If one of your goals is to connect with genuine social media users that are engaging and will interact with your content, then I suggest your strategy includes sharing QUALITY content, while connecting with a targeted audience.
How to Generate Quality Content for Social Media
1. Use Great Images
If you are creating content that includes visual graphics, including a high quality image in your content will be more visually appealing. You can either use good quality images you create or take yourself, or select from a wide range of free online resources. My favourite website for beautiful free photos is www.unsplash.com
For example, if you search for “social media” there are currently 1240 free photos / pictures you can use. This changes all of the time as photographers upload new content.
2. Well Written Social Media Posts
A high quality social media post will include text that clearly explains what your post is about and what message you are trying to communicate. The key here is to share your message in text format in a way that is short, to the point, but still effective.
3. Don’t Forget the Hashtags
Hashtags are a key component of a high quality social media post. They are now used on all social media platforms (yes even LinkedIN) and are expected by readers. Tweets that included hashtags get over twice the engagement as tweets that do not. The trick here is to not spam your post with hashtags. You may see on Instagram more hashtags seem to be acceptable but based on my research using approx 10 – 12 on Instagram is the magic number, where on the other platforms I suggest approx 5 per post. Choose hashtags that reflect the content of your post as well as your business and your key search terms. For example:
#MotivationMonday #SocialMediaTips #SarahClarkeBiz #Facebook #Twitter #Instagram
4. Call to Action
This is the last step in preparing a great quality social media post. Always include a call to action in your social media posts when you are hoping or asking for the user to take another step. I.e. link to your website, email address, phone number. Especially if you are creating a sales post – you have a great image, you have well written inspiring text, your hashtags….now what? What do you want the person viewing your content to do? Always include a call to action.
Another way to generate amazing quality social media content is through the use of Video. Video gets more engagement on all platforms and really should be part of any social media strategy. The above suggestions still apply – great written text, hashtags, and a call to action should be included with your video post.
How to Generate a Quality Audience for your Social Media Platforms
Here is where focusing on building a quality audience vs building a large audience should be carefully considered. I have worked with companies that though they have a large following on Facebook or Instagram, their posts did not receive much engagement. I believe this is because at some point they purchased followers, or used a program or bot to grow their audience. This is a big lesson - do not waste your money on buying followers. The best way to grow a quality audience is to share great content, and connect with your target audience. Then the act of engaging yourself will help grow your audience even more.
Building quality relationships with your audience and showing you are authentic and reactive will have a much better result for your long term marketing than having a large vanity metric audience.
I would rather have 200 quality engaging people following my social media account than 2000 that never interact with me. Relationship building and generating a quality, targeted audience are key strategies to include in your social media plan moving forward. So how do you find quality followers? The first step is to have your social media profiles set up, and optimized consistently across all platforms. The next step is to share quality content. Here are some other suggestions to building a Quality Audience
Be Interactive Yourself
The more interactive you are on social media, the more engagement you will get back. Being engaging yourself on other content will come back to you – and help build engagement on your content. It’s like social media karma! This is perfectly acceptable by your brand accounts too. Like, comment, and share content that is relevant to your business. Participate in Facebook Groups. Participate or host Twitter Chats. Offer value. Be human!
Connect with your Targeted Audience
Follow and connect with the audience you are trying to target. Reach out. Say hello. Thank them for following. Don’t “waste” your follows on accounts that:
Don’t have a profile photo (aka an egg)
Haven’t posted in the last two months
Don’t interact with you or follow you in return
Are not relevant to your business
If you are setting out to succeed on social media (and really in any area of digital marketing) I always suggest that you follow my 3 prong approach: Branding + Strategy + Implementation
As part of your strategy I would suggest you make it clear that one of your goals is to avoid vanity metrics and to generate quality content, and have quality audience. This includes have a great quality website, consistent social media profiles, and sharing great quality content. If you have any other suggestions on ways to have “Quality over Quantity” in your digital marketing strategy please share in the comments below!