5 Questions and 10 Ideas for Making Content Work

To use social media effectively, companies need to post content that’s highly relevant and compelling to their audiences in order to create meaningful connections and, more important, move them to action over time.

Additionally, companies need their social media content to multitask. It must:

  • Engage your audiences and make new connections
  • Educate your audiences about your company’s products and services
  • Keep your company top of mind with relevant newsworthy announcements
  • And, last but not least, build the brand

Building a strong brand is anything but easy – download our Brand Toolbox to assist you with the process.

The question is: how do you know what to post in social media to accomplish these things, while providing content that is in alignment with your company’s brand and its expertise – both in subject matter and tone/style?

The five questions below are designed to help you in planning your social media topics to ensure they bring value, engage your audiences and consistently communicate your brand differentiators.

  1. What subjects are in alignment with our brand purpose and promise? What topics do we have a stake in discussing?
  2. What type of content best communicates our value proposition and offers a “proof” of successful outcomes? This may include, for example, sharing case studies, customer testimonials, lessons learned and best practices.
  3. What’s our culture and brand personality? Are we innovative, curious, high-energy, accessible, thoughtful, geeky? Is our brand an adventurous go-getter or a passionate altruist and advocate?
  4. What type of content would make our target audiences’ lives easier? What information would help them overcome their most critical challenges?
  5. What do we want our social media communities to actually do with our content? Like it? Share it? Engage in conversation?

Now, take it one step further and use the following ten ideas in conjunction with your answers to fill in your content plan even more.

  1. Talk about what projects your company is working on within the context of what your audience my find relevant and useful.
  2. Share a “day in the life” type of content – tell the story of your team at work and play, allowing your audiences to form a more intimate connection and, perhaps, begin to imagine what it’d be like to work with you or work for you.
  3. Showcase what’s happening in the world of your customers and prospects – share their victories and good news. You are sure to earn a brownie point or two!
  4. Link to your company’s tools and resources library – worksheets, templates, checklists, best practices, etc. Don’t have a resources library? This may be a good time to develop one.
  5. Remember, it doesn’t have to be all serious all the time – entertain your social media communities by including humorous content. These Fast Company videos are a great example (and you can share them).
  6. Share how your customers use your services or products. For example, did you just finish design and construction of a new student center? Show how students are enjoying it!
  7. Report on emerging trends and industry news that affect how you do business and that are of interest to your customers.
  8. Reveal interesting data, statistics and facts that are relevant to your audiences and that support what you do for your customers.
  9. Develop an employee spotlight series to show how your team’s work supports your customers’ business.
  10. Think about the questions your customers commonly ask before, during and after the engagement and create content that addresses them. It allows you to speak to concerns and meet needs before they’re ever verbalized.

Use these five questions and ten ideas to establish a consistent presence on your social media channels without having to worry about what you’re going to say.

At Substance151, we assist companies in developing powerful brands, aligning brand touchpoints and maximizing the total marketing effort. Contact us at 410-732-8379 or, and let’s talk about putting what your company has to say in the spotlight.