social media content

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Create Brand Social Media Content that Stands Out in 2017 with Jessie Simms

Did you catch #ContentWritingChat this past Tuesday? We talked all about how to creating social media content in 2017 and the chat was filled with amazing tips that will turn you into a social media sensation. Check it out in our recap and start putting these tips to use for yourself!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Create Brand Social Media Content that Stands Out in 2017 with Jessie Simms


This week, our guest host was Jessie Simms. Jessie is a Social Media Specialist at Page 1 Solutions and assists with their bi-weekly Twitter chat, #Page1Chat. She joined us to share her knowledge on creating social media content for brands so that you can stand out on the platforms you use this year.

Q1: Which social media platforms are important to be on in 2017?

With so many social media platforms available to us today, it can be hard to choose which ones you should invest your time in. To help you out, check out these suggestions for which platforms you should be using this year:

As Jessie said, you need to be where your audience is That’s always the number one priority when deciding which social media platforms are worth your time. She said that if Snapchat and live video make sense for your brand, they’re worth trying out. So, figure out if your audience is using Snapchat or if they’re tuning into live video broadcasts. If they are, give it a go!

Sarah from ThinkSEM agrees with Jessie’s advice. Figure out where your audience is and where you are getting the best results with your content. That will give you an idea of which platforms work the best for you and your brand.

This is great advice from Bill. Find out where your audience spends their time, but also consider which platforms make the most sense for your content and the goals you’re trying to achieve. It’s all about finding the platforms that for YOU and that might not be the same as what someone else is using.

Our CEO, Julia, said her top three platforms are Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Not only should you consider where your audience is spending their time, but it’s also a good idea to choose the platforms that you enjoy creating content for.

Instagram is a great platform to be on this year. If you already have a presence there, now is the time to step it up by using Instagram Stories and Instagram Live. These newer features are key ways to connect with your audience this year.

Kristi knows that video is going to be big in 2017, as it has been for the past few years. Video content provides a powerful way to connect and develop a relationship with your audience, so now is the time to use it. She recommends using Instagram and Snapchat, plus Facebook Live.

If you find that a platform just isn’t working for you, there’s no need to force it. Every social media platform won’t work for every brand. So, if you’re not getting the results you were hoping for, try switching up your strategy first. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to part ways. There’s no point in investing time and energy into a platform that just doesn’t click for you.

Q2: How can you figure out exactly what your audience wants to see on your social media profiles?

Once you’ve chosen the platforms you want to use for your brand, you need to begin creating content. However, that’s often easier said than done. To start off, you need to figure out what your audience is interested in seeing from you. Here are some tips to help you figure that out:

Jessie recommends seeing what your audience is already engaging with. You can do this by sharing content you think they’d like and seeing what their response is. Check your analytics to see which posts get the most clicks, replies, and shares.

“Listen” is the keyword in Erica’s tweet. It’s so important to take the time to actually listen to what your audience is saying if you hope to get to know them better. You’ll find out which content resonates with them and what they’d like to see more of.

Andy said to look to some of the leaders in your industry. Check out what they’re doing to see what’s working for them and what’s not. You don’t want to copy them, but you can get an idea of what resonates with their audience and try something similar for yourself. You can even look at the questions they’re asked most often and address them with your own content.

As Julia mentioned, you can even go on sites like Answer the Public or Quora to find out what your audience is asking. When you know what they need help with, you can deliver it to them.

If you really aren’t sure where to get started, you can always ask your audience what they’d like to see. Ask what their interests are and what they’re struggling with. You can then create the content that appeals to them. It really is as simple as that! It’s also a good idea to run tests to find out what works for you and what doesn’t.

Once you figure out what your audience is resonating with, start creating more of that kind of content. Be sure to track the results you’re getting, including the all important conversions. If your conversions aren’t happening, then something needs to be tweaked.

Q3: Do you suggest using an editorial calendar to plan out your social media content in advance?

If you’re a blogger, you likely use an editorial calendar to plan out your post topics so you can stay organized. So, have you tried using an editorial calendar for your social media content? Here’s what some of our chat participants had to say on Tuesday:

Jessie agrees that it’s good to plan content in advance, but she said it’s important to be flexible. You may need to make changes in order to accommodate trends or hot topics that pop up. She also said to make sure you’re not just automating posts and forgetting to engage with your audience. In order to build a relationship with them, you need to be present by talking to them.

Lexie from Netvantage Marketing and Jeremy both agree that flexibility is key when creating an editorial calendar for your social media content. You need to be open to tweaking your content.

Make sure you also incorporate timely posts into your social media sharing as well. These are posts that can’t be planned, but helps to keep things “real-time” and more personable.

A calendar helps you to see what’s coming up in the near future. Plus, when you already have ideas planned out, it’ll help to alleviate the stress of coming up with content at the last minute.

Q4: What tools do you love for managing social media?

Here at Express Writers, we don’t hide our love for Buffer when it comes to scheduling social media content. We wanted to find out which tools our Twitter chat friends liked using and here’s what some of them had to say:

Jessie is a fan of SproutSocial, which is a great platform for managing your social media presence.

Just like Erica, we have to spread that Buffer love! We use Buffer to schedule social media content for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.

For Lex, her two go-to tools for social media are Hootsuite and Google spreadsheets.

Jill likes using Buffer and Hootsuite for her personal accounts, but her work uses Social Studio.

Buffer, Hootsuite, IFTTT, Crowdire, and TweetDeck are must-have tools for Varun. He also likes to use the native social media apps, many of which have their own analytics built-in. All of these tools will come in handy when scheduling social media content and tracking.

If you’re looking for tools to manage your Pinterest presence, BoardBooster and Tailwind are fantastic options, as Leah suggested.

