Episode 8 of the No Sugar Show is here and today we are talking questions to consider before posting to social media. Give the episode a listen, or read the full article below!

Ahhh social media… the land of endless content production. A new day, a new post, ya know what I mean?

For many business owners and entrepreneurs, social media can feel like an endless rip tide. You’re swimming along, but you can’t seem to break free.

There’s a common misconception out there that you must be posting to your feeds every single day and your stories about a thousand times each day (for more on social posting frequency, click here)— causing social users to feel like above all else, there must be a post.

When you’re posting for posting’s sake, a very important factor gets lost in the current.

And that of course is… value.

What’s Value Got To Do, Got To Do With It?

There are BILLIONS (with a B) of users on social media. While you have your own you-niqueness, people who choose to like your content and follow your pages and profiles are doing so because you’re providing value, not just because you posted. 

So, what exactly is valuable content?

Generally speaking, I define valuable content as a post that falls into one of the following categories.

  • Educates
  • Inspires
  • Entertains

Content that educates will teach your audience something, explain your process, give expert insight, or provide a solution to their problem.

Content that inspires will highlight your big-picture goals, show off your street cred via recent PR, or showcase your client successes.

Content that entertains will build your community through common threads, be personal and show a bit of the behind the scenes action or what it’s like to live your life, or ask questions and get your audience involved.

Ok, now for the quick caveat.

While your content should fall into one of these three categories, there is a fourth category you can include in your content plan — promotional content. Promotional content should still provide value, but this is where you’ll include service or solution showcases and call-to-action type posts.

Putting Categories into Action

Now that you have your categories in place, you can create a super simple weekly content calendar. It could look something like this.

Sunday: Educate

Monday: Inspire

Tuesday: Entertain

Wednesday: Promote

Thursday: Educate

Friday: Inspire

Saturday: Promote

Looking at your content on a weekly level, aim to include no more than two promotional posts each week. If you’re just getting started, put a higher emphasis on creating content that educates your audience. You can lay this out any way you’d like, but here are general recommendations:

  • Educate: 2-4 posts
  • Inspire: 1-2 posts
  • Entertain: 1-2 posts 
  • Promo: 1-2 posts 

Categories, Calendar, What’s Next

Now that you see just how totally manageable breaking down your post content can be, let’s dive into a few questions you should ask yourself while writing and before posting your content to social media.

Who is this post for?

Let’s say you’re going to create a post that falls into the inspiration category. You could just grab a screenshot of your latest Huff Post feature, pop that bad boy up on Insta, and use the headline as a caption and say something like, click the link in my bio to read the full article.

OR

You could ask yourself who you’re trying to reach with this post. Let’s say you’re a business coach who helps entrepreneurs scale their biz and your feature is about the top ten jobs to hire or outsource. Instead of doing the aforementioned, you could still use your screenshot, but instead, write a caption that speaks specifically to how the article is of use for entrepreneurs looking to grow their business and how outsourcing or hiring can help. 

What is the goal of this post?

This question goes hand-in-hand with the first question. Once you’ve defined who the post is for, think about your goal. Using the previous example, you’ve defined this as an inspirational post. Do you want your audience to head to the link, to leave a comment, to send you a message? Include a CTA in your caption (no, not one that says “sign up for my course here” — your CTA should feel aligned with your post caption and not feel overly salesy). Consider how you want your audience to feel as they are reading your post. Bring that feeling into your caption copy. Using inspiration as the category means you’ll want to make the post feel very motivational. 

What value does this provide?

To round out your post, let’s go back to the big V… VALUE. Using the same example, we have a category, an audience, and a goal, but let’s wrap that up into a value bomb. Using inspiration as your primary category, speak to the end result and give your audience a big-picture goal to aspire to. 

Is this authentic?

The final question to consider before you post your well-crafted post is to decide if the post feels authentic to you. Does it accurately represent you, your work, what it’s like to work with you, your brand? It’s all well and good to walk through the process above, but if the post no longer feels authentic, then your audience will see right through it. Remember, at the end of the day, your audience chooses your products or services because of the relationship they’ve developed with you.

Once you’ve completed this list of questions, your post is ready to roll!

Interested in learning more about content planning? Check out this article on content pillars or dive in and take my social content planning challenge.

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