Navigating social media can feel a lot like the wild, wild west.
Sometimes there are so many pioneers and cowboys out there you start to play the comparison game.
This person has incredible pictures- mine will never look like that.
She is an awesome writer- I could never get my point across as effectively.
Sometimes you've nothing but tumbleweeds on your posts.
So you start to think you can't get anyone to see or interact with your content.
You feel like no one cares about what you have to say.
But here is the thing....
Yes, being a great photographer and writer can help. But they are not the be all and end all of content curation.
The secret to creating content that fosters engagement is creating content that ADDS VALUE.
Adding value to your network/followers will help you stand out among the pioneers and cowboys and dodge the tumbleweeds. When people walk away feeling like they have gained something from your post (be it knowledge, a laugh or motivation) they will be more likely to engage. And more likely to come back for more.
Here are my top 6 things you can do with a social media post that will add value...
EDUCATE- Can you teach someone something? Can you share your knowledge, expertise or skills? A how-to video, a post about news within your industry or a life hack are great examples of how to educate. Education is a powerful tool and chances are you are an expert in something- whether you believe that or not. Create a list of things you can teach to dip into each week for a never ending source of great, value driven posts.
INSPIRE- Share a personal win, a story of triumph (from you or someone else), a quote you connect to or an image that evokes a sense of emotion. I love getting personal with inspiration posts. We will talk about motivation in just a second but I think it is important to make the distinction between inspiration and motivation. Inspiration doesn't necessarily need to end in people taking action, although that can happen! Inspiration is more from the inside out- while motivation is the outside in.
MOTIVATE- Motivation doesn't last. It is fleeting, and although a motivational quote isn't a bad post, I would encourage you to dig deeper. How can you motivate someone to take action to achieve their goals? Perhaps your goals are different than theirs, that's totally OK! Most people can take a story and find something in it to connect to on some level. I would encourage you to share a STORY of an instance when you didn't want to do something and did it anyway. Or a time when you overcame an obstacle. What made you WANT to do it? What helped you persevere? Motivating someone means helping them get to a place where they TAKE ACTION! You want to help them "get up and go" - no matter what their end goal is.
EMPOWER- I love empowering my audience by asking questions. When you ask someone for advice, you empower them by sharing what they know with you! They become the expert! I ask my followers questions pretty often. Whether it is the best place to buy a certain item or parenting hacks, I get a great response rate because everyone wants to share and be heard. Facebook polls are especially great for this. You can also add in a poll option to your Instagram stories, which is actually my favorite way to ask questions. I find that more people will engage and answer if you give options vs. leaving it open ended. Asking people for advice says you value what they have to share- and that empowers!
ENTERTAIN- Share a funny meme, a great dance video or even something your kid said that made you pee your pants. You don't have to be funny in order to entertain. There are so many ways! Live video is especially great for this. If you think about it, live videos become our mini TV stations. People watch TV to be entertained. Plan your live content ahead of time so you know exactly what you are going to say and how you will convey it. If you need some inspiration, check out my list of 22 engaging live video ideas.
SHARE- This one is super easy because we ALL have something we can share. It is like the adult version of show and tell! For me it is my favorite new beauty purchases, clothing hauls or a great recipe that my family loved. On Instagram stories I share healthy snacks, go-to lunches (if you follow me on IG you know I have a serious obsession with kale!) and even how I make my iced coffee at home. Don't underestimate the power of a great recommendation. If someone takes you up on it, that's huge added value!
I always ask myself before posting, "Does this educate, inspire, motivate, empower, entertain or share something with my audience?"
If the answer is YES, then I know I have created content that adds value.
I hope these ideas help you go out and create meaningful engagement with your audience. Remember, your worth is not measured by likes or comments. If you have made a positive impact on even just one person today you accomplished a lot!