So, you’ve just created and published content for your networks, but as soon as you pressed post, you realised it’s missing your key #hashtags and a call to action. You quickly edit what you can and update what you can’t. A frustrating situation but we’ve all been there!
Whether you’re planning content in advance or creating it on the go, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the message you’re trying to convey and forget the basics.
To help you get it right first time, we’ve created a checklist of the top 12 areas to look out for before you click post!
1. Establish your target audience
First things first, who are you writing your content for? Without a clear idea of who your current or desired audience is it’s very difficult to write effective content that will achieve your objectives.
If your organisation doesn’t have a target customer persona already, then it’s worth taking the time to look at who your current social media fans and followers are to learn more about their needs and interests. Consider focusing on the following attributes:
d) Key challenges
e) Key interests
f) Are they a customer, prospective customer, member of the community or even an employee?
It can help to keep a few notes on who this target persona is close by whenever you’re creating social media content to ensure they’re front of mind.
2. Convey an emotion or message that speaks to your target audience
Next, consider the message that you’re trying to deliver and make sure that it’s relevant and interesting for your target audience. Content that doesn’t tick this first box is unlikely to deliver the returns you’re looking for and if anything can put your audiences off.
We know that content that can also spark an emotion is likely to generate more engagement and so where possible seek to create one of the following:
a) Nostalgic content – evoking memories and a sense of pride or fondness for yester year
b) Awww content – think adorable kids, animals, or heart-warming interactions, it’s hard to ignore content that is just lovely and connects with us on a human level!
c) Wow and WTF!? Content – those moments where you might think, that’s outrageous, hilarious, or awe-inspiring, because chances are your audiences will too!
You can find out more about these engagement driving tactics in our blog: 3 Types of Content Guaranteed To Generate Engagement On Facebook
3. Tailor your content for different social media channels
After refining and enhancing your core message, it’s now time to fine tune that message for each of your social media channels.
Your followers on Twitter are not necessarily the same as those who are a fan of your Facebook page so don’t treat them the same. Equally, if you do find that your followers engage with your content across multiple social media channels, there’s no value in them seeing the same content more than once so mix it up.
On Twitter, the limited character allowance often means that your message is distilled into just a sentence or two whereas channels like Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to create longer content. With that in mind, if you do have a more detailed story to tell, make the most of the space and focus on Facebook or LinkedIn, and where required just pick out the highlight for Twitter.
Taking the time to tweak your message accordingly is time well spent in order to use each platform successfully.
4. Include relevant #hashtags
This one is super simple but #hashtags are easily forgotten. Make sure that you have included any #hashtags relevant to the content and the campaign you are running, but also consider what other tags you could include to attract a wider audience.
They might include the #hashtags for Twitter Networking Hours to help you join local conversations about your organisation, industry or customers. You can find our full Guide to Twitter Networking Hours here.
Or perhaps your content is centred around an upcoming awareness day or event that has a #hashtag — don’t be left out of the conversation. Check out our social media content calendar to see what dates of interest are coming up that you could get involved with!
5. Tag or @mention related organisations or individuals
Next, ensure that where applicable, you have @mentioned or tagged other organisations such as partners you might be working with, customers or influencers. This is a fantastic way to reach related audiences and improve brand awareness.
Don’t forget that you can tag people and organisations across most major platforms, so you can benefit from this tactic regardless of what channels your strategy is focused on!
6. Add emojis to make your content more visual
Adding emojis to your content is a fantastically simple way to drive more attention to your content and improve engagement. They are immediately more eye catching and can even help to convey certain emotions and feelings that are not always easy to explain in words.
At CrowdControlHQ we’ve found that different emojis work differently for us. For instance, when we want to let you guys know that registration for our latest webinar is now open, we use the (siren emoji) because it’s super striking and enforces the sense of urgency. In the tests that we’ve done, content with this emoji out performs that without. So, it’s worth experimenting with your use of emojis to see how they can help you to achieve your objectives.
7. Include images, videos or GIFs
Continuing on with visuals, it’s proven that Facebook posts with images generate on average 37% more engagement than without, and your message is more memorable too. Research shows that a person who hears a piece of information will remember just 10% of it three days later, while someone who sees that same information in a picture will recall 65% of it.
With this in mind, ensuring that you’ve featured relevant multimedia in your content is crucial to driving engagement. This doesn’t always have to be your own images or videos, GIFs are a fantastic resource that can actually bring humour, likability and personality to certain situations. Simply search the GIF dictionary on your chosen channel or in CrowdControlHQ to pick from an extensive list of options that best suit your message.
If a GIF won’t do, check out our top 7 examples of awesome creative social media images for inspo!
8. Include call to actions to prompt your audience to act
Next let’s think about the objective behind this content — what are you looking to achieve by publishing this content? It could be that you’re looking for feedback on your most recent initiative or promoting sign-ups for your event.
To give yourself the best chances of hitting those objectives, your audiences must know what you want them to do and how they should do it. That means directing them to a call to action which could be a link to a registration page on your website, a poll that you want them to vote on, or simply asking partners to like and share your content.
Whatever your desired result, make it clear what you need and include all links or attachments they will require!
9. Consider targeting your content
So, you’ve nailed the message, tailored it to your different channels and added key visuals to make it stand out. Now is the time to start thinking about how to get this content in front of your target audiences and for this you have two options.
a) Organic targeting — this is the practice of presenting different messages to certain sections of your audience, segmented by demographics like age, gender, relationship status, education, interests, and location.
b) Paid boosting — this involves spending money on pushing your content in front of certain audiences that don’t necessarily already follow you.
The key distinction between these is that of course, there’s a cost associated with paid boosting and that with organic you can only segment based on your existing audience, not reach beyond it.
There are pros and cons to each and which option you decide on should depend on the type of content you are publishing and also the objective you’re trying to achieve. For instance, if your focus is on attracting new members to your gym then reaching individuals outside your current audience is key and so boosting your content is a great option. Whereas if improving retention is one of your objectives, it might be better to focus on tailoring your content to the needs of your current audience of customers by refining your content based on their interests.
Want to learn more about how you can effectively use organic targeting to your advantage? Discover 4 key use cases in our blog: Why You Should Be Using Organic Social Media Targeting
10. Post your content at the right time
At this point you might be ready to post or schedule your content straight away, but are your audiences ready to receive it? We all know that there are peaks and troughs of social media use throughout the day so be sure to time publishing or scheduling your content with when your target audiences are most active.
For lots of sectors this is first thing in the morning while people are on their commute into work, as well as from 5pm onwards when we’re starting to wind down for the day. Although this is the general rule, it’s worth taking the time to evaluate at what times of day your content is getting the best reception and then focus effort on those times.
11. Ask your colleagues to share/like your content
Finally, once you’ve posted your content online, let your colleagues know. Your colleagues are one of your strongest assets when it comes to ensuring your social media content has the best chance of achieving maximum engagement.
Encourage your colleagues to engage your post on their own networks by re-tweeting, sharing, liking or commenting. Not only are you reaching a wider audience this way but you’re also helping to build internal support for your work on social media!
12. Analyse the impact of your content
Last but definitely not least, once you’ve been through this process it’s crucial to evaluate how your content performed against your objectives. Select a few key metrics by which to assess it and stick to those so that you’re able to build up a picture over time.
By learning what works and what doesn’t you can gradually tweak this formula to ensure it provides you with the best results. This information can then be shared with colleagues across your organisation to improve your content across the board!
That concludes our checklist for creating super engaging social media content but of course we’d love to the steps you take in creating content or if you’ve tried this checklist, how you got on! Let us know @CrowdControlHQ!