The 4-Step Litmus Test for Your Social Media Content

The way your business uses social media says a lot about your brand, and if you’re making rookie mistakes, you risk losing credibility in the eyes of your audience.

If your business is actively using social media, you’re on the right track, but being active doesn’t mean you’ll be successful in using social media to market your business. You have to ensure your content is shareable, interesting, and valuable to your audience while balancing the art of promoting your business successfully.

Read on to learn about the most common rookie social media mistake–and how you can steer clear of it.


As a content strategist, one of the first things I notice about a brand’s social media presence is the content they’re sharing. I’ve developed an acronym, GROW, that helps me analyze content of all types–social media, blog posts, newsletters, images–to see how beneficial it is to a brand.

Good content:

Gives value

Relevant to your brand

Optimizes your visibility

Won’t go stale

Gives value

Your brand’s content needs to deliver some type of value to your audience. If it doesn’t, it’s getting ignored and damaging your credibility. Both are detrimental to your brand. Find a way to give your audience value through your content. Here are some ideas:

  • Create an informative, downloadable guide that your audience will find useful
  • Post content that doesn’t directly relate to your brand, but that is relevant to your audience
  • When possible, run promotions and offer discounts, exclusive access to site or product features, etc.

Relevant to your brand

Does your content have anything to do with your brand? If you’ve gotten into the habit of mindlessly curating posts under a broad topic like “marketing,” chances are, your audience is getting bored. Create and curate content that is relevant to your brand to make sure you don’t go outside your audience’s interests.

It’s important to note that content that is relevant to your brand does not mean content that is about your brand. This is the most common mistake I see businesses make on social media when they’re new to the game. Too much promotional content is a turn off and won’t result in conversions, no matter how many times you post. Don’t use social media exclusively to post about why your brand is great–rely on your service and product to do that.

Optimizes your visibility

How are you promoting your content? Is it reaching the right people? Is it reaching enough people? To ensure your social media content is helping optimize your brand’s visibility, closely follow your brand’s social media insights and analytics to keep track of what is working and what isn’t.

  • Blog PostIf you’ve got a high-performing post that is garnering a lot of attention, try paid promotion to let it reach more people on the social network of your choice.
  • Tag any businesses, thought leaders, or influencers who are mentioned in the post and encourage them to share your content on their social accounts as well.
  • In general, videos perform best on social media, followed by photos, and in last place, text. Avoid plain text status updates for the most part and use videos and images to grab your audience’s attention and keep them on your page.

Won’t go stale

We’ve talked before about ‘evergreen content’–content that stays fresh and relevant over time–and it’s one of the most important things to keep in mind when posting on social media. With the exception of news stories, your content should be reliable and relatively timeless.

A good way to ensure you’re writing evergreen content is to ask yourself, “Will my audience find this a helpful resource in 6 months? A year? 3 years?”

Your business needs good, meaty content to GROW. That means it needs to give your audience value, stay relevant to your brand, optimize your visibility, and stay fresh. What content tips have you picked up along the way? I’d love it if you shared some with us in the comments!


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