Dear Abby – Or Why Advice Should Be Part Of Your Social Media Content

Maintaining your social media presence is a vital part of running a business today, but it can be hard to generate the content volume necessary to stay on the public’s radar. What can help feed this content stream, however, is your expertise.

Whether you know a lot about networking as an entrepreneur or have the parenting secrets you know new moms would love to hear, posts where you give relevant advice make smart and simple content. They’re also a great way to build your SEO and gain site clicks because they expand the relevant search terms that will lead people to your page. It reinforces the golden social media rule that promotes sharing: make great content and get it out there.

Staying On Your Brand

It’s important to carefully consider what your brand is when producing these posts, because it’s easy to give advice, but not always easy to stay on message. You want to come up with a messaging strategy, then, that sets you apart from your competition. What do you know or have to offer that other similar companies may not? If you can bill it as an exclusive tip and tell a story about how you learned this lesson, then that will grab readers.

It also helps to plan your content in advance so that you have time to consider its overall fit into your brand. Build an editorial calendar and match your advice content to holidays, the changing seasons, or promotions and sales. Matching these landmarks adds more power to this basic content form.

Formats That Work

Make sure to vary the ways that you present advice. Even though it’s a flexible genre with a lot of possibilities, it’s still important to offer your readers variation, demonstrating that you’re putting a concerted effort into what you present.

One structure that’s popular with readers today is the concept of the “hack,” such as this post from Liz Freeman. Freeman applies her housing expertise by offering clear, actionable tips for settling in to a new home. The hack format was popularized within the context of “life hacking,” ways of making everyday activities easier by using normal objects in new ways. Use the term “hack” for unusual and smart advice that most people wouldn’t think of.

Locally based advice and content is also ideal for your social media following, particularly if you’re well established as a community business, but even brands as big as Hilton have lifted up local content in their marketing. In particular, the brand drew on local images from their DoubleTree hotels to launch their Pinterest campaign, but local advice is even more helpful.

As a hotel, for example, you might provide packing lists on social media that help travelers prepare for unique local attractions or weather conditions, or Tweet about restaurants you shouldn’t miss while in town. A landscaper can post tips for managing your lawn during regional summer weather. Wherever you are and whatever your business, there’s sure to be a local topic you can apply your expertise to.

Finally, another way to source advice content for your social media is by speaking to specific individuals and crediting them for their smart ideas. That’s how this article on successfully working from home is sourced – advice comes from specific individuals who work from home efficiently and productively. Sourcing puts a face to the ideas and helps increase reader trust.

These are just a few of the ways to make advice content work for you – but maybe you have advice on the subject that’s worked better. Again, your unique take on brand-relevant concerns is the most effective kind of all.

It’s time to release your insights on the public.