How to Create Engaging Social Media Content that Captivates Your Audience

The impact social media has in helping grow a business is undeniable.

But it is more than gaining followers and converting them into buyers; it is about increasing engagement with your brand and building brand loyalty and retention. 

Content on social media sites is different than other marketing content.  It is not only shorter but, simultaneously, needs to be informative and engaging. The information you post on your social media sites should be shareable so that your followers are more likely to share it with their friends and family. 45% of users report unfollowing brands because of irrelevant content. 

Social media infographic by SproutSocial.com

Extracting the most benefit from your social media sites can be a daunting task for small business owners. To help ease the burden, here are eight tactics to steer clear of when you're creating content for your social media platforms.

A Strategy is Essential. Too often, business owners jump in and post whatever comes to their minds. For personal social media platforms, this is perfectly fine to do. However, if you want to post marketing content that is seen and leads to a purchase, you need to think more strategically. From creating valuable content to proper hashtag use, crafting compelling content requires planning. 

Knowing your audience is critical. You can draw on the market research in your marketing plan and your buyer's personas, so your posts resonate with your target audience. Your strategy should also factor in what sets you apart from your competition and weave your unique value proposition into your content.

Too Many Self Servings Posts. 70% of consumers say they would prefer to learn about a product or service via content instead of ads. Self-promotional pieces should make up no more than 10-20% of your posts. The remainder should be a mix of original content you create and curated content you compile from other relevant sources, like industry information, trends, and other informative pieces that position you as a thought leader. The reduced self-promotional content is because of the purpose behind social media sites - engaging with others and building relationships with followers. While your goal as a business owner is to sell a service or product, organic social media content is not primarily for advertising. Instead, you can use paid advertising tactics in your marketing strategy. If you don't give your audience a reason to follow you, they won't.

By producing unique, relevant, informative, entertaining, and engaging content, you'll not only attract followers but also keep them.  

Lack of Interesting Content - Avoid Being too Neutral. We're not advocating for being politically incorrect, but playing it too safe is boring and doesn't generate engagement. Try to find creative ways to add a little attitude and humor to your posts and shake things up. Get people thinking or stir up emotion. 

Share Content that is Entertaining. If you're not the funniest person on the planet, don't despair.  Since not all posts have to be original or promote your brand, you can bring entertainment in by following comedians and entertainers and sharing some of their funny content. 

Posting the Same Content on all Platforms. Customize your posts to the social media platform you're sharing them on. What works on Facebook doesn't necessarily work on Twitter. Another reason is that many people are probably following you on more than one platform. By posting the same information on all platforms, there is a high probability that your followers will get bored and leave.

Hashtags Bring Traffic. Not using hashtags - # - or enough hashtags is one of the biggest mistakes when posting on social media sites. Tweets with 1-2 hashtags have a 55% higher chance of getting retweeted. Using hashtags helps get your content in front of people who specifically search for that term, even if they're not your followers. If your post is valuable and engaging, they might just become followers.

Repurpose Blog Content Into Social Media Posts. You work hard on your blog articles. Why not repurpose content from your blog for your social media platforms? For example, create an infographic based on statistics or data from an article and post the attention-grabbing image on Instagram. Consider using your social media platforms to promote your blog articles or converting your blog content into many social media posts.

Align your Content with your Business Page and Profile. Your strategy should be consistent with your brand. This means your social media profile pages' information should match the content you're sharing with your audience.

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