Posting on social media can be a quandary for some businesses.
Regardless of all the tips posted online, when it comes to a personal decision, many people don’t know what they should say, especially once they learn that always talking about their products or services and blog posts is verboten (forbidden).
I get it.
Here’s my confession: I sometimes struggle with what to say on my Facebook profile. My life just isn’t that exciting, you know?
And I’m not into posting selfies. I’m just not that photogenic.
But when it comes to my professional social media accounts — my Facebook page, and Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+ accounts, I have no problem.
Why? Because I know that on those accounts I need to balance inspirational and education information. I want to encourage people, post images, and ask questions.
I have those platforms down, so to speak.
I want you to feel the same way. I don’t want you to ever feel insecure about what you’re posting or sit in front of a blinking cursor wondering, “What the heck should I say?”
So let’s get to it.
You Need Great Content on Your Blog & on Social Media
Sometimes content you found on the internet years ago can still apply. I know that I use these tips that I found a few years ago from Search Engine Land. I consider their advice the meat and potatoes of everything I write online.
- Is the content informative?
- Is it authoritative on the subject matter?
- Is it interesting?
- Is it well-written?
- Is longer content broken up into well-organized sections by headings? And while we’re on this topic, keep your paragraph short. One sentence may be sufficient.
- Does the content make good and interesting use of visual elements? Remember, you need to include images with your blog posts. Multiple photos keep people reading your blog posts. On social media, pictures are a must.
- Is the writing free of embarrassing spelling errors or remedial grammar problems? I use Grammarly to check my writing and punctuation. Are you using an editing application to check yours?
- Is it written appropriately for its intended audience? How well do you know your audience? You can define your audience by gender and age group. Whom are you trying to reach? Once you have the answer to that question, you can more easily write your content.
- Is the content free of industry-insider jargon, focusing instead on terminology your prospective clients or customers would use (and search for)? Get rid of all jargon and cliches before tapping the publish button.
- When appropriate, does the content show your unique voice or even a sense of humor? Are your snarky or quirky? Don’t be afraid to show your real self. Being authentic will enhance your brand. Embrace who you are and don’t be afraid to show those sides of yourself online.
The above suggestions apply mostly to blog writing, but you can adapt some of them for social media.
You can also use these suggestions to evaluate blog posts written by other people you might want to share. Since 80% of the content, you discuss on social media will be from sources other than your own, ask yourself if that content incorporates the above suggestions.
If it doesn’t, don’t use it.
So what will you post 20% of the time when you can talk about yourself? When you think about it, you’re still going to be posting quite a bit of information that emanates from you.
What should you say?
25 Tips for Posting on Social Media
Here are some examples of great content for your social media profiles:
- Statistics or data
- Branded images
- Recommendations of books you love (use the hashtag #FridayReads on Twitter when you do this)
- Request for advice
- TBT: Throwback Thursday image
- Sharing a meme or comic
- Sharing a testimonial for your book
- Controversial questions
- Fill-in-the-blank posts (“If I were the boss I would _______.”)
- Ask for input on your next book cover.
- Ask for reviews.
- Ask for advice.
- Put up a photo and ask for a caption.
- Acknowledge unusual holidays.
- Share a great sentence from a recent blog post you wrote.
- Talk about what inspired you today.
- Explain one benefit of your services.
- Post inspirational quotes
Now here’s an example from my Facebook profile, where you connect with friends and family members. I’ve been considering adopting a German shepherd. So what did I do?
I turned to Facebook and asked if anyone had a German shepherd and what they thought of the breed. (Until now, I’ve always adopted black Labs.)
The response was phenomenal. Friends posted pictures of their German shepherds.
One person queried why would anyone not have a German shepherd. According to her, German shepherds are the best dogs. Period.
My question is just one example of why I love social media. You receive so much support.
When my dog Dixie died in June, the outpouring of support was tremendous and comforting.
On your Facebook business page, remember to narrow your focus and become known for always posting the best and most up-to-date information in your field.
On your blog and your social media accounts, your reputation rests on the content you disseminate.
Remain objective and stay clear of the potentially alienating arguments that can occur in some pockets of social media. Your blood pressure will thank you.
What questions do you still have about social media content? (Yes, I’d really love to know!)
Frances Caballo is an online marketing consultant and the author of six books on social media. Click here to schedule an appointment with her. Writing a book can serve as the best possible business card you can possibly have and establish your authority in your field. Once you publish your book, learn to market it by visiting my other website, SocialMediaJustforWriters.com.