Cook Up a Balanced Content Diet


Veggie CollageA balanced diet is important, both in life as well as social media. Vegetables, fruits, and lean protein are all yummy and great for you. But if you never snack on a cupcake or eat a sandwich made entirely of bacon with doughnuts for bread, are you really living?

Think of informational posts as vegetables. Posting news and upcoming events is important, but let’s be honest, those are the brussels sprouts of the social realm. Even though veggies are likely what your boss had in mind when they said, “sure, let’s get on The Facebook,” they tend to be one-way messages with low engagement potential.

Engagement sets social media apart from other digital media. You want to get your followers involved, like you’re sitting down to a meal with them. If you went to dinner with someone and they just talked at you the whole time are you setting another date?

That’s why it’s important to pepper in fun, engagement oriented posts, or desserts, into your social diet. After careful study of your audiences you should have a decent idea of their favorite desserts.

Recipe for success

For Warner College feeds these tend to be posts about nature and wildlife (big trees, Snoop Dogg narrating Planet Earth, driving metaphors into the ground (j/k)), photos of our students in the field, and squirrels. Maybe for your audience it’s not fun or funny things, but relevant, thought-provoking pieces. Those can still be desserts.

You might get some questions about these posts from colleagues who may have thought of ‘the Facebook’ as a means of replicating your website. That’s ok, it’s an opportunity to drop some social media knowledge and demonstrate the value of engagement.

When followers engage with your dessert posts consistently, the magical algorithm elves behind the scenes are more likely to serve up your veggie posts because those followers have shown interest in your content buffet. Cool huh?

You shouldn’t feel on the hook to be a fantastic pastry chef either. That’s a tall order, and as Top Chef fans know it’s a real bear(claw) for even the best chefs. Social is sharing, and it’s ok to borrow dessert from others. Sharing an article or video that links to a website doesn’t typically cause copyright issues because you’re giving credit and driving traffic to their content.

You want to exercise some discretion in terms of where you share from, just like you would take a look around a bakery before buying a cake. You also don’t want to steal a box of cookies and tell everyone you made them when someone else did, because that is definitely poor form. But generally speaking, properly sharing content is a recipe for success.

Ultimate test kitchen

It’s also worth noting that social media is the ultimate test kitchen to experiment in. Did the ‘cake’ post you put up not work? Try ‘baklava’ next. Refine recipes by watching audience response in analytics. It’s ok if something doesn’t work. Not everything will. But you’ll be hard pressed to find another media environment that is as low-risk and forgiving of experimentation.

Strive to give your followers a healthy balance of veggie and relevant dessert content and watch your audience grow, become more loyal, and engage with you more.