Social Media Content: 5 Traits That Make Content Interesting (No Matter The Industry)

June 5, 2014By
Mel Gibson

What does Mel Gibson have to do with interesting content? It’s not what you think.

You’ve read blog posts that tell you to share “interesting content” on social media.

If you could see me at my laptop right now you’d see that I’d have my hand raised.

I know I’m guilty of writing the “interesting content” advice on the this blog. A quick search of the blog brings up more than just one or two posts on the GBW Blog with the term.

Now if you could look through my computer you’d see me hanging my head in shame.

I realize that I’m not helping anyone by telling them to create interesting content. So today I’m going to look at what makes social media content interesting. Hopefully this time it will be more actionable so you can create social media updates, blog posts and other content that will get you engagement, followers and ultimately more sales.

Here are the traits that interesting content has; an update or post might not need all, but it usually needs at least one or two to get big engagement.

1. Covers A Topic Your Target Readers Care About (SEO Implications)

You can write an amazing blog post or social media update that is clever, useful and all kinds of things, but if your target customer doesn’t care about the topic then the content is not really interesting. And it probably won’t get any engagement.

Successful content strategies start with an understanding of two things:

1. The goals of your business

2. Your target customer

You have to understand exactly who your customer is and you have to work to keep refining your understanding as times goes by. The more you know about your customers the better you’ll be able to understand what they care about.

This also has SEO implications especially with blog posts. If you continually write about the topics your customer cars about you’re more likely to get organic search traffic compared to content you write that they don’t care about and don’t search for online.

2. Has Something Actionable

Actionable content is something people tend to gravitate towards. They like being challenged to do something or better put, they like to feel like they can take action after reading or seeing something. It makes them feel like they’re getting value.

It can be interesting to tell your customer about an important industry stat. You can take it a step further by telling them the stat and then telling them what that stats means for them and what they should do next.

People are curious about what they should do and how they should do it. But we’re all busy and we don’t have the time or energy to figure everything out on our own. We need others to help us figure those things out.

3. Touches On Multiple Senses

Text is great, but great content seems to touch on multiple senses. You can create interesting content with a blog post, but adding images or even video can help.

Different media seems to work really well for getting engagement. By sharing photos, graphics or even audio and video on social media makes your content stand out. You’re touching on more than just one of the senses and that seems to stimulate people, which is a key to engagement.

4. Shows Emotion And Personality

This can be really hard for some people and for some brands. I know I’ve struggled with it before. But people want to learn who you are. They want to know the human behind the brand because they’re ultimately buying something from humans.

This is the reason why we follow certain people on social media. We might find them funny or ridiculous. We might find them incredibly smart, but with a good way of making content understandable.

There is no “right” personality to have when using social media. It comes down to showing your emotion instead of trying to hide it. You don’t want to fly off the handle all the time, but it’s good to show emotions like happiness, frustration, anger and all the other emotions you can feel.

People respond to emotion and that’s engagement, which is key to social media success.

5. Mel Gibson’s 3 E’s: Entertain, Educate And Elevate

Mel Gibson has shown that he’s a little off when it comes to our understanding of normal, but I feel that’s what made him so appealing and well-liked for decades. He’s a talented actor and storyteller and I remember reading an interview he gave where he talked about his approach to the content he creates (movies).

It’s like being a chef. If you’re making a cake, you don’t just make the cake and have it look nice and have nobody tastes it. But that doesn’t take away from your ability to execute what you do as well as you can and to have it be something for many. So that it’s like, say Apocalypto when it came out. I think it’s a good film. It doesn’t have a lot of dialogue; it’s mostly just like watching stuff happen in a language you never heard before. It didn’t do surprisingly well at the box office, no, but it has this life where people see it and they go “Whoa,” and the feedback is really amazing, so you know that you’ve hit. And that’s enough. That’s enough. And the end of the day, it’s what did they think of that? Did they get something from it? Were they entertained? Were they educated? Were they elevated? Were they all three? You know, which is really good? Entertain, educate, elevate. I think that’s what Jodie did [in The Beaver]. If you can get all three of those, you’ve got the Trifecta going.

That’s great for any content you create. Ask those questions that Mel asked:

  1. Were they entertained?
  2. Were they educated?
  3. Were they elevated?

Elevated means that people came away from the content feeling good that they took the time to read it, watch it or whatever. They feel like their life is better than it was before they engaged with the content.

It’s obviously not easy to create content that has all three elements otherwise every movie and every tweet would be amazing.

But each time you create something new, try to ask these questions and your content will improve.

Conclusion

Your content doesn’t need to have every one of these traits to be success. There are no set word counts or formats that content needs to be to be successful. But it seems that interesting content at least touches on one or two of the items mentioned above. Use them as your guide when creating content and you’ll find that your social media efforts will improve.