Jennifer Hanford
January 14, 2015

5 Essential Strategies for Creating Social Media Content

(A slightly belated) welcome to 2015! It’s a new year with so many opportunities for digital marketers. Are you ready?

Many of us in the marketing world have seen – and continue to see – the rising popularity of social media content marketing firsthand. We realize it’s no longer enough to simply post a piece of content we created and/or curated on social media. Rather, our audience is much more likely to pay attention to the social media content we tweet on Twitter or post on Facebook when it includes a catchy phrase, or “lede.”

You may be asking, “What is a lede”? According to, the definition of “lede” goes as follows:

The introductory section of a news story that is intended to entice the reader to read the full story

Sounds like something digital marketers want and need, right? It is something we need, but contributes to TheLedeyet another content marketing challenge for us. Not only does the social media content we distribute need to be of high quality and worthy of our audience’s time, but we also need to make it appear click-worthy as well. Otherwise, we’re just contributing to the rest of the “white noise” that already exists online.

Creating a social media content lede doesn’t need to be overly complicated though. When you remember the reason(s) you’re sharing content on social media in the first place, then you’ll have the motivation you need to encourage your audience to click through and read it.

Matthew Schwartz shares excellent suggestions for creating an effective messaging strategy in a recent article for PR News, “5 Rules for Creating Killer Content on Social Media.” The same concept applies to making your “killer” social media content seem even more attractive and enticing.

5 ways to create powerful ledes for social media content:

1) Be yourself…be a human

Call it human nature, but most people prefer to have conversations with other people. Even if you’re a logo, you can still show you’re human. More importantly, make sure you’re being your true self and using your own “voice” online. This lets people get to know the “real” you.

2) Be yourself…but don’t be self-promotional

This is something many businesses forget, especially when they’re just starting out on social media. It’s no different than how no one likes hearing someone talk only about themselves all the time in the real world. Be social, not sales-y. You can be self-promotional, but do so in ways that are not obvious or pushy. Examples include educating your readers about your industry, or sharing ads and/or events.

3) Let’s get visual

As the expression goes, a picture says a thousand words. Schwartz states in his article that “photos are 485076087-e1406668950676liked two times more than text updates and videos are shared 12 times more than links and text updates.” People are often drawn to images – and statistics like these only reinforce the idea that including images increases engagement with your social media content. The main social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ have become even more enhanced over the past few years to accommodate images with posts.

4) Change up your messaging

Many people follow brands on more than one social media channel. It’s fine if you’re posting the same piece(s) of social media content to each channel. You’ll get better results (and a more engaged audience) by changing your lede on each channel. Doing this also helps your post draw attention from different readers, and possibly resulting in increased engagement.

5) Encourage conversation and engagement

Why should businesses post social media content in the first place? I personally think it’s revolutionized the way businesses and people communicate. Social media can be – and should be – a two-way street. Rather than blasting your sales pitches, use your social media to entertain and inform. Build up your audiences’ trust by becoming a reliable and accurate resource.

The following activities should help your social media content drive more engagement from your audience:

  • Acknowledging and addressing your audiences’ questions and/or concerns
  • Asking your readers some relevant questions
  • Requesting their insights
  • Providing them with valuable information


These are just a few ideas to get you started with a stronger social media content strategy for 2015. Without a doubt, the content contained within your social media posts is still the most important part. Now that you’re armed with the knowledge to encourage more people to read your posts, you are well on your way to increased engagement – and hopefully more closed business – this year!



Featured image courtesy of bplanet at

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Jennifer Hanford

Freelance Blogger and Social Media Manager at j+ Media Solutions
Jennifer is a freelance blogger and social media community manager. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, baking, and pinning on Pinterest.