The type of social media content you post can make or break your success. Yet, far too often, too many businesses post content that only focuses on “buy my stuff”. No one likes feeling like they are being sold to—we’ve all felt that way at one time or another. Instead of interrupting your audiences to sell them something, focus on adding value to their day. Following the 4 E’s of social media content: Educate, Empower, Entertain and Engage can help you achieve success.

1. Educate:

Focus on providing valuable information to your clients that helps them understand what you offer, why they need you and what problem you are solving for them. One of the formulas I use with a lot of clients is, “They Ask, You Answer”. Chances are that if one customer asks you a question, someone else out there has that same question too. No matter how simple or obvious you think the question is, if it’s being asked your job is to answer it. To get started, take the top 10 most common questions customers ask you and create blog posts for each or make them into Twitter facts.

2. Empower:

Make your audience feel empowered. There are a couple of ways you can do this. One is to provide simple tips and tricks that help your audience. Best Buy’s “Geek Squad” does a fantastic job of this. They provide a series of videos that help their audience troubleshoot small computer issues, while assuring them that if they run into more technical difficulties the “Geek Squad” is always there.

The second way you can empower your audience is to highlight them on your page; get them to submit pictures, videos and guest post for you. Making them the centre of your content will empower them and help build further credibility.

3. Entertain:

We socialize on social media; to get away from our long busy day, and to forget about the worries of the world for a moment. Create content that helps your audience do that. A simple picture, infographic or video can take a dry and boring status update to the post of the week. Even if you are a professional organization, a lawyer, or an accountant, ejecting a bit of humour into your posts and content can draw people in. There is a place and time for seriousness, but make sure you don’t forget about the fun.

4. Engage:

Of all the 4 E’s, ENGAGE is the most important. When someone comments or shares your content it creates a greater level of trust compared to just clicking the “Like” button or casually exploring your blog. Create content that requires your audience to give you feedback, leave comments and express their opinions. The more that they engage with your content, the more they will begin to know, like and trust your company or brand until they become advocates for you. If you have not had much engagement in the past, the best way to attract interested followers is to invite them to participate. The key is to make it easy and not too difficult for them. Asking questions that require a simple yes or no response creates a comfortable way for your audience to start engaging.

A mix of content that Educates, Empowers, Entertains and Engages will get you on the right path to having a strong social presence. If you put in the effort and execute a plan, you will see how social media can impact your business.