There are many benefits to using social media marketing for your small business. It’s a great way to raise brand awareness, build a loyal fan base from the ground up and get new clients. But what types of social media content gets you the best results?
How do you engage with your followers and spread the word about your small business? Here are my favourite types of social media content that will help you succeed.
Two basic rules
There are two rules to follow here:
- Be relevant.
- Don’t talk too much about yourself.
To follow the first rule, ask yourself what your audience is interested in and what kind of information they are looking for. Be helpful by answering their most pressing questions and show you care about them.
The second one is easily described with the 80/20-rule: Only 20% of the content should be about you, your company, your products and your latest offers. 80% should be content that is about your audience and what they need and want.
This rule has been around for a long time and has been modified as social media has developed. Things can be a little blurrier now with influencer marketing becoming so prevalent. Does a photo from an influencer wearing a jacket you gifted them count as promotional or not? The 80/20 rule is still extremely relevant – you just have to use a bit of judgement!
The best way to approach it? Always ask yourself if what you are posting is providing your audience with value. Because they’ll only follow you if they enjoy your content and nothing is more off-putting than someone constantly trying to sell you stuff.
Types of social media content
These 4 types of content have helped me build up my social media presence and can help you grow your small business, too. Check them out!
No matter what industry you’re in, try and help people learn more about how your services or products can help them. Think about what matters to your target market and shape your content around that.
For example, things you could share are:
- Advice relevant to your services or products like how-tos and best practices
- Tips and tricks of your trade
- Links to helpful blog posts (either yours or other businesses’)
- Interesting news they should know about
- Latest events and trade shows
- Recommendations of local businesses that complement your services
- Spotlight on new services related to your industry – see the above Buffer post on the newly launched Instagram Reels.
Help them get to the point where they can make an informed decision about which product or service they need. It’ll definitely give you an advantage over your competition.
Social media is not a one way street. A company that simply blasts out content without engaging with their followers won’t be very successful.
So make sure to:
- start a conversation with your followers,
- like your clients’ pages and that of other companies,
- reply to their posts,
- comment on their blogs,
- share their content,
- regularly check your messages/comments and respond
- and simply be sociable.
You can also encourage them to interact with you by asking questions, start a discussion or a poll/survey. If you do that, I promise you they will reply in kind.
Social media platforms themselves actively encourage this type of content. As of 2020, Instagram Stories, Facebook posts and Tweets have built-in poll options, making this as easy as possible!
Let’s be honest, we all use social media to have a little fun. So your company page shouldn’t be all pragmatic and businesslike.
Every now and then you should be funny and personable. You can do that by posting:
- interesting snippets like photos, videos, cartoons or podcasts,
- tell a little anecdote,
- share your thoughts or opinions,
- when appropriate, funny memes and gifs are highly shareable. They can help generate a sense of belonging or community, which is really important online!
Everybody needs a laugh every once in a while, so don’t forget to be entertaining, inspirational, inspiring and just yourself every now and then. It also helps to take the pressure off a little – have some fun!
Learn more about how to add personality to your social media posts.
Now these are the 20% of your social media content that should be about your small business.
But you don’t have to be sales-y to do that, you can for example:
- Tell people about your latest offer
- Link to your website
- Post a testimonial
- Brag about an award you have won
- Post photos of your office, your team or your stand at the trade show
- Tell everyone about your current client projects
- Share company news
With features like Facebook and Instagram shopping, if you have an e-commerce store, you can seamlessly link products in your posts. See the above New Look offer, with product tags!
These are great opportunities to keep the content feeling social, but also give customers quick and easy access to what you want them to purchase.
This is the time to share a call-to-action and put the spotlight on what you do best. Everything that gives your followers insights into your small business, your services, your brand and values is allowed — as long as it’s nicely mixed in with your other content.
If you are interested in reading more about this topic, have a look at these:
How to Create a Social Media Content Plan for Your Small Business
Why You Should Focus on Your Social Media Engagement
How to Add Personality to Your Social Media Marketing
Turn Your Social Media Followers Into Leads