Let’s play pretend.
I’m in the market for a lavish mansion. So I trust the agent who knows every little detail about this house.
My car broke down and I know nothing about vehicles, aside from how to drive one and how to fill it with gas. So I take the advice from the neighborhood mechanic.
The invitations for my wedding need to be perfect, customizable, and within my budget. So I follow the suggestions of the wise paper consultant with years of experience.
Customers in my restaurant value clean facilities and organic products. So I buy the all-natural, biodegradable, bleach-free, non-toxic, jumbo size toilet bowl cleaner.
I’m a home-buyer and a real estate agent.
…a driver with a broken car and a mechanic who can fix anything on wheels.
…a bride-to-be and a paper expert.
…a restaurant owner and a toilet bowl cleaner salesperson.
Curious how I can be all of these things, and more? Check out my top 4 secrets to developing social media content!
Secret #1: I’m really good at playing pretend.
When I was a nanny during college, I was required to be imaginative and play house, or explorers in a jungle, or captain of a submarine. Surprisingly those years as a nanny equipped me well to be a content writer!
Obviously I’m not really an explorer in a jungle or a real estate agent or a submarine captain or a paper expert like I mentioned above. (And I’m definitely not a toilet bowl cleaner salesperson, although that’d be an interesting job because everybody uses a toilet!). But in order to sell a product or service well, I need to know that product or service like I know each of my fingernails (since I know those better than the back of my hand).
I pretend to be the expert in that particular field, the business owner, a typical employee, the ideal consumer, and even someone who isn’t interested but could benefit from the product. Now, I say that I pretend to be all of these people, but the reality is that I actually have knowledge, evidence, and research to back up each role. It’s like when a child pretends to be a doctor, and mimics everything that their doctor did this morning at their yearly check-up. It’s pretend play with factual information.
However, I am often inspired by my family and friends. If I’m writing up a Facebook post about a new piece of land on the market, I’ll envision my mentor who just sold her farm and is looking for a new plot of land. What details would catch her attention? What information does she want to know right away? Maybe including the size and location is more important than the price or quality.
If I’m crafting a new Instagram post about a dog shampoo, I will imagine my sister-in-law. Like many fur parents, she wants top-notch products that are specific for her dog. So, I would include detailed descriptions of the shampoo’s quality and what breed of dog it’s best for. And of course I would include a picture of an adorable dog!
Who said working a real job is boring? I’m a big girl who gets to play pretend at work.
Secret #2: I check my calendar.
You guys, one of my favorite things is my Day Designer strategic planner. It’s front and back covers are decorated with crisp navy and white stripes (my favorite colors!). There are shiny gold brackets on the corners and sturdy gold rings for binding. Each month has pink tab dividers and each week is a two-page spread. I could tell you every single detail about this planner because it is perfect for me. Which brings me to my next secret: calendars are important.
The first thing I do every month as I write out my social media content is look at my calendar. Why? Because people want to know about holidays, events, and special occasions!
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to wish your clients a Happy 4th of July or thank our military on Armed Forces Day. Why not celebrate Grandparents Day or Redheads Day or Kiss Your Mate Day, too! (Those fun holidays are sure to gain a few extra shares). A quick internet search will pull up an exhaustive list of holidays each month. I personally like this website best.
People have also started using social media as a means to discover local events. Advertise your town’s summer concert series, 5k race, or holiday events on your social media as well. I always visit the chamber of commerce, city or town website, and the local or regional tourism website. For example, if I was posting for a business in my hometown of Murfreesboro, TN, I would use the following websites to learn about upcoming events:
- Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce
- Murfreesboro, TN city website
- Ready, Set, Rutherford! (Rutherford County tourism website)
Secret #3: I bring out my inner artist.
My 5 nieces (with one more on the way!) bring out my crafty side with their dot markers, sparkly playdough, jewelry beads, and sewing projects. I try to channel my inner artist to be a cool aunt, and those same skills come in handy as a social media content writer.
Content is more likely to be viewed and remembered if it has a catchy photo. Actually, people will recall 65% of the information after three days if it is paired with an image. Plus, posting on social media without an image just feels wrong. It actually makes me feel like I’ve turned in a homework assignment where I just copied the answers out of the back of the textbook.
A lot of my clients want to share factual, evidence-based tidbits with their followers, so I link to loads of research articles or pdf publications. Which of course have no relevant image. So I snatch a picture from pixabay or pexels that relate to the content topic, and design an amazing social media image using canva.
This is where my inner artist is channeled. I try everything! Funky photos, silly stickers, crazy fonts. I mess around with the translucency and borders and color schemes. Some images turn out better than others, but the key is that there is an picture present. And if I’m really feeling the creative juices, I craft an image from a blank white screen.
But when my creative tank has run dry, I instantly scramble over to pinterest for inspiration. And it’s the perfect remedy to rehydrate my imagination!
Secret #4: Remind myself that I’m the best ever. Stay humble.
Some days I sit back and recognize that I don’t know it all. Because in reality, I’m not an expert at anything social media related. I didn’t study business or marketing at university. I just happen to be a great writer who did a project for a lady who kept offering me more work, and now we have an amazing partnership.
Humility is the key. I’m not an expert, but I’m constantly learning to improve my skills and serve my clients well. I remind myself that I have taken online courses and have read dozens of articles about marketing. I learn my client’s goals, try to understand the buyer persona, and practically memorize their website in order to understand who they are and what they believe. I request feedback and edits to ensure that I’m providing a quality piece of content. I reflect on what content gets the most likes or shares, and try to figure out why.
After that reminder of humility, I surge on a confidence boost! I have helped companies gain more customers through their social media sources. I have written content that gets hundreds of views. I have done this before, and I can do it again.
Well, the secrets are out.
Now you know how my social media content is created. By playing pretend, utilizing my awesome day planner, bringing out my child-inspired artistic talents, and keeping it real with humility.
Developing social media content is not a simple task for the faint of heart, but it’s incredibly effective and rewarding. Especially when you get to say, “Hey Mom, look what I did! I wrote all of those posts and created all of those images, too.”