If you are an Irish printing, packaging or labelling company that has recently created a social media account to help your business, you will know that the setting of the social media account is the easy part.
The hard part is regularly keeping these accounts “topped up” with regular information/posts/updates that is of interest and use to your customers and prospects. (In this article, we will use the word “content” to mean posts on a Facebook page, updates on LinkedIn company page, tweets on a Twitter page or posts on any social media site you use for business).
Ideally these posts/updates are so good that your followers or those who liked your social media pages will share and “like” this content so that more and more new prospects are being driven to your website every day. (Hopefully you will also have an eNewsletter or downloadable Guides that visitors to your website will want to sign up to or download so that you can capture some contact details from these prospects)
This will help you achieve many business goals such as increasing the awareness level of your business, providing helpful information to your customers, improving your business’ performances on search engine results pages (known as SERP) etc.
However, we have all seen Facebook, Twitter, Google + pages that began with a flurry of posts when the page first launched but gradually the number of posts dried up completely so that page’s most recent post was 6 months ago. Clearly this does not create a good impression of this business. Indeed, many people who view this page may wonder if this business still exists. Therefore the challenge is to create content in a systematic, consistent way that won’t require hours of work looking for suitable content.
It almost goes without saying but if you don’t have an organised, systematic way of collating and creating content, your social media posts will probably never happen.
Create a file on your PC or laptop desktop or in the “cloud” for content ideas. Every time you think of any idea for a useful post, however half-formed or poorly researched, make a note of it and save it into this file. If you don’t have access to your PC/laptop/internet at that moment, send yourself an email or text to remind yourself when you do get back to your computer. Also, if you see useful content posted by others, you can “curate” this content, i.e. post it on your social media sites. (make sure that you give full credit to the author and a link to the original article.)
Make a decision on how often you will post to your website or social media accounts. Try to be consistent. It is better to do good quality content consistently, once a month, for example, than lots of posts in one week and then no posts for months.
Content comes mainly from 2 sources – content your company creates or content from outside sources that you “curate”. (Curating content simply means posting information on your website or social media that was written by somebody else. This would, of course, be information, opinion et. that you think would be useful to your customers and prospects. (To avoid copywriting issues, you must give full acknowledgement to the original author.)) I find it useful to create a table of Content Sources in my content file. Therefore, when I come across an article that would be useful to my audience, I will save the link to the article in my content articles file for future use but I will also save the website link where I found the article. Therefore, each month when I set about creating my eNewsletter, I will have a list of websites that I can check out to see if they have any new articles that are of interest to my audience.
“Pain points” are all the things that your customers complain about or cause misunderstanding or stress. None of us like to spend time thinking about things that have gone wrong or the times that our customers complained or walked away. The good news, however, is that recalling these situations can be a great source of content.
For example, perhaps a previous customer didn’t fully understand that the colour of a signed off proof may not look exactly like the final printed job because the proof and the final printed job are not printed in the same method or on the same paper or cardboard. This customer’s dissatisfaction arose from a lack of understanding about how the nature of proofing and final printed job. Therefore an article explaining how this all works can be very useful as a post and also as a permanent guide on your website that website visitors can download. As with all good content, this article helps the customer to do his or her job better and reduces their “pain”.
Or prehaps your print buying customer is grumbling about the price of his print job? How can he/she reduce the cost while still getting the printed job that is fit for purpose?
A useful blog, guide or infographic (i.e. content) might explain about the use of 4 colour process and spot colours.
Prehaps a print job that is printed using 4 colour process and 2 spot colours could amended at artwork stage to print these 2 spot colours equally well out of 4 colour process, thereby reducing the cost of the job? (Clearly the customer would need to understand in what situations it is possible do this and in what situations it is not advisable to try to achieve spot or brand colours out of 4 colour process.)
Another content item might help the customer by looking at how different weights of paper or board can affect the price and also the appearance of the final printed job.
The sales people or customer service staff are one of the best sources of content as they are on the frontline – dealing with customers every day.
You or the marketing agency you use will need to have an explanatory meeting with all relevant staff to explain how content is important for your business’s marketing and why you want them to keep feeding you information for content. Do not be tempted to skip this step – generating good content is a company-wide job and it is really important that all relevant staff – from the receptionist to MD, understand how it can benefit your company. In most cases, the frontline staff can provide the best content topics.
Check how you posts are performing. All social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter etc.) provide statistics on the number of shares, likes etc. This will be invaluable in guiding your future content choice.
Choose headlines that are clear and address the customer’s pain points. This is extremely important in today’s speedy, information-overloaded world. If the headline doesn’t grab their attention, then your hard work in creating an excellent piece of content may all be in vain.
If you would like a free consultation to discuss your social media planning or any aspect of your sales or marketing, contact Rosemary Lafferty, Yellow Ruler Marketing 086 3061260 or firstname.lastname@example.org