How to Create Social Media Content That Your Customers Actually Like
Most businesses share content without thinking about whether it will resonate with their customers.
They focus on promoting their products and get stuck in a rut of selling 24/7. Those companies miss an essential point of marketing—thinking of your customers, not yourself.
You’ll want to be strategic about your content. Larry Alton, an Adweek contributor, says:
“Sure, an attractive Facebook cover photo is great, but it’s not going to mean the difference between converting a follower into a customer. The content you publish and share could, though. Treat content like your currency and it’ll fundamentally change the way you approach social media.”
It’s time for you to experiment. Here are a few ways to find the types of social media content your customers will love.
1. Identify Popular Blog Posts
When it comes to selecting the right content, teams can get antsy. Rather than creating a focused strategy, they start posting any and everything online.
As a result, your social media account looks like paint thrown onto a wall. A few of posts work well, but most of your content misses the mark. Then, you scramble to try again and get the same outcome.
This time around, begin with what you know. And that’s your popular blog posts!
You’ve already done the hard work, and you know customers benefit from the content. Now, it’s up to you to share it with the rest of your followers.
If your website is connected to Google Analytics, you can locate your most popular posts in a few seconds. First, login to your account. On the left column, click Behavior, Site Content, and then All Pages. For primary dimension, click Page Title.
Be sure to adapt each post to your desired social channel. You may have to tweak images, headlines, or even create a cool Twitter thread.
Do what’s already working. Start with your greatest hits—your most popular blog posts.
2. Ask Customers Directly
As small business owners, it’s easy to get stuck in your own head. Your team is pondering day and night to figure out what content will intrigue your fans.
However, it’s important to realize that you don’t possess all the answers. And to reach a solution, sometimes the best option is to ask your customers directly.
That’s right! If you want to know the types of content that really excite customers, get their feedback.
“Can direct outreach really be beneficial in getting feedback from customers? Absolutely. Understanding your customers is often as easy as talking to them directly. This direct outreach can also help fill in the gaps that less personal forms of feedback tend to create,” states Gregory Ciotti, a writer, marketing strategist and alum of Help Scout.
Depending on your company’s resources, you have a few ways to collect customers’ feedback. You can try sending an email requesting responses to a few questions, connecting with them on social media via direct message, or if you really have time, pick up the phone and call customers.
Inquire about their interests and what problems are plaguing them at the moment. That way, you can post social media content that fits their needs.
3. Listen on Social Media
On social media, there’s a lot of noise. Brands can get trapped into talking about irrelevant topics and decide only to stick to what they know best—their products.
To venture beyond the constant selling, you must be willing to do things differently. Rather than blasting out the same post every day at the same time, you’ll want to actually listen to your customers.
Jump down the social media rabbit hole to learn more about your followers. Gather information on what they like and dislike about your brand and discover their interests. This is the art of social listening.
To organize your search, you’ll probably want to invest in a tool like Sprout Social. You can monitor specific keywords, identify relevant hashtags, and engage with your brand advocates.
Reports indicate that 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. So take what you learn and apply it your customer service interactions.
Moreover, user-generated content is helpful for providing your audience with social proof. Reach out to customers raving about your brand and ask them if you can use their content in your next campaign.
4. Spy on Your Competitors’ Content
In the world of business, there’s a wise piece of advice for newcomers: don’t reinvent the wheel. Too many times, teams spend their precious resources building something from scratch, instead of revamping a mold that already exists.
Some of the best content research is available for free and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to locate. So, where is it?
It’s your competitor’s social media content. Both of you are attracting and engaging similar audiences, so use their content as a barometer on what may or may not resonate on your channel.
“You can also learn from your competitor’s mistakes—the Facebook posts that flop versus the posts people love, for instance—and hone your strategy to accommodate what appeals to your audience. With competitive intelligence in your marketing arsenal, you’re prepared to amp up your presence and increase traffic back to your website,” writes Sarah Bauer, content director at Navigator Multimedia Inc.
Observe which content types get the most customer engagement. Look for questions asked by followers and never get answered. The goal is to find your competitor’s blind spot and fill the consumer’s need on your social media account.
Of course, spying on the competition won’t give you everything you need. But it’s an effective process to get the content machine moving in the right direction.
5. Research Past Social Engagement
People are creatures of habit. We take comfort in doing things the same old way. When people recognize something familiar, we move towards it.
This principle holds true for ramping up your social media engagement. Analyzing past trends can offer insight on what customers may enjoy in the future.
Too often, we skip the data available to us. Analytics dashboards make it easier than ever to review social behavior.
For instance, below is a summary of Twitter analytics. It shows the top tweet, top media tweet, top mention, and top follower. You can find similar data on your brand’s account.
Once you gather this data, what’s next? Use it as a guide to craft content with related topics or themes.
It also may spark ideas to repurpose existing content. Share that funny meme on Facebook to your Twitter followers. Ask an influencer in your field to repost your top Instagram post.
Social media is always evolving. So don’t focus on trends from three or five years ago. The past year is good enough to understand what your customers like.
Data is useful for predicting future behavior. Learn how to leverage it to satisfy your customers.
Must-See Social Media Content
The first rule of social media is to make content your audience will enjoy. If you don’t, you risk losing people’s interest quickly.
Promote popular blog posts to connect with your followers. Pay attention to what your fans post on their accounts. And give yourself a boost by taking a peek at your competitors.
Speak to your customers. Create likeable content.
Shayla Price creates and promotes content. She lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology, and social responsibility. Originally from Louisiana, Shayla champions access to remote work opportunities. Connect with her on Twitter at @shaylaprice.