Before we get started with looking at new social media templates and frameworks for you to steal, you need to have an idea of what makes your posts unique to you. You can ‘steal’ a framework, but you need to know how to make it work for your business…
The whole idea of marketing is to increase how much your audience knows, likes and trusts you — and to do that you need to be authentic to who you are and what you want your business to be known for.
Take a minute to think about the people you follow. Can you tell who posted something just from the way it looks, the topics it addresses, or the language it uses? Of course you can! And you want your audience to be able to do that too.
What are the recurring themes you’d like to be known for?
In her blog post about emails that sell, Laura Belgray talks about having a Coat of Arms:
“What are you obsessed with, what would you pay money to do or eat all day? Pets, spouse, kids, the things you’d post about the most on social media – those are your personal trademarks. The ideas and things you’d go to battle for. Your coat of arms.”
For Laura, her topics are:
- Her husband Steven
- New York City (where she lives)
- Bravo reality shows
- Watermelon chunks
- A hand cupped to an ear
So, before you start creating social posts, take a few minutes to consider which topics you’d include, and which are off limits to you. There’s a fine line between being authentic and ‘ewww, too much information!’ and making those choices in advance will make it much easier to make decisions about what to post when emotions may be high or you feel like your out of other ideas.
But don’t shy away from ‘ugh, gross!’ if that’s part of your brand. As you’ll see from some of the examples later, you can absolutely include personal stuff – it’s the ‘how’ more than the ‘what’ that matters.
What’s the goal of your post?
Once you have your Coat of Arms themes and your never-to-be-shared-no-matter-what topics, it’s time to think about why you’re creating a post.
There are three main goals for social media posts:
- Call To Action (get people to do something)
Ideally, you want these three things to be equally represented on your feeds. You want shares to bring in NEW people, engagement to keep them coming back, and website visits to get them to go buy something once they’re hooked.
So now you know what your content will be about and why you’re creating it, let’s take a look at four top content creators and get some inspiration…
Creator 1 – Shona Vertue
Shona is a personal trainer, yoga teacher, ex-gymnast and psychology student. She’s known for her holistic approach to health and fitness.
Strategically off brand, but attention grabbing
View this post on Instagram
This post from Shona demonstrates a neat technique. It starts off with Shona declaring she’s going to be talking about something totally off brand – making her loyal fans do a complete double take – a ‘shock attention grab,’ if you like.
The really clever bit is how she draws people in, then asks for their engagement – but also makes sure she emphasizes safety and why she’s asking.
As a dog trainer you can do something similar with this framework! Consider using…
- Surprise and curiosity to grab attention.
- A quick flip to present your topic.
- CTA to promote engagement.
- A safety statement so people don’t feel judged and are comfortable to chime in.
3 things I wish I knew about X before I …
Another classic approach, Shona talks about three things she wished she’d known when she first got started seriously exercising.
As a dog trainer you have plenty of options for this one! For example:
- Three things I wish I knew about competing before my first time in the ring.
- Three things I wish I knew about teaching ‘settle’ before I got a high drive dog.
- Three things I wish I knew about puppies before I got my first one.
When you’re using this framework be sure to keep things simple. You’re looking for three valuable tips, not a textbook in three long chapters.
Be sure to include a disclaimer in your post, especially if your post could come across as giving absolutes. Something like…
‘My advice is based on my personal experience and situation. It may not be appropriate in your unique circumstances and if it isn’t, feel free to use what you can and leave the rest.’
‘How to…’ videos done well
The final post from Shona is an excellent example of a ‘how to’ video. Here’s the framework:
- Attention grabbing (all caps!) qualifying question at the top of the caption (“Want perkier glutes?”)
- A direct call to action to provoke engagement (“drop your questions in the comments and save this video for your next…”)
- In the video, demonstrate how NOT to do ‘the thing’.
- Clearly call out the mistakes with freeze frames and text.
- Clearly show how to correct the errors using captions and clear body language.
- Use popular sounds as a soundtrack to the video as people can scroll ‘similar sounds’ which then introduces new video material to them.
- Add some sort of quick humor to provoke more comments.
There are a lot of options here for dog trainers!
- Want straighter fronts?
- Want better heeling?
- Want calmer walks?
- Want more attention from your dog?
Creator 2 – Miranda Goes Outside
Miranda is known for her down-to-earth approach to all things hiking, camping and outdoors-ie. She also covers topics that others fear to broach…pooping in the woods, for example!
What kind of X are you?
Our first example post poses a question but goes way deeper than surface level. With an engaging video short (that happens to be reusable) and a direct question “What type of camp pooper are YOU?”, she grabs attention and provokes engagement. The fact she explains her own ‘poop routine’ makes her relatable and authentic.
In addition, she also tags another business – which increases the likelihood of them sharing the post, and adds hashtags at the end.
As a dog trainer, this could be an easy framework to use. How about:
- What kind of leash collector are you? (Everyone collects leashes, right?)
- What kind of dog walker are you? Up bright and early to hit the trails? Slinking out after dark to avoid the he-just-wants-to-say-hi! brigade? Casual stroll to the coffee shop to pick up a latte and puppuccino?
- What kind of training planner are you? Plans? What plans? Extensive plans involving whiteboards, sticky notes, apps and note taking? Vague plans that give a hint of your training goals but leave lots of creative room for achieving them?
Tell your audience what type of ‘X’ you are, and round it off with a question ‘Got questions about…? Let’s hear them below!’ and you have an entertaining and engaging post.
Trend: Get ready with me…with a twist!
If you’ve spent more than a few minutes on social media you’re bound to have seen those posts about how the poster gets ready to do…whatever. Usually this involves hair, makeup, clothes or some other behind the scenes routine. In Miranda’s version, she includes some educational tips about why she’s doing what she’s doing – and a bit of humor to keep it fun.
And finally, she rounds it off with a question that’s not specific to her field (“Anyone else have to do this for work? Fully separate one aspect of a project from another aspect of the same project?”) which allows people to engage further and answer the question. You don’t have to be a content creator to join the fun!
To try out this trend for yourself, think of something you need to prepare before doing something else. Add some educational tips about what and why you do those things, and finish with a non-specific question to promote engagement from people who aren’t necessarily dog trainers.
Ideas you can try:
Get ready to train with me:
- prepping treats
- setting out training props
- warm up routine for safety or attention
- prepping scent hides
What’s your favorite… product review
This is a great way to get more bang for your content buck. If you do long form product reviews, why not take a snippet, and repurpose it for social media? In this Instagram post Miranda is reviewing hiking underwear. The material is taken from a longer YouTube video that gives greater detail and covers additional styles, but here she briefly goes over her top five undies.
She tags the brands she mentions – which means they’ll probably share her post – and asks her viewers to comment on their favorite hiking undies, promoting engagement. People seeing this post are also likely to go check out her YouTube video to get the full rundown.
Dog trainers use plenty of dog related products so this would be a piece of cake to replicate:
- Favorite training treats (palatability, size, ease of use, etc.)
- Favorite harnesses (fit, durability, cost, etc.)
- Favorite dog coats (fit, suitability, weatherproofing, etc.)
- Favorite ways to teach…X (ease, effectiveness, fun factor, etc.)
Include a short video or slideshow of the items and include a caveat: ‘These are my favorites, they work for me but don’t feel you have to change if what you’re using/doing is working for you!’
This post is getting out of control, so we’ll stop here for now. Part two will look at more great steal-able post ideas to get you inspired and creative with your social media. Keep your eyes peeled for it here!