Idea Exchange

20 Ideas for Social Media Content That Engages


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The cry of “Content is King”  has been a rallying call for bloggers and on-line publishers for years.20 Ideas for Content That Engages

Creating and marketing your content is now as easy as typing text and uploading images and videos and then hitting the publishing button.

This has been facilitated by the advent of social networks and blogging software that facilitate fast efficient multi-media publishing.

The reality is that everyone is now a publisher as social media has provided easy to use tools which has put a personal printing press in everyone’s hand.

We are not only creating but sharing this content on desktops, laptops, ipads and smart phones to our Facebook and Twitter streams. The mobility of the smart phones has accelerated this publishing revolution that allows us to share anytime and anywhere as the impulse takes us.

The more engaging the content whether it be video or text the more likely it is to be shared.

The “Content” Explosion

To put some perspective on the scale of this on-line publishing phenomenon here are some facts and figures

  • In 2010 on Facebook alone there were 30 billion images published by millions of “authors”
  • 5 Billion Photos published on Flickr by 2010
  • YouTube figures reveal that 48 hours of YouTube videos are uploaded every minute as of May, 2011
  • It is estimated that over 330 million blog posts are published every year

Content is what drives people to subscribe to blogs, search on YouTube and play on Facebook. Internet users are looking for information and content that

  • Informs
  • Educates
  • Solves problems
  • Entertains

The Thirst for Knowledge

In a knowledge economy the thirst for information and meaningful content is never ending.

If you dig deeper into the term “social media” you will be reminded that content can be any type of media and format. Media in all its formats that was previously hidden on personal computers or buried in files offline can be published to a variety of  social media platforms that host and make public your previously unpublished media. These include social media platforms such as Flickr for photos and images as well as Slideshare for presentations such as your last Powerpoint workshop.

I often hear questions from new and aspiring bloggers about what should you publish and how do you find the inspiration for the content. It isn’t difficult if you start to let the imagination run free.

20 Types of Content Types and Formats that Engage

1.Videos

The development of inexpensive video cameras with high definition and now included in smart phones as a standard feature allow you to record impromptu interviews or capture presentations and keynote speakers. The mantra to keep top of mind is to “think like a publisher”

What can you video and publish?

  1. Formal interviews which are arranged in advance with prepared questions and answers
  2. Casual impromptu video interviews at a conference
  3. Presentations either in part or full and full edited or unedited
  4. Video products such as clothes or items that you can publish to your on line store that show the product and how it can be adjusted or worn
  5. “How To” videos that instruct and teach
  6. Grab your smart phone and obtain people’s feedback or comments as they happen about your product, service or store. This will provide authentic and real testimonials that money cannot buy

2. Presentations

Slideshare is the primary site to upload your presentations and with over 50 million monthly visitors and 90 million pageviews it now ranks as one of the top 250 websites in the world. It also supports document sharing.

  1. Share PowerPoint and open office presentations privately with colleagues and clients
  2. Share publicly with the world
  3. Publish documents from MSOffice, OpenOffice and iWorks
  4. Upload PDF’s that educate and inform

Also make sure that the presentations and PDF’s are well structured for scanning and skimming with good headings and subtitles.

3. Images

King of image uploading is Flickr but other platforms to consider is Google’s Picasa (now included in Google+)  and of course Facebook. High definition images that are well produced can provide high engagement.

  1. Images that should be publicly shared do not just have to be photos but can be creative designs in high definition that visually present a concept
  2. Photos at events demonstrates active participation in your industry and can provide high credibility through association
  3. Product images that display your products in all their high definition glorious detail
  4. Appropriate photos of staff at work and at play can provide a personal insight to a company that humanizes companies which is vital on a social web

4. Text Content

Text content is one of the oldest of formats since the pen and pencil was invented but still maintains its importance as a primary publishing medium.

What are some highly engaging text formats that help you sell your products and services?

  1. White papers – these are typically topical reports that demonstrate thought leadership vital for prospects and buyers and are generally 8-12 pages in length
  2. eBooks – Sometimes called a whitepaper on steroids can be 20-100 pages in length and can be free (in the short form) and maybe sold in the longer format. Presents complex information that is visually attractive
  3. Case Studies – Customer and readers love case studies that validate strategies and tactics. They are typically 1-2 pages long and with the narrative structure of the a story and are based upon real life events.
  4. Enewsletter – Email is a very powerful form of marketing with a list that you own and people have opted into a subscription. It can be purely text based or you can create HTML formats that includes images, links and optimized for a social web making it easy for people to share with their friends

5. Audio

Audio and radio has not died but evolved and podcasts and audio are still widely used. Podcasts can also be very effective when packaged together with a Slideshare presentation and a PDF

  1. Podcasts: Pre-recorded presentations either by one person or a goup that dicuss a topic that educates and solves problems for your listeners
  2. Live on-line radio shows with interviews of experts

This list is not exhaustive but will provide you with some tips that will maybe inspire you to engage in many media types that communicate with your readers , prospects and customers.

Sometimes bundling a range of formats for the same information will allow you to reach a broader audience that a singular media type cannot.

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