Earlier this week, I shared some of the most taboo topics that shouldn't be discussed in social media. And it may have left some people wondering, "What on earth can I post to my company's social media accounts?" While there are plenty of topics still up for grabs, I consolidated some of the best topics to discuss in social media that won't offend and will entertain. If you incorporate a healthy mix of these types of updates into your regular posting mix, you'll find you have a well-rounded social media presence with active members and a growing fan and follower base.
1.) Links to New Content - Whenever someone gets started with social media and blogging, I always tell them the lowest barrier to entry is by sharing your blog content in social media. By posting the blog content to your network, you'll get more site traffic and subscribers to your blog, and if you include social sharing and follow buttons on your blog, you'll turn blog readers into fans and followers on your social network. This principle is applicable for not just blog content, but also for any new content you develop.
2.) Links to Other Helpful Content - The job of a successful inbound marketer is to be, above all else, helpful. And you're not the only person who creates remarkable content. Share content other experts in your industry have published that your followers would also appreciate reading. It strengthens your relationships with your network when you share their content, and it shows your followers that you value helpful content, regardless of the source.
3.) Lead Generating Offers - Pull out an interesting quote or data point from a whitepaper or ebook you've published, and share it on social networks with the audience most likely to enjoy that content. And don't forget that you can actually generate leads right from within your social network with Social Landing Pages.
4.) Contests and Promos - What good is a contest or promotion if nobody knows about it? Leverage your social network to get more participation in contests you're running or get the word out about end-of-month promotions that help you meet your sales quota. You'll be reaping the benefits with more engagement and sales, and your network will appreciate the opportunity to benefit from your fun and advantageous offers.
5.) Surveys - Polls and surveys are a crucial part of an inbound marketer's toolkit. After all, what better way to customize your business to your audience's needs than going directly to the source? Check out how DoubleTree ran a successful survey leveraging Facebook and Twitter, or check out HubSpot's own survey we're promoting using social media to collect your much needed feedback.
6.) Industry News - Just as it's important to be the first to write about breaking industry news to leverage Google's freshness algorithm update, it's also important to post about it on your social media accounts. Doing so establishes you as a thought leader in your industry who stays up to date on important, breaking news. If you have room to do so in the update, provide some commentary, too. Or, just link to the blog post (you totally wrote one, right?) that explains the update and how it affects your audience.
7.) Search Optimized Content - The line between social media and organic search is getting closer and closer; just look at the integration of Google+ into search results. You should never sacrifice engaging copy for keyword stuffing (just like any copy you write!) but you should make an effort to include important keywords for which you're trying to rank. Public social media sites are crawled by Google, and you want your brand to be associated with your target keywords.
8.) Funny content - Who doesn't love to laugh? Next time you draft a status update, see if you can inject some levity into it. Not only does it increase engagement (look at those likes and comments, below!) but it also associates something positive with your brand.
9.) Visual Content - Just as people love to laugh, people love visuals. Or they just hate reading. Either way, your followers will enjoy viewing cartoons, graphs, infographics, and videos in your status updates. While Google+ and Facebook are better suited to visual content, Twitter has TwitPic that users can click through to see images like the one below.
10.) Answers to Common Questions - Whether someone poses a question to you, or you think of a tidbit about your product, service, or industry that would help make your fans' and followers' lives easier, including a tip or answer to an FAQ can really make someone's day. It's just one way you can continue to provide value in your social networks without requiring your followers to click through to your website or download another form of content.
What types of updates do you like to post to your social networks, and which do you find deliver the most ROI?
Image credit: byJoeLodge
Originally published Jan 20, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016