To Be or Not to Be – Social!

February 13th, 2017

Content is arguably one of the most valuable marketing tools for any company. When you produce relevant and shareable content, you engage readers, build trust for our brand, products, and services while informing and inspiring people to new ways of thinking.

Investing in content marketing creates an opportunity to directly and articulately connect with customers and show them why they should choose to work with you over your competitors.

Once you’ve created that content, you need to get it out into the world. That’s where social media comes into play.

Sure, your product or mission may be cool and trendy, innovative and progressive, but what do you have to say as a company or organization? Why should people “like” your Facebook page or follow you on Instagram and Twitter? What makes engaging with your online presence worth their time?

Why Great Social Content Matters

1. Establishing Target Markets Drives Profitability

A good social marketing team will work with you to pinpoint your target market. When it comes to content, it is important to understand the difference between, “who would be interested in this?” and “who do I want to be interested in this?”. When your desired market doesn’t match with the content you are creating, innovation is key.

With an ever-changing marketing landscape, companies must actively look for new ways to reach their demographic. Establishing a true target market, along with collecting data on what those potential clients are drawn to drives profitability and ensures your content is reaching the people who are most likely to use your service or product and creating a connection with them.

2. A Concise Message Is A Message Well Received

Imagine you enter an elevator with the CEO of a potential investor in your start-up business. This is your shot! You’ve got two minutes to explain why your product or business is valuable and worth their interest. What do you say?

This exercise is understandably difficult. It is not an easy task to rein in all of your many creative ideas into one neat package.  However, in the realm of social media, this practice is important. When creating a company biography for Facebook, or writing an “About Us” section on your website, your message needs to be clear and accurate. When these sections are too long, or too vague, people get bored and stop reading! This practice is especially important for use on social media sites like Twitter – where your post-able word count is limited.

Filling your Tweets and Facebook ads with either unimportant or data-intense information can make customers hesitant and less likely to engage. Articulating a healthy balance of informative and interesting content is no easy task, but it is key to your social media success.

3. When Your Clients Feel Important, They Return

Do your content ideas consider the perceptions of your customers? As an owner or manager it can become difficult to detach yourself, seeing your product or business from the outside looking in. It is important to seek a new set of eyes, playing devil’s advocate with any points of disconnect between your company’s mission and what is really being conveyed to potential customers.

It is also important to consider how you can become not only a product provider, but a “friend” to your users. People are more likely to use a product or consult with a company (and people) that makes them feel happy, valued, and secure.

A great way to do this through retweeting or replying to user questions and concerns on your social media pages. Instead of just stating dry information, ask them questions, add some personality to your messages, and show your appreciation for their business. Clients are more likely to engage and be returning customers if they feel important and recognized.

“People want to do business with you because you help them get what they want. They don’t do business with you to help you get what you want.”
– DON CROWTHER (@DON_CROWTHER)

4. Keywords Make A Difference.

Social content cannot rely on creative ideas alone. It is necessary to also compile search engine research data – identifying rich and attractive keywords that will set your business’ content above the rest.

For example, popular hashtags help to link your specific postings to all other posts made under that same hashtag umbrella. If someone is looking for #GreenSocks and you happen to be a company that specifically sells #GreenSocks, you can locate this customer and reach out to them.

Identifying these keywords is essential to your success as they help to increase your online presence, allow users to more effortlessly locate you through search engines like Google, and it helps your customers to see the true value you bring to their specific needs!

5. Advertising Is Changing. It’s Time To Adapt.

Every day we are bombarded by billboards, commercials, and print advertising messages. Due to this over-sell, these types of advertising methods have become less and less effective. This is because customers have become bitter and annoyed by the repetition, and have therefore found ways to avoid them (such as recording their favourite show and fast forwarding over the commercials or by using ad blockers). It is then necessary that companies work towards developing new and intriguing ways to reach customers without unsettling or bothering them, and instead interacting and connecting with them.

One of the ways companies can draw business, without a forward in-your-face sell, is through (you guessed it) – social content marketing! People are more likely to read and share a blog article that they find value in and believe others will as well.

For example: Instead of reading why she should buy shampoo from XYZ company, Sally is more interested to read about,  “The 7 Benefits of Shampoos that contain Coconut Oil” – something that XYZ company specifically includes in their product! Then, when XYZ company shares this blog article, customers read about the benefits of this same shampoo, without feeling like they’re reading a direct advertisement.

“Think like a publisher, not a marketer.”
David Meerman Scott (@dmscott)

6. Consistency & Tone Create A Lasting Effect

Setting the tone for your social media plan is critical. If your brand is funky and hipster, then the lingo you use in your online posts need to mesh with this pre-established foundation. However, if your company is of a more serious or traditional nature, don’t be timid about fostering new ideas that will change up those potentially “dry” stereotypes people may have about you. Yes, your website may be full of important data and statistics, but your social media accounts allow for you to communicate important things with a bit more flare and edge – that’s what they’re there for.

Let’s dive deeper. Static website content is not always great social media content because readers often look past it as “boring”. This is because website and social content often speak to different audiences and have different goals – information vs. engagement. Social media is built to encourage and sustain interaction (and get new leads!), so be mindful of how these helpful tools need to be approached in different ways.

What exactly makes social media content different, you ask? It’s tone is consistently creative, often fun, “digestible” (straightforward and not jargon-heavy), and can include an image, infographic, video, or other media component. This type of engaging and creative work takes time, but this is time very well spent. When people see this type of interesting content being produced regularly, they are more likely to engage with the posts and return to see more because they enjoy keeping up to date with a brand that speaks to them.

7. Monitoring Results Increases Customer Satisfaction.

So, here’s where things get tricky. More important than having people engage with your social media accounts, you need to drive referral traffic back to your website – the centre of your digital presence.

Through website analytics you will be able to track how many new people have found your website, as well as how long they have stayed on the page, reading more detailed content and navigating the site to additional pages. Effective social media convinces the engager that you are a company worthy of their time and money and helps to lead them to your website in order to learn more.

“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.”
– JEFF BEZOS

It is important to monitor your social media engagement results, both the good and the bad. When your company receives a great review on social media, this information can be shared and celebrated across your different sites. When your company receives a bad review, social media gives you a voice to be able to communicate with the unhappy customer and to try and repair the relationship. Opening the dialogue and ensuring that a customers care is of the utmost importance shows great initiative and ownership to other potential clients. This response also tells the client that their opinion matters and that issue will be rectified in some way.

Engaging content is the foundation of any social media engagement strategy. “This is all great knowledge”, you say. “But I don’t have time to write it and I don’t know where to start!”. That’s where we come in. We can help source, write, and curate your content for social media sharing. If you are in need of new content for your websites and social media platforms, contact us today.

“Content is fire, social media is gasoline”
– Ryan Kahn