The two most common types of social media content managers I meet fall into two categories, Reactors and Repeaters. Ok I totes just made up those terms but they’re pretty darn perfect.
When I fail to properly manage the Studio Cotton Facebook and Instagram accounts, I become a total Reactor. I’ll get to the stage where I haven’t shared anything for a few days, dig through our photography library, just grab something that looks pretty (like a loom weaving) and shoehorn in a generic caption just so that I can check another task off the to-do list.
I’m just reacting to the need for content, and not creating something particularly valuable or interesting.
Repeaters get stuff done. They don’t tend to have gaps in their posting history, either scheduling in advance or manually posting at regular intervals.
As a natural reactor, I miss out on the benefit of additional reach from a higher volume of posts. But there’s something us Reactors and our more organised Repeater sistas have in common – and that’s a lack of variety in our social media messaging.
Social media homogeny
Pop over to one of your social media accounts, check out your last 2 weeks’ content, and boil each story to its most simplistic message. Chances are, most will fit into either “buy this”, “look what I made”, “I am at this event” or “here’s our opening hours”.
Not one of those messages is bad in isolation, but whether you’re a Reactor or Repeater, it’s this lack of variety won’t help you reach your business goals.
There are so, so many things a business should be talking about. Messages that clarify your services, helps customers fall in love with your products, removes any reason not to buy from you, and lovely tidbits that can surprise and delight.
Thinking inside the box
Here’s a super boring example: postage and packaging. There are like cray cray amounts of stats out there all saying the same thing, the number one reason why visitors abandon an online purchase is surprise costs at the checkout. I find this stat oh so relatable.
Thing is, the value of the additional cost isn’t the main turn off – it’s the surprise. Now be totally honest with me, when was the last time you shared a message on social media about your delivery options? Maybe once last Christmas? That time you did a free delivery promo? Never? It’s probably never.
It seems boring, but cluing up your customers on all the costs involved when buying from you can only help your brand. It sets a realistic expectation, or makes people think “huh, that’s cheaper than I thought”.
What’s more, this pish is so damn useful that there’s no reason why you shouldn’t post something about delivery options every dang month.
Some somewhat interesting and quite convincing maths
3 months ago, I shared something on Instagram about our website building services. We probably had around 1,250 followers at that point, and that post was seen by 519 people (around 42%) who followed us.
At the time of writing, we have 1,637 followers which is 31% growth over the 90 days*. Even if I shared the exact same post, and hit the same reach percentage (it’s actually a little down over our last 3 posts), that’s 687 people. Technically, there could be absolutely no overlap between these 687 and the OG 519.
Plus, Instagram skews the feed towards accounts you’ve followed recently too, so chances are that more than 31% who see the duplicate post wouldn’t have seen the original.
Now I would never recommended duplicating the same exact post over and over, but you shouldn’t feel like you can’t share the same message. You might feel like a broken record, but just remember that in real life, you’re the only person who is reading every one of your posts.
Even for the small population who see both, that’s not a bad thing. They just get some useful information twice, and that’s not a bad thing.
Now where are my thirty-nine messages?
Ok ok, if you came here just for the messages, I’m sorry I just made you sit through my chitter chatter. I’ve popped together a list of 39 different messages a small business can chat about on social media.
- New product
- Favourite product
- Best selling product
- Colour options
- New collection
- Product category
- Sales & clearance
- Market or exhibition
- Upcoming event
- Previous event
- New blog post
- Old blog post
- New collaboration
- Old collaboration
- Town or city
- Immediate neighbourhood
- Tribe or supporters
- Introduction to me
- A fun fact about me
- Making process
- Postage & packaging
- Returns policy
- Opening hours
- Business birthdays/anniversaries
- Join my mailing list
- Follow me on another social network
- Customer regrams/shares
- Favourite small businesses
- Bespoke requests
- Gift wrapping
- Enter a competition
- Tag us in your pics
The balance for your brand
These messages are not rules, and the exact same list won’t work for everyone. If you have a large product catalogue, it makes sense to share multiple product-focused posts. If you work 4 markets a month, you should share 4 market-themed posts.
But for now, copy & paste these into your own doc, delete the ones that aren’t relevant, add some totally unique messages of your own, and start injecting a little more variety into your social media messaging.
*I know these stats look hella good, and I’m hella proud. But, (and that’s a Great British Menu But), we had two massive shoutouts from the incredible Helen Bottrill from The Creative Business Network. Helen very kindly shared our September Small Business Task campaign and bigged up Studio Cotton at Creatival which inflated our figures, and my ego a little bit. Helen, if you’re reading this, thank you again!
And if you want some more information on how to impress Instagram with your posts, check out our blog post on exactly that!