If you’ve developed profiles for your business on major social media sites and you’ve gotten some “Likes” and followers, congratulations! Sometimes getting started is the hardest part! Now that you’ve gotten the ball rolling, you may be asking yourself “what’s next?” It’s time to create some content to engage your existing followers, get more of them and put your social media profiles to work for your business. You’ve created a fun, easy outlet for your business to reach your audience, so get creative! Here are some starting points for creating engaging content for your (soon-to-be AWESOME) social media profiles.

Make your content valuable.

When creating content, put yourself in the shoes of your target audience: What do they want to know about? Content that relates to your business and provides your followers with information they want to know is often the best choice. It’s more likely to get them to take action, whether by sharing or “Liking” your content, clicking through to your site or checking out your blogs. Whenever possible, include images and videos in your updates. Studies show that anything visual will get you more comments, clicks, and shares than plain text.

Share valuable content from other sources.

One strategic way to establish your social media presence is to share not only your own content, but others’ as well. After all, social media users don’t just talk about themselves or share their own photos and videos. A big part of social media is reusing — retweeting, favoriting, reposting, “Liking,” etc. — other users’ content. If there’s a post or a tweet that you think would interest your followers, repost it. If there’s a hashtag trending (e.g., #OOTD, #MCM, #followfriday #ALSicebucketchallenge), jump on that bandwagon! The more that your social media followers see you as a fellow user, the more they’ll value your posts.  Don’t perceive your profile as a medium to post ads and push your product; your followers will drop like flies. Engage, ask questions and promote comments and shares! People LOVE interaction, so give the people what they want!

Know when to post.

For most small business owners and professionals, social media activity is usually limited to just one or two posts a day.  If you have just one or two opportunities to catch the bulk of your followers, you need to know when they are most likely to be online. This could be as simple as posting at various days and times and noting the engagement you get on each (many social media platforms have GREAT analytics to make this process a breeze).  Keep an eye on your optimum post times and days for each social media platform and make sure you are posting appropriately. Or, take advantage of services like Hootsuite.com or Bufferapp.com to schedule posts for a specific delivery time to each network. Individual businesses and industries may see better results at slightly different times, and systems like Bufferapp.com gives you useful stats to help you decide the best time for you to post.

If you’re creating great content, sharing valuable content and posting during optimum times, you’re doing it right, and good results for your social media following WILL happen! If you need some help, take these starting points for creating good content and RUN WITH THEM, then share your success story with us! We love to hear about improvements in your social media presence!

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