Your purposeful content should reflect who you are, what you do, and what you want to be known for. The next step once you've realized these three areas is to take your purposeful goals into the content you're creating. You should be creating social media content that reflects your values and speaks to exactly what you want to be known for.
While this may sound basic, it can become more intricate as you ask yourself:
How am I fulfilling the values I've set for my business?
How can I better fulfill the brand promise of [insert value] that my business is making?
What do people need to know in order to understand [insert value] better?
Purposeful Social Media Content Serves Three Goals
It lets people know what you stand for
Your brand should shout who you are and what you stand for from the rooftops. A picture says a thousand words and all of them should be in alignment or offering additional depth to the image you want to build. You should get to the point where people look at what you post or read your caption and say they know exactly who posted it.
This is a mixture of recognition and consistency. People know what to expect from you, down to the colors you use and the way you introduce yourself, so they begin to remember you. One of your largest goals with marketing is awareness (they know you exist!) followed by being top of mind (they remember you exist!) and lastly they are considering you as an option (they like you and you make sense!).
It uses imagery that creates emotion
Social media posts without an image don't do so well. It's why Facebook has allowed people to create post backgrounds when you have short text - people don't respond as much to regular updates without photos.
According to HubSpot:
Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images.
Live videos on Facebook have an engagement rate of 4.3% compared to 2.2% for non-live videos.
85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound.
While you're content may be great, you still need to entice people with imagery that lets them know what you're all about. It should create an emotional response. That doesn't mean people cry at every photo, but it does mean that they should build an emotional connection or respond with what you intend whether it's happiness, excitement, anger, etc.
It makes sharing easy
People should want to share what you have to say. The more valuable your content, the more likely it is that people will want to share it. When you're creating your content, keep the shareability in mind like:
Tag or watermark your photos so people can find your original content
Make what you have to say or tell valuable enough to share
What it means for the people sharing and what it does for their image (people like to share Harvard Business Review for this reason)
These are the three things that you should be striving for as you develop content. Likes are nice, comments are better, but shares are best.
Once you have your content structure and purpose in mind, it makes tailoring it to each platform that much easier. The pre-work you do to make sure posts, captions, and images align with your values creates a cohesive and consistent online message supported by everything your consumer can see.
Let's get real
I know this can sound difficult or even get you to the point of nit-picking. I am that person. I scan through stock images until one is perfect in color, feel, and purpose. It has to suit each social platform as well (I would never post the same image on Instagram as I do on LinkedIn because I'm serving my audiences in two different ways).
Look at the two images below. One was a "Yes!" for me and my business because it supported my values of fun, simplicity, and boldness. You want to take a guess which one?
(In case you’re wondering, I picked the first one. I never use yellow in my images and loved the simplicity of the image on the right.)
I did the same thing for one of my recent clients. She wanted to be seen as organized, professional, and approachable but with a more down-to-earth vibe (no marble flatlays in anything of hers!) I showed her all the stock images I pulled, before explaining why I chose the first one. The first one had the right colors, sent the right message of organization, and filled in the site with added value.
How are you creating purposeful content?