Have you ever wondered how everyone else seems to have an endless list of things to say on Social Media. Well at Your Executive Secretary, we hear it time and time again – content is King, write great content, it’s all in the content etc. etc. etc. But just exactly HOW do you write great content day in, day out? Where do you get your ideas from? How do you make today’s social media interactions different to the ones you wrote 6 months ago? Well we asked a Social Media Expert for their thoughts and hopefully the questions below will help you to create great content for your social media and your blog – breaking the dreaded ‘writers block’ that we all get at times:
1) WHY are you on Social Media?
It’s easy these days to use social media or blog just for the sake of it, without really knowing why you’re doing it. But it’s important to decide what you want your blog to achieve; is it brand awareness, promoting sales, offering hints and tips, customer service, build your list or something else entirely? This may change from month to month, but I would recommend working on a quarter to quarter basis.
Until you know what you want to achieve, you can’t begin to plan your content. Take some time now to think about your aims. I also like to think about what is my marketing message in all of this – is it clear and easy to understand by others.
2) WHAT do people want?
If your interest is Baruvian gnome sculptures that you sell from your garage, that’s great – but if no-one is looking for them or interested in buying them, then your musings will be read by you, your mum and the one Baruvian gnome collector that exists in the world…
Use keyword research tools such as Google Adwords and Keywords to find out what people are actually searching for. Take your keyphrases and input them – play around until you find phrases that relate to the kind of things you can write about.
3) HOW will you find your inspiration?
This is the problem that most of us have at some time or other; how do you find new content? Where does your inspiration come from?
Here are a few places you can go to find those ideas that will have your readers buzzing:
- news sites – check out your national papers and see what’s in the news – can you relate it to your business in some way?
- competitors – what are your competitors writing about? You don’t have to emulate it, but you can use it to come up with ideas of your own.
- industry press – what’s in your industry news? Is it something you can have an opinion on?
- other blogs – what else do you read? The chances are it’s something related to what you do. Look at what they’re writing about and see how you could relate it to your blog.
We can’t stress enough that you should not plagiarise these sources, but there is nothing wrong with using them as inspiration.
4) WHEN will you post?
It’s all very well knowing what you will post, but if it’s haphazard and sketchy, then you’ll lose readers hand over fist. Ideally you will post regularly, whether that be daily, weekly or less. Readers will come to expect your content and if it’s not there, then they will forget about you very quickly.
Try setting up an editorial calendar that tells you what you will post and when. Tie into holidays and special days when you can, and trends within your industry. Keep your readers interested and they will want more. I recommend clients draw a table that shows the days of the week across the top and then their various social media presences down the side so that at a glance you can see what will be posted where and when. An example of one is attached to this Blog post. 20131022_Social Media Planning Grid-Your Executive Secretary
5) WHERE will you promote?
Having great content is fantastic, and you’ve now crafted the best interactions you can. So what are you going to do with it?
The temptation is to blast it out everywhere straight away, using some sort of automated tool such as Hootsuite or Buffer – send it to everywhere as soon as it’s finished, right?
The chances are that you’re going to reach the same few people, all at the same time, and they’re going to get a little miffed at seeing the same link everywhere all at once.
The ideal thing to do is to ‘stagger’ your posts. Post to Twitter at 10am, LinkedIn at 12pm, Facebook at 2pm and Google+ at 4pm. That way you have more of a chance of reaching more people and not having people annoyed and ignoring you.
Hopefully our tips have helped you, but we’re always open to opinions – tell us in the comments if you have different or extra ideas! If you try the table method and it works for you, please share your feedback with me.
And if course, if you need some help with your blog and/or social media, Your Executive Secretary are here to help – please just send us an email to [email protected] or call 0800 612 5596 and we’ll tell you how we can help take the stress out of your problems.