Guest post by Maja Jaredic (my lead social marketer)

Content is the bloodflow of your social presence.

Fresh, up-to-date content that brings value to your audience is the #1 condition for the survival and success of your online existence.

Sure, there are a lot of steps you need to take in order to run your Social Marketing efficiently, (good read: 4 Ways to Making Sales With Social Media) but content is really top priority.

Why?

Because content is who you are. It is what you believe in, sell, teach, what your brand is all about.

In order to be seen as a thought leader and expert in your field, you need to provide your audience with the appropriate content– posts that will show your expertise, value system and build your brand.

But the golden question is, “what should I post, exactly?”

Well, over the course of 6 months, we made it our mission to find out. Here’s what we found:

1. Internal Posts

Internal content is content created by you-– your blog posts, videos, pictures, etc.

It’s anything that adds value to your audience, clients and prospects. (This doesn’t include promotion. We’ll get to that later)

Internal content should provide value for the readers, something new to learn or just a funny picture to brighten their day. It’s about them.

During our study, blog posts proved to be the best internal content you can share.

Not only do you provide value for followers, but you’ll see an increase in traffic & you’ll build reputation as someone who really knows their stuff! (What’s not to like there?) 😉

Below is an example of what our internal posts look like: 

2. External Posts

This is content created by others that you believe fits what your audience wants to read.

It’s usually content created by leaders in your niche. So, find some authorities in your field (if you haven’t already) and follow what they do.

If you read something that you think will resonate with your crowd, add it to a spreadsheet of external content and begin scheduling it out.

Side-note: tag the proper author of the post & it’ll start putting you on their radar, as well as open up the door for a Retweet.

Here’s an example of an external post:

3. Inspirational Posts

Inspirational posts are our favorite.

They serve the purpose of motivating followers, building respect and positioning yourself as a thought-leader in your industry. (Not to mention, they get tons of shares, likes, retweets, comments– and everybody loves them.)

So, find some good quotes that are relevant to your niche and motivate your tribe. Inspire them, make them laugh, trigger a reaction.

Tip: Inspirational pictures work great for us. It’s an awesome way to promote your brand in a non-pushy way. Put a good quote on a picture and add your webpage at the bottom– maximize potential traffic. 😉

Keep in mind, however, that it’s about the quote, not your page, so don’t poke them in the eye with your website. Be relevant and motivational.

Here’s an example of an inspirational post:

#1: Quote w/ Image

#2: Basic Quote

 

4. Promotional posts

Ok, now it’s time to get leads & sell. Promotional posts are what you bring to the table. Tell your audience about your current free offers, products, services, ask them to sign up; push them toward a desired action. Ask people how you can help them, offer exclusive deals and never forget 80-20 rule. (Offer value 80% of the time and sell to them 20% of the time) John Maxwell said it best,Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand.” (Click to Tweet this awesome quote) Here’s an example of a few different kinds of promotional quotes: #1: Free Offer

#2: Service

#3: Product

How the Numbers Add Up

Just to make sure we are all on the same page here, let’s bring some numbers in.

To find out which of the 4 is the most effective, I did some small research. I took 10 posts of each kind from @JoshCoffy’s Twitter profile and analyzed their retweets & favorites.

Not only did I compare these 4 types of content, but I also added “Personal” posts. (Pictures, status updates etc).

Ready for the results?

The table below shows how many times, on average, each type of post gets retweeted and favorited.

Type of post

Share (retweet)

Favorite

Inspirational post

2.8

2.1

Internal post

2.3

2

External post

1.1

1.4

Promotional post

0.8

0.9

Private post

0.1

0.9

That said, Inspirational posts and internal posts are on the top. They both provide the most value to your followers & position you as an industry thought-leader.

Best Curation Practices

Of course, to get great results & not get burnt out,  you’ll need to stay organized. When we first began, we were posting ‘on the fly’ and without a plan. Now, we have systems and spreadsheets for everything, which makes it easier and more streamlined. The best practice we found was to create spreadsheets for all 4 kinds of content, pre-typed and formatted for posting. (See below) 4typesofcontent We started by creating a spreadsheet with a list of all our blog content (internal,) a spreadsheet of 100 motivational quotes (inspirational,) a spreadsheet of 100 lead authority’s blog posts (external,) and a spreadsheet of 10 promotions we had going on. This allowed us to have a nice little archive for our social media scheduling and a base to build off (as our blog content grows.) So, to help you out, we added a spreadsheet of 100+ inspirational quotes that we use to the Flight Media toolbox! 😎 Flight Media's Toolbox

(Share this post if you appreciate the spreadsheet!) 😉

Conclusion

Internal, external, inspirational and promotional posts are the most popular types of content you can post on social media. They help assure that you’ll make sales and build a brand without being another boring seller. The goal is to be source of information and an expert in your audience’s mind! As Josh likes to say… “People don’t buy your product, they buy you.” (Click to Tweet) What have you found that works best? Leave a comment below! 🙂   twitter-hacks-magnet