Even if you’re organized enough to be working from an editorial calendar, you may still face moments of complete brain blockage where you can’t seem to generate any topics to post and share on your social channels. Welcome to the club.
No matter what the goal of your social media marketing might be (and having social media goals is critical to a measured approach), you need content to get there.
So, when you’re trying to narrow your focus and determine what to share with your followers, always focus on value — not ROI. I like the way Gary Vaynerchuk says it: What’s the ROI of your mother?” he writes. “How can you put a value on relationships?”
With that in mind, here are eight types of updates you should be sharing with your social media followers.
1. Link to your own content.
When you’re working on building up a new social profile or you’re coming up short on post ideas, always share links to your content. It’s the lowest barrier to entry, especially for a new account. Regularly sharing your content will get you more site traffic and subscribers to your blog.
A secondary bonus is that good-quality content will turn readers into regular followers on all of your social networks. The same principle applies to other types of content you produce, like infographics, ebooks and video.
2. Curate others’ awesome content.
Find content online from other experts that your audience would appreciate. This strengthens the relationship with influencers in your network and lets your followers know you’re willing to share valuable and helpful content, no matter the source.
Manually curating content can be a little time consuming, so use a service like Quuu.co. Select interests relevant to your audience, and Quuu will hand-pick the most relevant content to be scheduled and shared out to your followers automatically.
3. Post lead-generating offers.
Your followers pay attention because they value what you have to say. If you have a special offer with a product, service, guide, course or webinar, then leverage it in your social media. When you post it, make sure it’s positioned with the strongest value proposition so it doesn’t come off as promotional. This is a fantastic way to generate leads and build up a subscriber base.
Finally, give that special content some additional reach by using promotional tools and boosting it on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
4. Use storytelling and humor.
Why use social media? “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell,” writes Seth Godin. He pretty much nails it right there.
It’s important to take a break from “serious” once in awhile. It helps if that break is part of your brand/personal identity. Your followers are people, and people love to laugh. If you’re short on content ideas, work on drafting updates with some kind of emotional connection — especially if they’re funny. Emotion, stories and general levity can increase engagement and create positive association with brands.
The Nielsen Global Survey of Trust in Advertising polled over 29,000 users to measure consumer sentiment, and of those polled, 47 percent agreed that humorous ads resonated with them most.
5. Share something visual.
You can capture a lot of attention with laughter, but you can get even more with the right visuals. According to KISSMetrics surveys, content with images gets 94 percent more views than content that is text-only.
Whether the reason is that visual content is more captivating, or people just hate to read, you can leverage everything from cartoons and videos to infographics and relevant GIFs to keep your audience engaged.
6. Post questions.
Questions not only encourage feedback from your audience, they also spark serious conversations. They’re the ultimate way to follow the concept that social media isn’t a one-way medium meant for pushing content. It may seem frustrating and hard to keep engagement going, but questions are a great remedy to a lull in your social content posts.
Think about what your fans and followers care about and what they might have deeply held opinions on. Create questions that line up with those things, and you’ll have some lively discussions in no time.
7. Reveal something personal.
The people connecting with you and following your brand absolutely love storytelling and the emotional connection that comes from sharing something personal. Dan Schawbel said something, for example, that I really identify with and try to remind myself of when I post: “What makes you weird makes you unique and therefore makes you stand out.”
So, embrace who you are. Sharing something personal humanizes you, makes you real and builds real trust.
8. Recognize the accomplishments of others.
When you have the opportunity to mention another individual or company, jump on it. Use social media as a chance to celebrate the accomplishments of others. This also humanizes you because it shows fans that it’s not all about you. Being generous with others is a great way to build your industry network and grow relationships with influencers.