The Digital Natives team recently started using Sendible for their social media management. We haven’t heard of this one before, but it sounds like it’s worth checking out!

Michelle relies on social listening tools such as Mention, Brand Watch, and Google Alerts to stay updated. These are definitely worth checking out if you want to see what your audience is saying.

Q5: Talk about the kinds of content that stand out in a busy feed.

Considering social media is so populated and we’re often following a lot of people, it can be hard to stand out in a busy feed. If you want to get your content noticed every time you post, keep these tips in mind:

Jessie knows how powerful a great image can be when it comes to grabbing the attention of your audience and getting them to take notice. She mentioned that GoPro does a great job with the visuals they share and Tasty is fantastic at making mouth-watering recipe videos.

When sharing photos or videos, make sure they complement your written content by being relevant and telling a story. It’s a great way to connect with your audience and to inspire them to take action.

Here at Express Writers, we ensure our graphics are amazing by having a professional design take care of it. It’s made a huge difference in our social media content and our blog content.

Consider adding a meme, a GIF, or a photo to your posts. When people are scrolling through their feed, it’ll be your visual that catches their eye and makes them stop.

Those visuals are a sure-fire way to grab attention!

Infographics are always a great option for social sharing, plus video continues to become even more popular.

Outside of including a great visual with your post, you should also use the right hashtags to get noticed by your target audience. Hashtags will increase your likelihood of getting discovered, so make sure you’re using them.

Sarah’s recipe for a fantastic social media post includes: a catching headline, a great images, relevancy, and solving a problem your audience is dealing with.

Q6: Describe the types of posts that work best on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

If you’re cross-posting the same content to multiple platforms, you’re doing it wrong! You need to adapt each post you share to the platform you’re sharing it on. Here are some tips on what works for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram:

When it comes to Instagram, it’s all about visuals. Share high-quality photos and have fun with Boomerang clips. For Facebook, give video a go and see how your audience responds to it. Keep it short and sweet on Twitter to get the best results with your social media content.

Due to the character limitations on Twitter, you don’t have a lot of room to work with. For that reason, Sarah knows you need to have a catchy title and an image that will grab the attention of your audience.

Even though Facebook may allow you to go well beyond Twitter’s character limit, that doesn’t mean you should. BuzzSumo recently released a study that said shorter Facebook posts perform the best.

On Twitter, share news and timely posts. Post amazing images on Instagram.

No matter what you share or where you’re sharing it, make sure that you have your target audience in mind. Create the content that is relevant to them and encourage them to take action.

Great answer from Jeremy! Your content should be simple, authentic, powerful, and helpful with an emotional hook. It should also tell a story and solve a problem for your audience.

Jacob offered up a helpful tip when it comes to creating social media visuals. He said to make sure you’re using the right size. Each platform recommends a specific image size and tools like Canva make it easy to design specifically for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more.

Q7: What steps can you take to make sure your content gets more traction and clicks?

When posting to social media, it’s all about making those conversions happen, right? In order to get results, you want to make sure your social media content is being seen and that people are actually clicking on your links. For some help, read through this advice from the chat:

You’re sure to see results when you follow Jessie’s advice! Make sure that you stay authentic and true to your brand with everything you post. Don’t forget to also engage with your audience instead of letting your profile because 100% automated. And, as always, be strategic about your content and track your results.

As Julia said, you need to analyze and track your social media content. This is the only way to figure out what’s actually working for you and what’s not. When you know what does work, you can create more of that content to keep seeing great results.

Ask your audience what they want to see from you if you aren’t sure. Then, create the kind of content they want and need. Make sure you’re following that up by evaluating how each piece of content did. Your analytics should be your best friend.

Track, analyze, and test! As Maria said, there are always ways to perform better with your content and your analytics will show you where to improve.

Jeff said to test, explore, and interact. That’s key to social media success!

Lauren’s advice is to stop posting just for the sake of posting. You should only be publishing content that is valuable to your audience. There’s no need to clog up someone’s social media feed with a bunch of fluff.

Cassandra said to share the content that is relevant to your audience and add keywords and hashtags. This will help to get more eyes on your content.

Don’t get too caught up in the numbers game. The amount of followers you have isn’t doing you any good if they aren’t the right people for your brand. Attract your target audience by sharing relevant content.

One other thing you can do? Join us for #ContentWritingChat and implement all of the helpful tips you learn. You’ll be a social media sensation in no time at all! Thanks, Elliot!

Q8: Will live video be important to your social media strategy in 2017? Should it? Discuss strategies to succeed when going live.

Live video continues to be the popular thing when it comes to social media, so more and more brand are taking action. Here’s what we found out from our chat participants regarding live video:

As Jessie said, live video is great because it gives the audience the inside look into a brand. It’s fun, authentic, and relatable, which really speaks to your audience and draws them in. However, she also said you need to have a purpose for going live. Create a loose plan for what you want to talk about so you can provide value to those that tune in.

If live video is something your audience is tuning into and it fits with your content marketing plan, it’s worth trying it out this year. If it doesn’t work out, don’t sweat it.

Because live video feels more personal and less formal, it’s what draws so many people to tune in. It’s sure to help in building that know, like, and trust factor with your audience.

Live video is something that Jeff has been experimenting with. Even if you don’t have it all figured out yet, such as where you’ll go live or what to talk about, that’s fine. It’s just important to recognize that it’s a growing trend and you should try it out at least once!

We look forward to seeing you at the next #ContentWritingChat! Mark your calendars weekly for Tuesday at 10 AM Central Time for great chats centered around content writing and marketing. Follow @ExpWriters to stay updated on our new topics and guests!

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