26 reasons to kick ass using writing prompts
by Brittany Taylor
published August 12, 2015
updated June 5, 2018
¶ In this post, I covered the three essential content strategy questions you and your business ought to consider before launching so much as a Twitter profile. Let’s recap:
¶ "So Brittany," you say, “I’ve thought about all three of these things really hard. Really, really hard. What do I do now?”
Well, since you asked: The next step is to finesse your strategy. You need to decide what kind of content you need, how often you’re going to publish it, where you’re going to publish it, and who is going to write (and produce) it for you. Decisions, decisions, right? Here’s a quickie guide to what you need to know to go from now to launch:
Buckle up those helmet straps and secure your seat belts. There are a bunch of different kinds of content, and I’m taking you (quickly!) through each of the biggies.
Frequencies vary depending on niche and audience, but there are a few absolutes that you at least need to be aware of (and try your darnedest to observe):
Every month, there’s a new publishing or social platform. Some of them are worth your time, but most of them are not. Here’s an overview of the top outlets for all your digital creations…
This right here? This is a blog. I use WordPress because it’s super easy to use, but Blogger, which is owned by Google, is another popular choice. Tumblr is a short-form platform that bridges the gap between blogging and social media. It tends to reach a younger demographic (think: tweens, teens, and young adults), and has unique sharing capabilities.
Others options include Medium (typically longform) and Weebly (bundled into its website creation platform).
Seventy-one percent of adults who are online have a Facebook profile. Originally a space for college students, Facebook is now dominated by adults and, increasingly, seniors.
According to a recent Pew Research Center study, half of all adults age 65 and older use Facebook. That’s about one-third of all seniors. FB users are incredibly active, many using the site several times a day.
While the Newsfeed’s algorithms—the programming that makes your page’s posts seen by those who follow you or not—are ever-changing, the network remains a solid referrer for quality links.
Slightly less than one-fourth of online adults have a Twitter account. Here, you’ll find young-ish professionals from a variety of backgrounds and income spreads. Twitter can be lucrative—especially for customer service initiatives—but it requires dedication.
For your tweets to be seen, you need to be active several times a week at minimum. Luckily, there are scheduling programs such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck that allow you to load in your messages, images, links, attachments, what-have-you, pick a date and time, and set them to auto-publish.
More than 35 percent of adults online use Instagram, which is an entirely visual way to connect with people. Instagram is limited—it’s not much of a referrer to outside sites because most links are limited.
However, it’s excellent for brand-building, especially for fashion, food, design, and destination-based businesses. Be here to reach trend-conscious young adults. Fifty-three percent of them ages 18 to 29 now have accounts, and that number is increasing exponentially each year.
This platform has a cult-like following, particularly among women, who make up the vast majority of its users.
If you have visual content and your target audience is female-centric, you want a piece of this pie. Pinterest referral traffic is huge, and the platform itself is becoming increasingly business- and brand-friendly.
If you are a professional adult with a career you can talk about, this is a place you need to be, personally
For a growing business, creating a business page (and posting business-related content) will help you entice new employees. Taking an active part in LinkedIn groups and publishing your own branded content here can also help establish you as an influencer within your industry, which has its own rewards in terms of connections, clout, and PR.
As a business owner, you’re a busy person—it goes with the territory. If you want to create your own content, manage your own social profiles, be your own digital customer service representative, that’s up to you. But before you make that choice, you need to decide what your time is worth and if it could be better spent on other areas.
Trust me when I say that what appears straightforward on the surface—writing and posting—can eat away at your schedule later. Activities like editing, photo sourcing, optimizing for search, troubleshooting code problems, approving and responding to comments, and discovering social networking opportunities come up constantly. Do you have the time to execute each and every one and run a business?
If the answer is no, your easiest option is to bring on a freelancer, like me. First, establish a budget. Second, look for a freelancer who has experience in the marketing areas you’re interested in. You don’t have to have all of these questions answered—a good freelancer will be willing and able to help you execute a content strategy that suits your goals and your budget.
My name is Brittany, but my friends and clients call me "Britt." Online small business owners hire me to create content strategies and write their blog posts, email newsletters, and social media updates. I work with bosses around the world from the marshes of Charleston, S.C.