Having a consistent, engaging, and quality mix of social content is what keeps your fans loyal to your brand. When you produce content that entertains, answers questions, and solves problems for your customers, you are creating value that lasts.

Social Content Best Practices

A staple of social media content creation best practices is the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule states that 80% of your content should inform, educate, and entertain, while only 20% should directly promote your brand.

Most of the time, your audience will scroll right by an overly sales-y post. When you are creating promotional content, you still want to approach the content with an emotional, helpful, or humorous angle, depending on the subject matter.

One of the most important rules of advertising on social media is to understand the following – it’s not all about your brand.  

When you tailor your social content and messaging to be about your customer, you build trust. It takes different types of content to achieve this goal.

Owned Content

Any content originally produced by you is owned content. This type of content is created, monitored, copyrighted, and controlled by you.

Leveraging your owned content means increased visibility and authority for your brand. Owned content can contain the following:

  • Branded videos
  • Branded graphics
  • Photos
  • Blogs
  • Infographics
  • Email campaigns

Owned content is among the most diverse of all content types because you can distribute, revise, and recreate it however you wish. Evergreen content will help you breathe new life into topics that are still relevant in your industry.

Earned Content

Producing quality owned content leads to the potential for earned content. Earned content is material created by your audience, customers, or any other third party.

What is considered to be earned content?

  • Customer reviews
  • Shared product photos
  • Social media shout-outs
  • Blogs about your product/service
  • Tagged posts

Essentially, earned content is when a customer brags about you on social media. Earned content is an important part of establishing yourself as an industry leader and is among the most dependable sources for others seeking to know more about businesses like yours.

Here are some ways you can earn recognition among your ideal audience:

  • Provide exceptional customer service online and offline
  • Encourage satisfied customers to leave an online review
  • Have a contest (make sure you’re current on your platform’s contest TOS)
  • Make sure review links are prominent in eBlasts, on your website, and on your social channels
  • Engage with your ideal audience with genuine comments

Promoted Content

Having a strong organic strategy is still very important, but it’s no longer enough to keep you in the feed. Most platforms are pay-to-play, but that doesn’t mean that smaller players are excluded from the game.

Promoted content is any content you put a specific budget behind in ad form. This can be a boosted Facebook post, Instagram ad, or any other type of advertising on your social platform of choice.

Creating targeted content that sells means having a firm understanding of your buyer persona and what speaks to them. It is an entirely different strategy, but should still keep the branding familiarity and tone of your posts.

Shared Content

One of the easiest ways to connect with influencers and keep versatility in your content creation is to share relevant content. When you curate social content from a similar brand, you are providing more education and information that aligns with your business goals.

Sharing content from industry leaders is a great reiteration of why someone needs your product or service.

Pro Tips:

-Ensure the content is quality and timely
-Only share from reputable sources
-Steer clear of sharing or using competitor content
-Tag the business (if possible) for a potentially larger opportunity of connecting with influencers

Permission to Post

One of the most important rules to remember about using earned or shared content is that if you are unsure if you have posting rights, ask. There are many misconceptions on curation etiquette and legality. If you are concerned that you might not have permission to repost, asking the original content owner is always the safest route.

How are you creating social content that sells?

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