What Should We Post On Our Blog and Social Media?
Figuring out what to talk about on your blog and social media accounts can be quite the challenge for many businesses. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be a difficult pursuit. After all, you can write about anything you want.
Okay, maybe we should qualify that a bit. When I say "anything you want," I really mean anything your business wants to talk about that might appeal to your target audience. That still leaves you with a pretty broad range of possibilities.
Have a Purpose for Blogging and Posting
Before you start pulling topics out of thin air, there's something pretty important you need to establish. Yes, I'm talking about goals. This doesn't necessarily need to be a specific number of sales or leads. Instead, you at least need a general idea of what you want to achieve through your blog and social media.
Blogging and social media can serve a variety of purposes for your business. Here are just a few examples:
- Reach a larger audience
- Become an industry leader
- Increase brand authority
- Keep your current customers updated
- Establish brand identity
- Promote new products and services
There are many other reasons why you may choose to blog or use social media. No matter what your reasons are, you need to be sure there's some purpose. Don't just post stuff for the sake of posting stuff. That ends up being a waste of everyone's time.
Coming Up with Content Ideas
Once you determine your purpose, you need to come up with the content. Many business owners are afraid of blogging and social media because they have false perceptions of what they need to be posting. Small business owners especially will say things like, "But I don't have time to write 1,000-word articles."
Well, I have some good news for you. You don't have to post 1,000-word articles. In fact, depending on your goals and your audience, this might be counterproductive.
There are many different things you can post about on your blog and social media. Here are some ideas:
- Company news
- Industry news
- Product updates
- Case studies
- Answers to frequently asked questions
- User-generated content
Yes, you read that last one right. You can make your content creation even easier by having your users create it for you. How does this work? Obviously it depends on the type of business you have. Asking customers to share pictures of themselves using your product is one great example (and it's free advertising!).
Once you have some content ideas, it's a good idea to post on a regular basis. This could mean blogging once a week or posting on social media once per day. While there's not necessarily a "right" schedule, frequency is important. You may think you can't come up with that much content, but if you plan out your posts and create the right kind of content, you'll find it's actually pretty easy to come up with new material regularly.
So Where Do I Find Content Ideas for My Industry?
Okay, it's easy to come up with general types of posts, but how do you come up with the actual content for these posts? This isn't all that hard either. There are many resources you can use to come up with real content ideas:
- See what your competitors are talking about on their websites and social media profiles
- See what's trending on Twitter
- Use a tool like BuzzSumo to see what's being shared in your industry right now
- See what major industry blogs are writing about
- Ask your customer service team what questions your customers are asking
The key, of course, is to post relevant and interesting content. You need to do more than just regurgitate existing content. Curation is great, but you also need to be able to create content that provides some unique value.
Be Careful What You Post
Near the beginning of this post, I suggested you could post about whatever you wanted. Then I immediately clarified that you should post whatever you want that might appeal to your audience. Let's take this a step further and add another rule: don't post anything that will alienate your audience or your potential audience. In a world where everyone on the internet seems overly sensitive and quick to judge, this might sound like a nearly impossible task.
As long as you follow a few common sense rules, you should be in the clear.
- Don't post anything that discriminates against a specific group of people
- Don't post anything overly opinionated or political
- Know what your hashtags mean before you use them
- Be careful about using certain events (like 9/11 or Pearl Harbor Day) to promote your business
Now, you might be thinking that posting something controversial could potentially bring more traffic and boost engagement. There's no such thing as bad publicity, right? After all, that pizza place in Indiana received over $800,000 in donations after briefly becoming the scourge of the internet. Well, don't count on that happening every time there's controversy. People's pockets are only so deep, and their generosity only goes so far. You're much better off staying clear of controversy (and quickly apologizing if you do make a mistake).
With the right planning and resources, you can have a successful blog and social media presence without too much stress. Of course, any marketing effort that's worth anything will require work. Don't expect to generate millions in sales because you posted some blog articles and sent out a few Tweets. Blogging and social media will only benefit your business if you execute a strategy properly.
This post is part of Internet Marketing Mysteries, a weekly column addressing actual client questions related to SEO, analytics, website best practices, and any other topic connected to internet marketing. Have a question you’d like to see tackled in a future post? Let us know in the comments.