As I was speaking at to the AMA Columbus Job Transition group last week, I realized that I have not dedicated much time to discussing how to create engaging social media content. Creating engaging content is both important and difficult on social media for the same reasons: There are a lot of junk messages. Piercing through the “noise” to garner eyeball, click throughs, RT and shares for your messages is challenged by all that junk. Although there may not be any sure fire ways that work for everyone, here are a 5 Easy Way to Create Engaging Content that I use.
Use Titles That Matter
For me, coming up with the title of a blog article is as important as the actual piece. Be sure to remember your audience and what they are most concerned about. Then develop a title that tells readers exactly what the piece is about. This means potential readers don’t have to wonder about the nature of your content. Remember: When readers wonder they wander — that is, away from what you’ve got to offer and on to something that does not beat around the bush. Here are a few suggestions to better illustrate my point.
- Getting Down and Dirty With Your Social Media Questions
- Influencing the Influencer, Brain Solis
- Managing the 24 Hour Workshift, Susan Murphy
Use Less Than 140 Characters
Although creating Twitter content can by mysterious, the medium demands that you are dense and concise because all you have is text. Given that challenge, using less than 140 characters might seem even more outrageous. There are a few benefits to using less than 140 characters. First, a few leftover characters means those that want to RT (retweet) your message can personalize it a bit. A second benefit is that some people like to respond via RT (rather than mention) which means there is increased opportunity for more people to see your original message.
Learn to Love the Lists
Prior to starting my blog nearly a year ago, I hated reading articles that were primarily a list. Call me a writing snob, but I was pretty convinced that writing a list, was not actually “writing.” Furthermore, I was mistakenly under the impression that there was very little actually effort put forth to make that happen. Now that I have relinquished myself from pure writing snobbery, I realize a few things.
- Lists are useful
- Lists are more difficult than they seem to put together
- Lists are easy to read
- People like them!
Since my goal is to satisfy reader requests, as well as grow my readership, I like to give the people what they want. I like the list writing structure. I have a hard time with extensive lists because I like to write. I’ve moved to shorter lists where I can provide some explanation of the items outlined. I suggest you tinker around some with this point to see what works best for your goals.
Share Relevant Industry News
This is a really good strategy if you want to do some personal branding work on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook and are not sure how to get started. Since you are likely already keeping up with what’s in your industry because you’ve either subscribed to relevant blog feeds or included them in your Google Reader (hint, hint) sharing with others recent developments is made very easy. Sharing relevant industry news is particularly important because you can regularly let those in your network know that you are engaged and up-to-date on what’s happening in your professional field.
Whether you are writing a blog article, creating LI, Twitter or FB status updates, being yourself is of the utmost importance. Don’t be afraid to let some of your special variety of wit, humor, and personality shine through. Let people get to know you from your status updates on LinkedIn and Twitter. Be sure to consider channel selection — Your Facebook friends may not be as interested in all your industry related updates, but if you have included some of your professional associates on Facebook, you might want to develop a list or two and post directly to those most relevant audiences.
So, what strategies are you using to develop compelling content on your social media networks? Feel free to share your tips in the comments section below.