What Content Works Best on Social Media?

30 Sep 2016
Alan Martin

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In this article I am going to be sharing some tips on the type of content that you should be regularly sharing with your online communities. This is probably the second most common question I am asked, behind “How do I grow my fanbase on {insert name social network}?” and it is a very good question!

Why is Content Important

In a recent article ‘Developing a Social Media Mindset‘ I talked about three important mindset shifts that you need to adopt? Well, one of the things that I said in the article was that in general people are on social media to be…, well “social”, and that the clue is in the name!

Well, if you take that on board it becomes clear that you don’t want to always be trying to sell through your content. What you are trying to achieve is to increase your ‘likability’ (by sharing a little bit of your personality) and ‘credibility’ by sharing your experience with your community. You are trying to make your content useful and valuable to your audience, rather than always be trying to sell them something.

Before I go onto the next section, I feel that I should just point out that I’m not saying that you should NEVER sell on your newsfeed. There are lots of examples of companies such as John Lewis that are crushing it with their sales posts, but they are in the B2C space and they are a well-known retail company with a lot of brand recognition and a substantial marketing budget.

For most businesses however, a more balanced approach to sales messages is needed if you want to build an active community using social media. You sometimes hear about the 80/20 rule as it applies to social media content – for every 10 posts you publish, no more than 2 should be self-promotional. This is a reasonable rule of thumb to follow but you will want to test this out in your own business to see what works for you.

What Should I Write About?

I obviously can’t be prescriptive about your specific business here, but I’ve got an exercise that you can use to figure out relevant topics to write about.

  • List 5 topics related to your niche – for me that might be things like email marketing, Facebook ads etc. These are areas that directly relate to my business.
  • List 5 topics unrelated to your niche – for me that might be things like entrepreneurship, developing a positive mindset, reducing overwhelm and stress, parenthood and business, that sort of thing. These are topics that are not directly related to my core business but are of interest to my target audience.
  • List 5 potential pain-points that your audience faces – again for me that might be things like time management, staffing, customer acquisition etc. These could be either related to my core business or unrelated.
  • List 5 of the most common questions potential customers ask you before they become clients. There will be certain questions that you get asked regularly! I get asked all the time if I do 1-2-1 coaching, even though that is what I spend 90% of the time doing in my business. I thought that this would have been obvious to people, but it just isn’t! Never assume people know everything about your business.

If you find yourself staring at a blank sheet of paper or a flashing cursor with any of these questions, you will likely have found a knowledge gap. Check out my article ‘Everyone is Not Your Customer‘ which is about developing your customer avatar, that will help you figure out what questions you need to be asking your customers. Use SurveyMonkey to create a questionnaire to send out your email list. You are building an email list right?

Content Tools

Okay, now you have figured out what you are going to write about you need to set things up so that the information comes to you rather than you spending all your time hunting for content to post. That’s where you need tools. Here are just a few of my favourites!

Ahrefs Content Explorer

Content Gems


All Top

Google Alerts


Okay, that’s all for now! Go out and create awesome content! As always, if there is anything in this article that you want to comment on, feel free to leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.

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