In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at adding value to your social media. As always, if you’d rather listen, feel free to watch the video below.
Regardless of what Social media guru you subscribe to, you will most likely hear them talk about the need to bring value to your social media profile, whether it is your personal one, or your company/brand (depending on how you sell you product).
Most people, however, talk about the need to create value, and not what value actually looks like. I spent some time thinking about what types of posts and comments create value and found they fall into about four categories.
Let’s take a look at each one in detail
1. Education – This is probably the easiest strategy to start to create value. For most brands/companies, the foundation of what you are selling is that you know something your customer doesn’t. Whether it’s how to make a delicious burger quickly or how to build a skyscraper, you are providing some type of expertise. In your original content and comments, use this expertise. For example, in YouTube videos, many times the content provider doesn’t cover everything, they are just highlighting points because they realize people will only watch for a limited time. Adding a clarifying comment will provide value by helping other viewers.
2. Insight – Insight provides value by taking education to the next level, not only providing the actual piece of information, but also the context under which it happens. Stated another way, insight helps your client understand the why behind the education. Let’s take blogging for example (you are reading one after all). If you listen to most marketers, they will tell you that blogging is an effective digital marketing strategy. For some people, this will be enough for them to start a blog, but others will want to delve into why this is the case. In the blogging example, blogging is effective if it’s on your website because it will improve your SEO and also search engines typically value sites that change more frequently than those that are left stagnant. Now you have provided value because client has some background context (or insight) on the education you’ve provided.
3. Entertainment – Did you find the above gif entertaining (I hope you did?). If nothing else, entertainment typically provides value. Most people don’t come to social media (with maybe the exception of LinkedIn) to explicitly get work tasks completed. That doesn’t mean they can’t learn about your brand or follow your content, but simply that education or insight may not be the lens in which they are viewing their social media currently. In this case, the evocation of emotion is the value.
I also want to issue a word of caution on entertainment. Entertainment should still be in alignment with your brand. If you have a great following because you are so entertaining, at some point, you may find most of your followers are not your potential clients. Some may see this as an opportunity to pivot into something new, but if you are in a local business, it is more likely will end up wasting money retargeting customers that will never come to your business.
4. Inspiration – Finally, we have inspiration. Sometimes, the best way to provide value to others is to simply motivate them. Gary Vaynerchuk (pictured above), is one of the kings of this. He incorporates education in an education setting and this has become his personal brand at this point. Value through inspiration may take the form sharing your story so people can see how you got to where you are at, or something as simple as a comment saying you appreciate what the original poster is doing.
Finally, look for synergy when possible. In the paragraph above, I mention how Gary Vee combined education and inspiration. There is no reason your posts cannot provide all 4 of the categories listed above. That doesn’t mean you have to wait until you come up with a post that does (remember: you have to say something), but that can be your gold standard.
So ask yourself before you submit your next piece of content, “Does this provide value?”. If it doesn’t, add something from one of the 4 categories to make sure you’re creating great content for your peers and clients.
Hi Everyone – welcome to the RBM blog, where we focus on digital marketing strategy for small business owners.
Today we’re going to be talking about my core philosophy and tenets of positive organic social media. Although I do work in both paid and organic social media, this blog will primarily focus on organic social media growth.
If you’d prefer to give a listen to this content, feel free to click the link below
So what does it take to have a great social media account? To start social media has two key components. The social piece and the media piece. Most people have some decent ideas as to how to do the media piece. If not, there are tons of other guides out there to give you some basic ideas on how to create captivating video/audio and when to post for the best engagement.
What most companies fail to remember is that social media is more social than it is media, and there is little effort of the social piece.
Again, if there is one thing that I want you to remember, its that being social on social media is more important to organic growth than creating great media (perhaps with the exception of if your selling photography or videography services).
So what does it take to have great social content? I break that down into 5 rules or tenets for you to follow. This will ensure that each company has a unique social presence even if they are following the same guidelines.
Tenet 1 – Pretend that your audience is in the Room
All the tenets will be fairly simple and this one is no exception. The key to being social is pretending that your client is in front of you, even when they aren’t. For most small businesses, the goal of your social media platform is to create warm leads for in person conversion. Thus, they should like your social channels for the same reason they would like your company when they interact with it off-line. If your business and social channels communication styles are very different, this will create an in-congruent experience when they interact with you in person.
Tenet 2 – You have to say something
Surprisingly, this is where most small business owners get tied up. They know every inch of their business and how to talk about it in person, but they feel like when they write something on Facebook it is stupid and then delete. As a result, their brand is hindered because they don’t post enough content to stay top of mind.
Tenet 3 – Speak with your own voice (Authenticity)
In Tenet 1 we talked about pretending you are in the same room with your customer, Tenet 3 talks about why this is so important. When successful entrepreneurs talk about social media, they often use that analogy that it is like a magnifying glass. Stated another way, social media exposes who you really are. In many of my speeches, I often tell people if their small business is ONLY about the bottom dollar, to stay off social media, because it will be exposed there. Small businesses that have compassion and conscience are more likely to succeed on social media because it gives the authenticity necessary to create unique messaging and gives them something to say frequently.
Tenet 4 – Your clients are also content creators
If you have a marketing background, this is often your biggest hurdle. When you buy an ad on the back cover of a magazine, publishing that ad is a foreign experience to most people viewing it. With social media, it is exactly the opposite. And this is precisely why you can generate so much content with little editing. Consumers understand the plight of taking a picture and posting it to Instagram, only to realize there was a coffee cup in the background that makes the picture a little less perfect. They understand that the time spent on your typical IG post is minimal compared to a super bowl. It’s why all the best social posts look like they are natural, even if they are contrived.
Tenet 5 – Pick Platforms that suit your business
A lot of small business owners feel overwhelmed with all the different social platforms, but I like to keep this simple. Once you figure out why your clients like you, lean in to social platforms that help you expose these reasons. Drop the ones that don’t fit you. You don’t need to be everywhere at once.
Hopefully, these 5 tenets will push you in the right direction to start or revitalize your social game.
And remember, being social doesn’t just mean posting on your page. It’s posting on colleague and mutual competitors page, association pages, important hashtags, and responding to others who ask you questions.
Best of Luck