Winning business through social media; What content should I be posting?

Hubspot blogs write that 54% of consumers use social media to research products. This means over 50% of your business consumers are lying right in your pocket or rightly said, in your hands, your smartphone. And because social media has billions of users, the potential for your business market is huge. 

Not so long ago, Facebook introduced us to the Facebook marketplace and Facebook Shops. While the Facebook market has been around for quite some time, it is Facebook shops that is more fascinating and more relevant to businesses. This is because it gives you the opportunity to display and sell your products and services. This service is free and businesses should be taking advantage of this platform to grow their business and sell their products. 

To win, one has to play their cards right when posting or selling through social media. 

AUDIENCE: 

First, you have to understand who your audience and target market is. Once you know this, it will be easy for you to know which social media platform to use to target that specific audience. For example, if your target audience is young professionals then LinkedIn may work better for you than Facebook or Twitter. If you are in the food or fashion industry, Instagram may work much better for you than LinkedIn. Know where your audience is. 

INTENTION:

Once you know where your audience is, the next step is to understand what you want to talk about (understanding your goal.) Define what you want your audience to do after reading your post: 

  • Do you want them to engage with you on a particular topic? 
  • Do you want them to buy or try your product? 
  • Do you want to inform your audience about something or make them feel a certain way? 
  • Do you want to carry out a survey? 
  • Or you just want likes? 

CALL TO ACTION: 

Once you know what you want your audiences to do after reading your post, it will be easy for you to create a call to action. A call to action is a statement you will make at the end of your post that will encourage your audience to do something. For example, Do you agree? Will you try this product? How does this make you feel e.t.c?

Okay, let’s try a practical example. The other day I posted something like this on my Linkedin: “The difference between the rich and the poor is a mindset. Do you agree?” From this post, it is clear that I wanted people to engage on the subject and they did. 

KEEP IT SHORT: 

You have about 15 seconds to make an impression on social media. Making your post too long is not going to work for you. 

Have you noticed what happens when you are sent a long WhatsApp message? More often than not, you open it but never read it, right? That is just simply because the platform was designed for shorter texts, and we are all sort of used to these shorter messages. 

Making a post too long makes you lose your audience. The other problem with longer posts is that longer posts get cut off in a user’s feed page. That means they are forced to expand the post for them to see/read the full story. 

The key is to keep your posts as short and concise as possible. 

Some nerds have analysed thousands of social media posts and came up with some suggestions of what works: 

  • Facebook: Ideal length for a Facebook post is 40 – 80 Characters. 80 characters get you the best results. 
  • LinkedIn: Posts with links perform best, then posts with images, followed by posts that are 149 characters long, but with no hashtags or emojis. (Jay Baer) 
  • Twitter: Image posts perform best, followed by text and then by a link. Your post has to be 100 characters to produce the best results, have 2 hashtags and only one emoji. (Buddy Media: Track social) 
  • Youtube: 5000 characters fit into the video description box, 157 characters above “show more” button (Tiffany Markman) 

WHAT SHOULD YOU WRITE ABOUT? 

When posting on social media, forget your mission or agenda. Your aim should be to add value. Aim to provide free advice in the field of your work/industry. Provide short answers to what your consumers are asking. It is easy to know this because Google has done the heavy lifting for you. 

If social media posting was my expertise, and I went to Google and typed, “Social media posting,” at the middle of the search page, Google will have a section that says “People also ask.” This is something that people are actually searching about on Google. I can then start providing answers to these questions. 

Source: Google search: Social media posting

Also, at the bottom of the Google page, you will find something that says, “searches related to social media posting.” This is also a source for real problems that your audience might be facing right now. Provide answers to these questions and by so doing you are creating a name/brand for yourself or your business. Avoid too much selling on your posts otherwise you will have followers who are not really engaged with you. Maybe the mix between selling and value should be 20:80. This means you have to provide value more than you sell. 

There is also a tool called Google Trends. This is a tool that tells you what people are searching for in a particular country or region. This can also give you an indication of what people are searching for. Use it to your advantage. 

Other types of writing could be where you: 

  1. Post and comment on a topical issue and while it is hot, not a day or week later. For example, when the Black Lives Matter movement started, you saw a few people come in and write posts or comments on the matter. This type of posting can be risky, but can also be rewarding
  2. You can have a theme you focus on over a specific time period, for example, weekly, monthly or quarterly. 

FREQUENCY OF POSTING: 

What is the first thing you do when you wake up? You check your phone, right? Yes, the same should be happening with posts. Your first post should be when you wake up in the morning. Do that again mid-day and again at the end of the day. Why? Because you are not the only person posting. There are thousands of us posting. The more of us post, the lower your post is pushed. So, you want to stay active and relevant. Double your posting efforts soon after reading this post. Remember, you have to have great content otherwise, you will be viewed as a noise maker. 

You can also reuse a post you think did well in the past. Just do not overdo it. 

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE: 

You may have already noticed that big entities have a huge media presence, which they use to try and influence consumers to behave or act in a certain way through their social media teams. Largely, they use social media to pick up on any negative comments on their brands and to identify unhappy clients. 

Do not fall into the trap of only controlling the narrative. Use social media as a source for genuine feedback that you can then use to improve your product, service and strategy. 

SOME ADDITIONAL BASIC RULES: 

  • If you cannot stand and say it in public, do not post it on social media. 
  • Do not post anything that may bring your profession into disrepute. (For example, Phume’s Woolies post was seen to bring disrepute to the professional body that she belongs to.) 
  • Keep it clean and non-discriminatory. 
  • Write as you speak. 
  • Keep it simple. 
  • Make use of “you” or “your.” Avoid “I.”

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