A few months ago, I wrote an article about instagram and Facebook “must-have photos”. Together with a leading lifestyle photographer, I reflected on the question what types of photos you need for an impressive news feed.
Today, I am going to talk about what types of posts you should consider when drafting a powerful social media content strategy for a one (wo-)man show business, startup or SME.
As always, this is what works for my brand on instagram and Facebook. There is no guarantee that this will also work for you. See my lessons learned and observations as a source of inspiration. Change elements if needed and ignore what does not make sense to you.
Instagram content strategy – let’s get started…
This type of picture allows you to portrait yourself in your element. Think of a personal trainer in a gym supporting a client. Or a musician on stage in front of a massive audience. Or an author sitting in front of his/her laptop writing the latest masterpiece.
With the help of these pics you show people what they can expect when they book your services or buy our products. You will also gain plus points when it comes to credibility and professionalism. Also keep in mind that we human beings are curious: We want to know how a workday of a founder, graphic designer or life coach looks like.
Behind the scenes
#BTS pictures could show you(r brand) when you are getting ready for work – e.g. meditating backstage before holding a speech as a public speaker. If you are a startup, take a pic of your last meeting and show how your team looks like. If you are an artist, capture your work in progress: Sketches, drafts, the creative mess.
People love these kind of pictures as they make your brand more “human”, more approachable, more authentic. They show the process, the hours you put in before you “made it”. With all the staged perfection floating across the world wide web, we crave realness and lovable flaws.
The world through your eyes
To brighten things up, add a few pictures every now and then that give your community an idea of your lifestyle resp. how you see the world. Elements you could photograph are: Food, tea or coffee, the sky, beach or flowers; and the urban vibe of your city. When you travel, take a few breath-taking clicks, too.
Such pictures put a smile on our faces and make us daydream. They create positive associations and feelings. They also show that you are a culturally interested person and that you are aware of the hippest places in town.
Free learning content
Educate and empower your community. There are many ways of doing so: Through articles, podcasts, e-books, webinars etc. Make them interesting, fun and – once again – show potential clients what they can expect when they book your services or buy your products.
This strategy element shows that you support and care about the self-development of others. Another subconscious impression, which is created: You really need to believe in your work and must have attracted a generous amount of abundance in your life when you give away free content…
There is no reason to be shy about posting an attractive offer occasionally. It could be a workshop you want to sell tickets for. Maybe you have just released your first online course. Or you want people to buy your book. Let them know! If they like your work, they will invest in it.
Important: These posts should take up maximum 20% of your social media content strategy. If you post such type of content too often, people might unfollow you, as they perceive you as annoying or pushy.
I really do not like motivational quotes. Wasn’t that “in” three years ago? Anyway, the study of numerous successful accounts brought me to the conclusion that people still share and like these kind of posts – especially if it is a thought from a spiritual or business leader.
PS: Once people perceive you as the expert or “celebrity” in your niche, you can start quoting yourself/your company’s founder. I still find it odd but this seems to be an unspoken online rule.
Your happy customers
Let your customers do the (public relations) work for you. By reposting a picture of your client using your products, services or a testimonial, you create social proof that you deliver what you promise. You give potential clients another reason to work with you.
Furthermore the user or client tends to be very happy because of the additional publicity and visibility (s)he received when being reposted on your social media channels – a social phenomenon known as #instafame or #instafamous. 😉
Questions & “Tag someone…”
Questions and posts, which give a call to action (e.g. Tag a friend who inspires you! Tag someone who will be very successful one day! Tag someone who is beautiful!) can massively increase your engagement rates. And engagement rates are the new “likes”. Everybody who knows how social media really works is not impressed by likes anymore. People want to see how you engage with your community.
PS: By tagging a friend, your follower(s) might have brought in a new client or fan. Why? – We tend to spend time with people who have similar interests. So when person x is interested in your services/products, the likeliness that his/her best friend is interested as well, is pretty high.
Competitions & giveaways
This seems to be THE new way of increasing your engagement and getting more followers: By gifting your community. With your products, your time or by partnering up with a gift sponsor. I assume that this strategic element is so powerful because everyone loves to win “stuff“.
BTW, the difference between competitions and giveaways is the following: While competitions ask for creative input (challenge your community to do xyz or to explain why that particular person should win), giveaways usually just ask to like the post, follow the gift sponsor’s account, the competition organizer’s account and to tag 1-5 friends.
Approaching other brands on social media seems to be a struggle for many. My life hack works for me in the majority of cases:
Create a list of 10-15 brands or accounts you like, which are on a similar mission as you are. Start to follow them and engage with them for a few weeks until they have realized that you exist and until they have interacted with you at least once. In a second step, draft a kind and fun, SHORT text (max. 60 words) and send the brand a direct message and/or e-mail. Meet one-on-one in step three and decide what you could do to support each other.
Through such an approach you get double exposure and reduce “creative costs” (e.g. the investment in a photo shoot, writing time for an article) by 50% and get introduced to a new audience.
Over to you
Experiment a bit with my suggestions for two, three months and let me know how implementing these types of posts have changed – and hopefully improved – your business. I look forward to hearing from you.
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