Thursday, 4 May 2017

Why You Need Quality Content for Social Media Success. 21 Tips!


Written by Robyn T. Braley

Businesses are feeling pressured to leap into the world of social media. Don't get me wrong, if your company is not active on social media, time is passing! 


The common question I hear from my clients is, "Where do we start?" There are so many platform choices, social media protocols and other requirements that many business owners decide not to do anything.  


In this series, I have narrowed down the process to a step-by-step journey.  I go back to the basics and provide basic knowledge that will help you make the leap. 


All platforms - FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogging - require quality content. In this post, I explain what content is and why it is the engine that drives social media. I will help you identify content that is relevant and will provide value to your customers. 


Social media is central to online communication and relationship building. 
  • Increase company awareness
  • Build tangible online communities
  • Promote company activities
  • Position your company within the community
  • Communicate with customers, suppliers and within circles of influence 
  • Attract new customers. 
Millennials live in a world driven by social media. However, more people of every age group are becoming social media users. In fact, there are seasoned users in every age group. 

Whoa Matilda! It's Not That Simple


Some make the assumption that picking any old social media platform to announce sales and promote company events will automatically lead to great riches. Unfortunately, it's not quite that simple. 

Social media provides an excellent way to achieve your goals, but it must follow established protocols. It takes discipline and focus to curate quality content and an editorial policy that will take you where you want to go. 

Why is content important?  Let's go back to Millennials who have grown up online. Their lives are fully integrated with social media. It is a way of life. I'm reminded of that every time one of my daughters texts the other during family dinners. I can't prove it, but I think they are texting about me!



When other users invite seasoned social media people to join their communities, the latter will make an instant judgement based on the quality and value of the 'inviters' content. In seconds they decide to accept or reject and invitation to connect, friend or follow. 

Every day I reject invitations based on a poorly written bio, a silly or no banner photo, and an inappropriate head shot. A positive first impression is that important. 
    

What is Content


Content is everything you see, read, hear or in any way experience online. It includes; 
  • Design
  • Text
  • Headings
  • Interactive forms
  • Chat forums
  • Punctuation
  • Spacing
  • Photos
  • Symbols
  • Graphs, charts
  • SoMed Bio
  • Videos
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Podcasts
  • Live streaming
  • Action buttons
  • More  


Content That Sells Without Selling

The number one rule for selling on social media is not to appear as if you are selling. It’s that simple. If all you talk about is your product or company, you will not grow your communities.
It only makes sense. Once you have bought the car, the house or the widget, you no longer need the product regardless of how low the latest low, low price is. A continuous bombardment of price point messages will cause you to unfollow, disconnect, or unfriend the source of the annoying content.
The challenge is to keep social conversations as close to your offers or descriptions of what your company does without sounding ubber “salesy.” It's about building relationships based on trust. 
That makes gathering content that is relevant and appeals to your target audience a challenge. You must choose topics that connect the dots between the information you post and what you want to sell.

Once you build trust through providing value, your communities will accept - and even welcome - a measured number of "sell" focused messages. 

Finding Your Voice

What is your social media voice? I'm glad you asked. Your online voice is defined by what you want to say and how you want to say it. For example, I explain my persona as a Brand Specialist, Writer and Speaker. 

My online voice is branding, leadership and lifestyle. Everything I broadcast connects with one or all of those areas.

To build an targeted audience, you must be consistent and predictable. As a business, the core of your messaging should be connected with what you do. 

Above all, business social media content must at all times be professional. Resist the temptation to make political, racist, sexist, profane or biased observations regardless of your personal views. Not only are such comments inappropriate, but you will offend potential customers.  

That doesn't mean content has to be all serious all the time. Let the light hearted side of your company brand shine through. Laugh a little, but do it tastefully. 

Finding your voice is a journey that never ends. It is constantly evolving. Following your true brand passion is the key to discovering your voice.

1.     What makes your company different?
2.     What makes your products unique?
3.     What problems does your company solve? Real? Percieved?
4.     What do your customers care about as professionals?
5.     What do your communities care about as people?
6.     What does your team care about as professionals and people?
7.     What information would help your employees, customers, COI to be better people?

What is a Content Curator 

How do you find or create relevant content that will attract your target audience? Who ya gonna' call? The content curator, of course!



Take pictures that tell stories

Content curation is the process of finding or creating relevant content, gathering and organizing it into an easy-to-manage system, and then sharing it in a consistent and meaningful way. 

The final step is to use analytics to measure the effectiveness of your efforts so you can adjust your strategies. Most platforms have a free analytics component. 

A Curator ...
  1. Is a real person (probably you), not an online trolling program (sorry!)
  2. Identifies and lazer-focuses on a target audience
  3. Works with a team to develop a strategy based on goals
  4. Finds or creates content that adds relevant perspective, insight or guidance
  5. Identifies and frames your online voice 
  6. Is discerning and able to separate good stuff from the bad (including personally created material)
  7. Understands the key to growth is long term commitment and consistency  

Content Builds Communities


In review, your Social Media platforms must take visitors through the relationship building model. Content that makes a positive first impression leads to engagement. 




Visitors want content that is transparent, authentic and will add value to a visitors online experience. In other words, it should answer the question, "Why should they care?"
  • Know
  • Like
  • Trust
  • Engage


Simplify the Process


I hope I haven't discouraged you by implying that the work required to do social media properly is onerous. As my daughter would say, let's back the bus up. These ideas will settle your nerves.
  • Find someone - employees, consultants - who will help you with the basics
  • Choose one platform and master that (more about that in later posts)
  • Write a short profile of your targeted audience 
  • Begin with what you know and the resources you have at your finger tips
  • Shape your online voice and frame your stories
  • Think bright, light, attractive, entertaining and engaging
  • When in doubt, JGI (just google it). There are great content development online with easy-to-follow written and video tutorials



What do you think? What tips do you have for content creation and curation? I want to hear from you. Please comment below.  






Robyn T. Braley is a brand specialist, writer, and speaker. He is also a media commentator and Rotarian. Robyn is the President of UniMark Creative which does website design, video production, media services (editorial and advertising), and graphic design. He speaks at business conferences and also blogs about branding. 

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Related Articles in the Bootstrapper Series

What You Need to Know Before Launching Your Business Social Media Program

Why Your Personal Brand Matters! What You Need to Know

Creating a New Logo? What You Need to Know so it Won't Suck? Tips! 

Business StartUp Funding Requires Knowledge, Ingenuity and Persistence. Tips and Ideas for Bootstrappers 

Whats in a Name? Plenty! Tips for Finding a Sticky Name for Your New Company 

10 Tips for Staying Motivated in Extremely Unmotivating Times 

Born to Sell; What Makes a Great Sales Professional

Thinking As If There is no Box; 10 Marketing Tips for Tough Times

10 Tips For Bootstrapping With Broken Laces

How to Grow Your Brand in Uncertain Times

Why Goal Setting Is Important for Small Businesses


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