You've got the website, you've got the social media accounts, so - what you do post about?
It's a question many business people struggle with, and with good reason. Many of us started our careers in an era of corporate discretion and formality.
Now we're being asked to engage with customers we haven't met on an almost daily basis.
The general maxim for all social media posts is to only post what you would be happy to see again with your grandmother, company CEO and six year old nephew sitting beside you - and a shareholder or two.
Which still leaves the question of what customers would want to read on your posts, and what they would actively click and Like...
A View from Africa
Jes Styles of Ringier has a unique prospective thanks to her work in Africa*, where Facebook is one of the biggest search engines. (That means customers are looking for information from within Facebook, not via Google or similar.)
What to share
To assess a post's impact, Ms Styles calculates an 'engagement rate', which is an expression of Likes, comments, and Shares against reach (the number of people who see the post). She has tried and tested a variety of post content to see which gets the best engagement rate, and her results are not quite what you might expect.
For example, humourous posts and inspirational quotes may seem a good idea, but only achieve an engagement rate of less than 0.75%. However, posts about national holidays increases that rate to 1%, and posts about famous birthdays achieve almost 2.9% engagement.
The theory is that holiday and birthday posts appeal to people's emotional attachment to their national and cultural identity. People are more likely to engage with these and give a Like, or comment on a post about, say, Sean Connery's birthday than an inspiration quote by.
It could also be an anniversary of an important national event. For example, on Thursday 22 October 2014, Kevin Vickers, Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Commons of Canada saved countless lives when he and RCMP Constable Curtis Barrett took down a terrorist in the parliamentary building.
How to share it
Syles also examined the type of posts that achieved the best results, with the following results:
If you want to virtually guarantee engagement with your post, use a strong image that is personal to your business. Now is a terrific time of year to take photos of Fall colours outside your office, for example.
For reach, video comes out best. Your video should be short (less than 1 minute) and enjoyable to watch even for those who know nothing of your industry or products. One of our favourites here at Akira is the very simple video by UK traffic bollard manufacturer Pudsey Diamond made to illustrate how tough their products are. It's a but long, but in many ways that's the whole point…
For clicks, Links are the most effective. If you're posting on social media about a blog on your website, make sure you link to it! If you are running out of characters in Twittr, shorten the link using a link tool like Bit.ly.
Over to you
Hopefully, armed with this information (and a smart phone) you'll never be short of interesting content for your social feeds that your customers will enjoy seeing - and will earn you those all-important Likes.
* 'How to Win Fans and Reach People - Top 3 Practical Tips for Facebook' - Jes Stiles, Ringier, presented at BrightonSEO 2015