Mastering Social Media Content
When it comes to using social media for marketing purposes, most of us ultimately want to sell through it. This makes it tempting to post lots about our products or services, or to try something bold to promote our brand. But the truth is social media only really works when you have purposeful and meaningful conversations. Whether it’s to entertain, educate, debate or transact, it has to feel like you’re a part of your customers’ lives and they must want you to be there.
In social media, the best way to interact is to listen. That means don’t be a loud voice that tries to dominate. Instead, take the time to see what other people are discussing. Comment and engage with them, and share your own content with the true understanding of your audience that only listening will give you.
When you have a conversation with a person face to face, you must listen to them in return. Otherwise you’re just lecturing them or talking at them. It’s the same with social media. Open it up so you’re inviting your audience to participate in some way. And when they react, react in return. Think about what you’d do face to face.
Furthermore, comment on and join in with other conversations already taking place. You don’t even have to comment on a particular post. You could comment on what other people have commented on. It’s about taking part, listening and adding in useful, interesting or entertaining content. It’s about being a valuable part of the dialogue. No one likes that brash, loud person who never listens and demands the full attention of everyone. Broadcasting messages on social media all the time, every day is just that. People switch off, just as they do in real life interactions. We much prefer those who take an interest in us and who give us some sort of value. It’s about understanding your audience as people and interacting with them accordingly.
Whatever you do, you must make sure your content always represents your brand. What does your brand stand for? What is it you want to say? How are you supporting your customers? What do they need to know and why should they care?
Think carefully about what content you want to put out there. I’d urge you to put together a social media content plan so that your content is well thought through and tells a story that makes sense to your audience. Posting for the sake of posting will not only render few results, but it will make you look unprofessional. Social media marketing is about communicating with your customers. It needs to be as good as it can possibly be, and it needs to properly represent you. That means make sure it is in your brand voice, has the right tone, look and feel, has relevant call to actions where necessary and responds to customer needs wherever it can.
In marketing, you always need to know your audience. You need to know them inside and out. Who are they and what are they interested in? Where do they spend their time? What social media platforms do they use? What makes them tick? What habits do they have? The more you can find out about them, the better you’ll be able to converse with them. Think about chats you have with people in real life and relate the same principles to your social media.
If you want to get their attention then you need to talk about exactly what interests them. At the time of day they’ll be most likely to look. In the right tone of voice that will resonate. And you need to say just the right words to make them stop and engage. If you’re not fully up to speed with your customers and who they are, it’s a worthwhile task to take the time to find out more. You can never know too much about the people you want to work with.
The final thing to be aware of is how important technology and developments are when it comes to mastering social media. I see far too many people that focus on technology first, when it really isn’t that important. I have been trained by some hugely successful marketing people that have gained amazing results from social media activity. Not once have they ever said the word “algorithm” to me. And there’s a reason. It’s not what matters. The only thing that matters is your audience and your brand.
Know your brand, know your audience and connect the dots. That is the only way to truly gain success with social media marketing.