Create Social Media Content that Connects

Social media content is not just words. It is an effort to reach out to and connect with your target audience.  Here are some ideas to create social media posts that’ll get your audience talking to you.

Know Your Goal

Every post should have a goal. Is the goal to create awareness? Are you trying to connect with your audience? Do you want them to take a specific action after reading your post?

Speak to Their Needs

Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Before you write, answer the following questions:

  1. Would my audience find this interesting?
  2. Why would my audience care?
  3. Would they have something to say in reaction?

Encourage Reactions

Write your posts in a way that encourages conversation. Ask open-ended questions. Invite opinions. Post a poll with options so that people can interact with just a click.

Be Meaningful

A good way to connect with your audience is to  offer content that helps them and addresses a need. Give your audience information, make them smile, or share some inspiration. They are likely to comment when your content hits home.

Also create meaning by being true to your brand. To stand out, you need to be yourself and reflect your brand personality.

Writing an Effective Message

Have you ever noticed that the more you tell people the less they seem to know? Studies have shown that is actually true. Shorter, to the point, messages get read and understood better than their longer form counterparts.

How do you provide the right message? Consider all the elements:

  • Length: It takes people about 1 minute to read 200 words. Think about how much time your reader should spend on your message and target a length that matches.
  • Paragraphs: Keep paragraphs short so people won’t skip them completely. About 40 words is a good target length for each paragraph. A paragraph can be one sentence.
  • Sentences: Short sentences are most effective. If your sentence is longer than about 15 words, trim it. Or, make it into two sentences.
  • Words: Avoid jargon. Use a simple word when it will do. Words that are 5 characters or fewer are easiest to read.

If you use Word to compose your message, pay attention to the readability stats that are part of the Spelling & Grammar Check feature. To enable readability stats:

  1. Click the File tab, and then click Options.
  2. Click Proofing.
  3. Under When correcting spelling and grammar in Word, make sure the Check grammar with spelling check box is selected.
  4. Select Show readability statistics.

After you enable this feature, open a file that you want to check, and check the spelling. When Word finishes checking the spelling and grammar, it displays information about the reading level of the document.

Content that Gets Read

Creating content is a grind. Creating content that no one reads is a bummer on top of the grind. Follow these tips to develop content that gets read.

First, set realistic expectations.

Don’t worry about “going viral,” focus on reaching your target audience. You don’t need to reach everyone, you need to reach only the people who need to know about what you offer.

Further, don’t expect everyone to engage with everything. People have lives and limited amounts of attention to give to you. Embrace what they can offer – periodic engagement.

Produce content that matters.

Quality trumps volume. Every time. Create content to serve your audience. Period. Fewer items of higher quality will serve you best.

Tell personal stories.

Storytelling works and personal stories are content that only you can share.  Personal stories give your audience content they can’t get anywhere else.

Bring in other voices.

Select leaders in your industry and community and invite their participation. This can range from submitting posts and/or images, to just lending a quote or thought. Adding more voices expands the range of your content and taps into related audiences.