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On Small Business
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Posted at 11:21 AM ET, 04/22/2012

What type of content should you put on social media channels?

On Small Business has a new feature in which young entrepreneurs will answer common questions about small business owners’ social media needs. The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of young entrepreneurs.

What types of content tends to perform best on social media platforms?

Aaron Schwartz, founder and CEO of Modify Watches in Berkeley, Calif.:

Over the past two years, we have experimented with all manner of postings. We have created competitions for fans to vote on who wore their Modify Watch best; we have shared jokes and videos that we find hilarious and help to express the personality of the brand. We even frequently share positive stories about customer successes in the world (e.g., if a customer is graduating college) and wish our fans ‘Happy Birthday’ when we know it’s their big day.

By far, the most engagement that we receive from posts occur when we ask our customers to name our watches. Modify Watches are interchangeable, so, for example, a customer can wear a blue face with a black strap one day (classic), and then with a pink strap the next (funky). We have named every permutation of watch, with winners ranging from “The Bar Fight” to “Hipster Ballerina.” Nearly every week, we ask our fans to name one combination, and without fail, we have more than 10 times the engagement across all social media channels. The key is that the activity is fun, is very simple to complete and is 100 percent on brand.

Anthony Saladino, co-founder and CEO of Kitchen Cabinet Kings in Staten Island, N.Y.:

Our posts that display finished kitchen and bathroom projects perform best on our social media channels. A picture says a thousand words, and our fans and followers get excited when they see our cabinets used in a beautiful new kitchen or bathroom. The completed kitchen and bathroom remodel pictures allow our customers to visualize not only what our cabinets look like, but what a complete kitchen transformation could look like.

If you sell a product, photos need to be a staple of your posts on social media channels. Additionally, our posts linking to our comprehensive guides — such as our ‘How To Remodel Your Kitchen Step by Step’ and ‘Kitchen Trends for 2012’ — typically receive our most social media shares. Other posts that perform well are open-ended fun questions such as ‘My favorite meal to cook in the kitchen is ...’ and ‘We made it to the weekend! What weekend remodeling projects are your planning?’

Kelly Azevedo, founder of She’s Got Systems in Woodland, Calif.:

The posts with the best performance are the ones that provide relevant value to the audience or engage them by asking for a direct response. Performance is measured by the amount of comments and shares or by the conversion rate for the requested action.

Social media as a title is somewhat of a misnomer because it’s not simply a new medium to blast out information. More than ever, we tend to block out one-way media and choose to engage with the people and companies we relate to most. That so-called ‘ad blindness’ can apply to posts that look overly promotional. Because information flows through these mediums so quickly and space is limited, the posts must be relevant to your intended reader and compelling enough to click through or share with others.

It’s easy to get tunnel vision and just blindly send out information to the void, especially if you like to schedule posts. We remember that social media is an avenue for conversations, giving value and creating relationships, and the posts that think of the reader first are always the best performers.

By  |  11:21 AM ET, 04/22/2012

 
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