Have your social media accounts been driving massive exposure to your brand?
I imagine most of us would agree that we’d like to see our social media channels perform better than they are now.
Let’s up our social media game this year! Here are a few ideas:
1. Find Out What People Are Asking Online
Asking a question on social media is one of the most important ways to increase your social media engagement because whenever they see a question mark, people have that natural reflex to stop and find an answer. So ask questions on social media often and engage with every answer you receive.
For question inspiration try Buzzsumo’s Question Analyzer: The tool crawls hundreds of forums and discussion boards to identify questions people ask each other online. Just type your core term and Buzzsumo will research forum questions for it and even related ones:
2. Turn to Your Actual Customers for Ideas
You know who you really need to listen to? Correct, your current and future customers. You want your social media updates to make a difference for your bottom line, not just bring your word out there, no matter if anyone is there listening or not.
You don’t just want to be heard, you want to be heard by your target audience.
Surveying your customers from time to time to learn what interests them most is a good idea. You can even gamify that process by building up your surveys with visualizing tools like Wyzerr is a good way to get more results.
You can offer a good mix of generic questions [i.e. ask about their lifestyle] which would help you build up your customers’ personas and target them better on social media and your brand-specific questions (i.e. “what questions did you have when browsing our services? Were they sufficiently covered on the site?”). The latter will help you improve your site performance too.
It’s also a wise idea to set up a well-defined routine to help you record your customers’ questions as they come. This will help you in both content planning and social media sharing. I have adopted my sales management platform Salesmate to serve as an ever-updated archive of customer-driven content ideas:
If you have a sales team, encourage them to make notes of all questions your customers are asking in Salesmate. This will help you effectively spread these questions around for your content and social media marketing teams to include them in their editorial calendars.
3. Take Seasonal Trends into Account
There are holidays and seasonal trends to include into your social media editorial plans. When you catch a trend, there’s always a huge boost of interactions, new followers and clicks.
The great thing about seasonal trends that you can plan your editorial calendar months in advance because they are easy to predict and repeat yearly (so you’ll even be able to re-use your calendar year after year).
Simply sit down and schedule some relevant social media shares for upcoming big holidays, seasonal events (e.g. flu season, spring cleaning season, etc.) and professional days. Here are a few resources to help:
- Professional holidays: Wikipedia calendar
- “Weird” / funny days: DaysoftheYear.com
- Awareness days and months: Awareness calendar
There are handy calendar apps that can even integrate into WordPress to keep track of those holidays you may want to include into your social media editorial plan.
You can schedule social media updates as far as one year ahead to make sure there’s always something going on your brand channels no matter how busy you get. Try Cyfe [Disclaimer: Cyfe is my new content marketing client] for scheduling those shares as well as monitor your stats, all from within one dashboard.
4. Get Out Into The World
We have a tendency to look for our inspiration online, because we are target the Internet-based audience, which is totally fine and understandable: you can discover so many wonderful topics on the web. It just isn’t the only place we can look and actually limits our scope and so our returns.
The most popular social media updates are those that come from real world. People love personal stories!
Go out into the real world. Seek out events in your industry, or things that are tangentially related. Discover how everyday experiences connect to your niche and use your social media channels as a platform to explain and share with others.
Get out of cyberspace and into meatspace!
A good way is to engage with your local community. For instance, let’s say a festival is going on. That could be a great opportunity to go out and speak to people to find out what they would be interested in learning about. It is also a chance to introduce people to your brand that might not have known about it before.
Check Meetup.com: Are there some events going on around you. Meet real people and generate lots of social media content inspiration from real people and real places.
You can also connect with other local brands, businesses and business owners and potentially work out some topic ideas that way.
Search DirJournal.com to find local business you can connect to and feature them on your social media channels. This could result in long-lasting friendships and partnerships!
5. Use Keyword Research Tools
Keyword research is not just for SEO! They can give you indepth insight into your audience’s interests, questions and struggles. Research and address them on your social media channels!
This tool will give you pretty much everything you need to create a good topic list. Or at least point you in the right direction. Look at the left-hand channel to find popular concepts around your main topic and build your social media content around those!
This one you may not have heard of. It features an irritable looking man called The Seeker, who impatiently awaits your questions. You put in keywords or phrases, he suggests some interesting topics.
Apart from being a great keyword research tool, this one also great for question research (see my #1 tip on the list!)
Which tools are you using to brainstorm engaging social media updates?