There’s no hiding from the big social dogs now. Managing social media has become a must for all businesses. Whether you’re looking for an increase in sales, reach or to build a positive brand reputation you must be active and engaging to succeed on social media.

But there is a difference to being active and engaging. Shrouding your social media platforms with pointless information and overkill can have a huge negative affect on audience trust, interest and following. Your content needs to be engaging, personable and timely to be interactive and understood by social media users. Don’t preach and under deliver, prove what you say is on the tin.

For some just understanding how it all works and finding the time to be creative is completely new territory in itself so I’ve put together some great thinking points for posting engaging and meaningful content on social media:

1. Avoid text on it’s own

A big no no for businesses on social media is posting updates without images and videos and I still see many posts like this day in day out being uploaded.

Thanks to Facebook algorithms you don’t get to choose what your audience see and interact with. It is all dependent on the type of content being posted. The use of images, links and videos is crucial being seen on Facebook, it’s engaging content and automatically stands out from text alone. If you’re content is more visual, relatable and creative, users will more than likely engage with it; share, like, comment and re-tweet.

2. Listen to your audience

Don’t create social media content for the sake of creating social media content. If you have a particular audience you are targeting or want to drive traffic to a certain place on your website make sure you understand that this is what your audience really want to see.

I always encourage businesses to put out social media polls and surveys in order to grasp a true reflection on their market. It seems silly to me to spend hours planning and posting content that your audience aren’t interested in or can’t relate to.

3. Be timely

This is one of the most used forms of social media content out there. It can be very engaging and personable to pretty much all users. I usually like to think of my audience’s working day and post content when they are more likely to pick up their phones and scroll through their newsfeeds.

Also, seasonal content everyone can relate too, try to link posts to the times users can feel a likeliness with their own lifestyle, for example; cold mornings, Christmas late night shopping, Summer holidays, Easter holidays, back to school, student term times and so on. This is all part of understanding your audience in order to be able to deliver quality content.

4. Be original

There’s nothing worse than seeing competitors drive for the same content. Be original and authentic in your posts. Keep up to date with the latest digital trends and make sure you use these features to your advantage. Always think ahead.

Some of the most popular social media features at the moment are coming from live functions: Instagram stories, Facebook live video, Facebook 360 photos and Snapchat filters. Again, don’t overkill but think what your audience want to see through these features. For example: welcoming new team members, live events action, behind the scenes footage, new product releases etc.

5. Take advantage of free insights and analytics

I can’t tell my clients enough that the free insights and analytics found through the social accounts are the most vital pieces of information to help you provide optimum performance across your platforms.

You can receive anything and everything from popular audience usage and timings, demographics, key influencers, most used hashtags, advertising engagement levels, active social conversations, follower counts, geographics and much more.

Getting to grips with insights on a regular basis can help you determine what and when to post.

The moral of this story:

Understand your audience needs.

Deliver what they want to see.

Be personable, relatable and honest.

Read More: Create Engaging Multimedia Content for Your Blog