How to make the best content for social media
Using imagery (or video) can be a great way to get the attention of your followers while they scroll through post after post on their social media channels.
However, it is important to make sure you are being creative, authentic, and most importantly, not pinching other people’s work.
Take your own photos
Pinch (aka steal) from Google Images, Pinterest, and other creative authors
This should go without saying - but unfortunately a lot of people out there think that it is OK to look at Google Images and Pinterest for images, find what they want, and post it as their own.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s called theft. So don’t do it. Period.
Do you have a physical business location? That can be photographed.
Do you sell physical products? They can be photographed.
Do you offer a service? This can be photographed.
Wait. How do you photograph a service? Get a photographer to help, and stage photos of the service being performed, your team in action, or even end results of your services.
Even if your social media post is something fun and cheeky like "Oh it’s Fri-yay!", the imagery still needs to be your imagery.
Whether you have a physical product or just offer a service, it is possible to have your own photos taken.
Better still, when you’re approaching your photography from a place of "how can I use this in my marketing" you can make sure you stage and frame images so that they become suitable for a square image on Facebook or a panoramic image on a banner on your website. You call the shots, and you become the creative.
You can even create a template to use so that your imagery has your logo on it. We do that ourselves too!
Yes, taking your own images takes time and effort, but the credibility of your business and your offering will gain so much respect. And that is priceless.
Write and speak your message
Plagiarise (copy) other people’s content
When using your own images, you also get to use your own message.
Each post you make on social media should have some sort of message - maybe it’s a brand message, maybe something fun for engagement - it needs to have purpose.
Given you’re creating your own imagery (you did read the section above, right?), you can even overlay parts of your message on the image.
Maybe you’re showing specific features of a product, or maybe it is education about your services (and why you’re so good at what you do).
Either way, it is your message.
This also goes across to your blog content too. Google makes it easy to find new things, but taking someone else’s content and claiming it as your own is plagiarism - that can even get you kicked out of University. So how’s this - don’t do it.
Not only is it completely disrespecting the original author, it also shows that you have no care or effort for your own business. Why should anyone trust you if you can’t even write your own content about what it is your business does?
Just to clarify one point on this though - there is a difference between sharing another social media's post, and taking their content as your own.
Sharing is using Facebook’s "Share" button - that means the original post gets embedded, and you can include a comment. This is awesome (and great for the author of the post you have shared too) - it gives due credit, and gives you the ability to share something useful and relevant with your followers.
This could even open up new connections - after all, social media is all about connections, right?
Create something shareable
Bombard your followers with irrelevant material
In the last section, we talked about how flattering it can be for the original author if you share (remember, share, not copy) a post from their social media channel.
How amazing would that be if your content is the one being shared?
Whether it gets shared by a fellow business in the same (or complimentary) industry, or by one of your followers, any shared content gets its life extended on social media.
When one of your followers shares your content, it becomes visible to all of their friends - even if they don’t follow you directly. But that suddenly opens up your potential for more connections (and more sales too).
Creating share-worthy content takes some thought and planning. You need to give something to your followers - education, insight, special offers - to encourage them to share.
But have some class, don’t beg for a share.
If your posts are just copy-and-paste from your social media channels, your content can become white noise and just wash over your visitors. Take the time to plan, prepare and write something that is truly unique and representative of your business.
You never know, you might get a share out of it.
The way you use social media on your personal accounts does not really translate to how you should approach social media for your business.
Planning a strategy for your posts takes effort and coordination - you need to look beyond just "today" and think about what you want to post over the next few months.
Most importantly, it takes time. Time to get your amazing images together. Time to get your brilliant message written. But the time you spend on your social media content creates a level of professionalism for your business.
We love helping businesses with strategy and content preparation, and can help you and your business with this task - this also offloads the responsibility from your daily to-do list, and leaves it in the hands of your reliable and on-point web team. Hi, that’s us.
Marty has a background in Computer and Information Science, software development, web development, multimedia and web accessibility, and is Mity Digital’s resident nerd.
Outside of his programming work, Marty is a keen landscape photographer, and also teaches Les Mills group fitness classes.