Steve-Strauss--in-article-Medium.pngWhat is it that separates those small businesses that are very successful with their social media efforts with those that are not? Let me suggest a one word answer:




The phrase is not “Content is prince” or “Content is duke.” No, they say, “Content is king” for a reason. Because it is. Offer your folks great content and they will pay attention to you. Don’t and they won’t.


So what is great content and how do you create or offer it?


The first thing to understand about social media content is that it has to be far more about your audience and much less about you. Your job is to become added value to their day – you do that by posting content that your targeted audience finds interesting and useful. On the other hand, if all you do is post what you have on sale that day or “company news,” you will not go far.


Click here to read more articles from small business expert Steve Strauss.



A study by the technology company Roost looked at how small businesses can best engage their social media audience. The survey found that the following types of content offer maximum social media value:


  • Photos: Publishing photos on your Facebook page generates 50 percent more impressions than any other type of post. Photos are great because they are friendly, engaging and easy to upload. Pictures of your business, your products and your employees would all work.
  • Questions: Posting a question on Twitter, Facebook or your LinkedIn page is an excellent way to engage people and start a dialogue. The survey found that questions generate almost two times as many comments as any other type of post. Added bonus: Questions that foster discussions equal comments full of keywords that can boosts search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Quotes: The study found that quotes drive an average of 54 percent more retweets than any other type of tweet.


This is just for starters. Other things to post: Articles of interest, free e-books, resources, links and contests.


Let’s drill down and take Facebook as an example since that is the social media site most small businesses use. One of the easiest ways to get more people to “like” your page and engage with you is simply to update your status consistently. Share tips, ideas, post pictures and hold contests.


Another way to make your Facebook site valuable is to offer specials. But the secret here is not to offer just any old special, but a special that is only available to your Facebook friends. This serves two purposes.


  • First, it is a way to reward them for liking your page.
  • Second, it is a very specific way to measure the success of your page and plans. One challenge with social media is that it is often difficult to quantify the return on investment of your social media efforts. By creating and offering a unique special only for your Facebook fans, you can very specifically quantify the success (or failure) of your page. You can measure how many people respond to the promotion and how much money it makes you.


Additionally, remember that on Facebook, your content should be light, breezy even. Videos especially are a great way to engage this audience. Now, why is that? Well, think about Facebook for a moment. Most people who go there are going to connect with friends, see what is going on, that sort of thing. It is a casual place, a friendly place. So you have to be casual and friendly there too if you don’t want to be ignored. As such, videos and other easy-to-digest content fit the bill; they dovetail with the tone of Facebook.


Of course it also works to post articles that you think your audience will find interesting, funny, useful or otherwise worthwhile. Posting those things you find on the Web that you think people will like makes you a valuable resource.


Finally, a blog or articles written by you in your authentic style is another, and important, way to get your voice heard. Don’t think you have to be some type of wordsmith to succeed – you don’t. All you need to do is share your knowledge and passion in a friendly way and before you know it, viola! You have created great social media content. How do you go about creating social media content? What have you found that works well? Or, what doesn’t work so great? Share your thoughts with the SBOC community below.




About Steve Strauss

Steve Strauss is one of the world’s leading small business experts. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. Steve is also the author of the Small Business Bible and his latest book is Get Your Business Funded: Creative Methods for Getting the Money You Need. A popular media guest, Steve is a regular contributor to ABC News Now and frequently appears on television and radio. His business, The Strauss Group, creates unique, actionable, entertaining, and informative multi-media small business content.You can read more articles from Steve Strauss by clicking here.