content, they will be sure to check back. Also, people like to share these kinds of posts with friends, since they’re inspirational and normally not branded so they feel like they’re advertising (though it still advertises the page of the company that made the original post).
Ask a Question – When used properly, social media can be an excellent tool for two-way communications with target audiences and stakeholders. However, this will not happen by accident in most cases, you must solicit the feedback. Asking a question is a great way to gain valuable feedback from customers. Try asking if they have questions about the organization or the industry, if they have any thoughts on a new product, etc. Be sure to reply to the responses.
Special Offers – Another way to use social media content to drive sales is to write posts about special offers. One of the main reasons people become fans of a company’s social media channel is that they want to get specials and discounts, and there is no reason to disappoint them. Exclusive content is another kind of special offer. Fans of an organization love to feel like insiders, and exclusive content can create that feeling.
Photos and Videos – A picture is worth a thousand words (since a video is just multiple images per second, a video is the equivalent of a War and Peace size novel) and that can be extremely useful on social media channels that require posts to be fewer than a thousand characters. People are also more inclined to share photos and videos than posts that are just plain text. The biggest concern is that the images used don’t violate a copyright. Different legal standards apply for a company’s social media than to a personal one. The issue of copyright and social media is complex and will be addressed in a future post, so for now, just be sure to check before you post. If there’s a copyright and you don’t know what laws apply, don’t risk it.
Industry Talk – Talking about the issues and improvements in a company’s industry is another good source for social media content. Besides demonstrating that an organization is knowledgeable about the present and the future of an industry, it’s also an effective way to get audiences talking on social media channels.
Statistics – Statistics are similar to photos and videos in that they are small pieces of content that are extremely memorable. Be sure to pick statistics that showcase new, unexpecting and exciting information.
Engaging customers on social media channels can be tricky and each content writer needs to decide what level of engagement they intend to use, discover what kinds of fans they have, and experiment to learn what works best for their organization. Hopefully, these 10 social media post topics can help writers make that discovery.