“From solo entrepreneurs to Main Street businesses and multinational brands, marketers at all levels struggle with finding new ways to keep their followers’ attention,” according to Andrew Rasso, co-founder and director of the Online Marketing Gurus. “I often see brands fall into the habit of posting repetitive types of content … If you don’t mix it up a little bit, you’ll risk losing [customers’] attention permanently.”
Thankfully, Rasso adds that successful posts can often be generated from a few specific categories or “social post structures.” Understanding those structures can make brainstorming creative posts much easier.
To inject some diversity, he suggests working these structures into your content calendar:
1. Ask a question.
“Everyone has an opinion, and social media culture empowers people to share theirs,” Rasso explains. “The pros at Kissmetrics tell us that ‘question’ posts get 100 percent more comments than standard social media posts.” One caveat: “Be mindful of the type of engagement you seek,” Rasso warns. “According to data from HubSpot, [question] posts will net you more comments but tend to accumulate fewer likes and shares.” Samples to try: “What is your favorite fall flower?” and “What was your best Halloween costume of all time?”
2. Invite fill-in-the-blank responses.
“This is a great way to boost engagement and subtly harness feedback from your audience,” Rasso suggests. “You could leverage that information for future content campaigns or use the insight you gain to improve processes and delight customers.” Samples to try: “The best customer service experience I ever had was __________.”and “If I could be any character on TV, I would be __________________.”
3. Offer free advice and tips.
“Your audience always is on the lookout for guidance they or their connections can put to use,” Rass writes. “Providing valuable content keeps your audience engaged and encourages sharing.” Advice posts, he adds “are an opportunity to repurpose and promote aging content.” You also can curate content from other sources, including a wealth of info on flowers and the scientific benefits of floral gifts, available free to Society of American Florists members at safnow.org and aboutflowers.com. Sample to try: “Here are some tips on how to spruce up your front porch planters for cooler weather…”
4. Split fans into two camps.
To really drive up engagement, “split your followers in a head-to-head post and encourage them to pick sides,” Rasso writes. “This is a clever way to discover customers’ product preferences and other areas of interest to improve your marketing strategies. In some cases, these can be fun posts that spark engagement and banter among fans.” Sample to try: “Are you ready for some football? Vote for your favorite team-inspired design.”
Finally, don’t forget that on social media, visuals rule.
“Services such as Snapchat, Vine, Instagram and Facebook’s native and live-video options mean sharing video never has been easier,” Rasso writes, adding that consumers who view video are shown to be twice as likely to make a purchase. “It gives fans an inside look at your business and culture. It also connects them to your brand and staff on a more personal level.”