A Social Game of Snakes and Ladders

Snakes Ladders

To post, or not to post?

It’s a dilemma you might be familiar with if you’re responsible for your business’s social media: you’ve got your organic post ready, but it’s lacking that special something, and you just know it’s going to bomb.

Or, maybe you don’t have a post ready, but there’s a gap in your content calendar that you feel obliged to fill, so you create something you’re not proud of.

So what do you do? Post it anyway?  Or go back to the drawing board?

‘Filler content’

Plenty of brand accounts are guilty of including ‘filler content’: posts that just don’t have a purpose or a reason to engage.

A few years ago, posting filler content just to get eyes on your brand might have been reason enough to post something substandard, but with the exponential increase in content being pushed out by everyone and their dog (literally!), can you still expect an average or poor piece of content to cut through the noise?

We believe that putting out filler content is not only not getting you results, but it’s also harming your overall strategy and might mean that your next great post doesn’t get the reach it deserves.

A social game of Snakes and Ladders

A helpful analogy is to imagine your social strategy as a game of Snakes and Ladders.

When you create a social post that gets great engagement you move up a ladder, when you post something that gets poor engagement, you slide down the snake.

Not only does the poor social post mean you’re getting low reach and engagement for that post, but it also means you have to go back to the start of the game and your next turn (or post) is going to be at a disadvantage.

Conversely, when you write a great post, your next post is more likely to achieve higher than average reach, even if it is not particularly special. This is due to algorithmic signals. Put simply, this means that if someone engages with your post today, it’s a sign they want to see more of your content, so the algorithm is more likely to show them your post tomorrow.

Quality and quantity: have it all!

There’s no need to skip posts if you can consistently create great content.

To help you, here are some reasons why you might have ended up with poor content in the first place and some solutions.

Reason: Poor planning.
Solution: A content calendar and regular brainstorming sessions are crucial.

Reason: Lack of collaboration.
Solution: Draw from the wider team for inspiration and ask them to keep their social media hat on when they are doing their day-to-day duties.

Reason: There’s no purpose to your post or a clear reason to engage.
Solution: It should be entertaining, relatable, funny, controversial (be careful with this one!) or give a clear call to action.

Reason: Feeling obliged to post.
Solution: It’s best to post consistently if you can, but if you don’t have anything worth posting, missing a post or two is going to hurt less than posting something poorly.

Reason: You’re trying something new. This is the only reason we’d advocate for putting out a post that might fail.

Here’s how to make sure you always have great content:

  • Focus on current topics. Keep an eye on the social landscape. What’s trending, what challenges are there? React quickly, as trends fade as fast as they appear.
  • Build your brand personality. Post with a consistent tone and style. Make it authentic and personal if you can, these are the accounts that resonate.
  • Do more of what you know works. Continually review your post performance and learn from it. Split testing is also a great way to see how little tweaks can make a huge difference.
  • Figure out what your audience loves. What works for another account won’t necessarily work for you. Who is your target audience and how can you show them you understand them?
  • Have some great posts saved for later in your drafts, for those moments when it just isn’t possible to get out and capture something new. 

Want proof on our Snakes and Ladders analogy?

Next time you run a competition through your page or post something with great engagement, have a look at how your following post does. Does it reach more than your average per post or more people than expected, even if the engagement rate is lower?

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This blog was written by Claire Carson, Senior Account Manager at Agility Marketing, a boutique marketing agency specialising in Digital Marketing for Visitor Attractions.