Creating Engaging Content – Are You Doing it Right?

By on April 7, 2011
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Anyone can write, and write they do – which is the beauty and the curse of the internet. But how do you write content that engages your readers? How do you get it right?

That’s the million dollar question that keeps social media strategists up at night. Many of them get it right eventually, some are still struggling. So here it is, what you should be doing with your content to create engaging social media posts.


1. Variety is Still The Spice of Life

Stop for a minute. Look at your tweets, your Facebook posts, your blogs – how many media do you really use to communicate your message? Content does not mean copy. These days it means ‘substance.’ Using a variety of different media to engage your readers is the first step to becoming successful with social media.

Videos, articles, pictures – it’s all relevant, and you should be working within each individual medium to attract and engage your audience. Remember some people like reading. Others prefer watching videos, or browsing interesting images. Why alienate a portion of your audience because you’re subjecting them to 8000 word blog posts and nothing else! Variety – as they say – is still the spice of life.


2. Get Other People Involved in Your Business

You might be a talented wordsmith, but adding great, three dimensional content to your social media pages, includes getting other people to contribute to them. That means integrating reviews, interviews and discussions into your strategy. Without them, you may lose credibility, and a lot of ‘readers’ along the way. People want to hear from outside sources, and it encourages automatic connections, especially between you and the guest content creator.


3. Relevance is The Key to Your Content Kingdom

With the introduction of real time searches, content is becoming more and more relevant, and to-the-second. For example, if you subscribe to some industry news sources and read about something that’s causing an uproar in your industry – create some fresh content about it for your own pages. People will automatically be interested because it’s new and relevant. Get into the habit of scouring news sources for posts, videos or images that you can capitalize on.


4. Be Proactive With your Target Audience

Most of the time a reader will scan your blog, Facebook page or Twitter account, searching for something to jump out at them. If it does, they’ll ‘consume’ it. But that’s not where the party ends. What about interaction – that’s what engagement is all about! Learn to optimize each of your different media sources to prompt interaction of some kind. Ask for it, ask questions, use edgy headlines or force your ‘reader’ to get involved by taking action.

Finally, and always – keep it simple. The internet is not about complexity. In fact, it actively seeks to make everything as simple and consumable as possible. Find the right balance with your social media content by getting your message right, and using variety to spice things up a bit. Don’t forget to monitor everything you do as well – or how will you know how to replicate success?

What media do you use to communicate your social media messages? Tell us here, and tell us why!

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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