When you work in the world of social media, you need to understand the field you’re playing on. The best ways to reach out to your audience may seem obvious, but you have to stop and ask yourself—am I doing this right? A good social media content strategy needs to be carefully planned to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your marketing, but with so much going on, keeping up on the latest trends can be a little tricky.
Luckily, we’ve got the answers you’re looking for. Melinda Whittstock—founder and CEO of Verifeed—is a social media expert, and she gives us the answers we need to know when it comes to social media content strategy. How do we engage with our audience? How do we make sure we’re being authentic with the content we’re generating? And how can we ensure that we’re getting the most bang for our buck? Look no further—we’ve got what you need!
Social Media Content Strategy and The CLICK Technique
Before we get into the details of social media content strategy, we need to talk about The CLICK Technique! A method I invented, The CLICK Technique is a five step process that I encourage people to follow when starting their own business. Each letter of the word “CLICK” represents a different step to take, and when combined? They’re sure to bring success! And, the best part? It’s free! You’re in very good hands, trust me.
Now, when it comes to social media content strategy, which letter of The CLICK Technique are we focusing on? The first “C”, standing for curiosity. When it comes to social media marketing, the first step you need to take in ensuring that what you’re producing is making people interested in your business. You want to pique the audience’s curiosity in order to them to click on your page, thus beginning your traffic flow.
Authentic social media is no different than anything else—in order to make people interested, you need to make sure you’re producing content that resonates with people. And, not only that, but the right people, too. Finding your audience and targeting them is the first step, and making sure your content is as real as it can be is the best way to guarantee success.
Social Media Content Strategy and Authenticity
So, how do we make sure our work is authentic? Melinda has a lot to say about that specific topic, and the topic of social media content strategy in general. In her words, people used to use social media as a way to just blast messages into the abyss. It was a scattershot, and a poor way to find the right audience for your business. On top of that, people often see randomized messaging as spam, and distrust can instantly kill a potential business partnership.
Instead, we should be using technology to understand what people are sharing in their social conversations to see whether or not they’re likely to be interested in the products and/or services you’re offering. After all, they’re the ones that decide whether you sink or swim. But, with the internet being as vast as it is, how do we make sure we’re finding the right people?
Step 1: Find Your Target Audience
The first step in social media content strategy revolves around finding the right audience to target your content to. It’s about finding customers who you love, and in turn who love you and the business, you do. The people that are enthusiastic about the work you do are people you can turn into influencers, and the best influencers, according to Melinda, are “normal everyday people”. Find people you can understand based on how they interact with their friends on social media! You’d be surprised at just how powerful some people can be on the internet, and if you’re lucky, you’ll find an overlap in terms of “everyday influencers” and your “everyday customers”.
With a good social media content strategy, it’s also important to analyze conversations people are having on social media. By “authentically engaging”, we mean the basics—talking like a “person” instead of hiding behind a corporate brand facade, taking the time to care about them, and asking them questions in an engaging way. Putting customers first and thinking of ways to be helpful towards them as opposed to a more selfish outlook will guarantee you success—we’re sure of it!
Step 2: Get To Know Your Audience
It seems almost too obvious to state in regards to social media content strategy, but you’d be surprised at how many people often miss the most important thing about being a business! Did you know that 92% of consumers are more likely to trust a regular person when it comes to deciding what to purchase on social media? It’s true! People nowadays are trained to expect a personalized connection between them and businesses, and when that connection gets a little muddy, things don’t always turn out so well.
So, what do we do? Easy! We take the time to listen to our audience. By listening, you’re not only improving the relationship between seller and consumer, but you’re also guaranteeing that your audience is more likely to listen to you, too. That way, you’re not wasting your time (and money!) on people who will never buy from you. In fact, you can create a message that’s actually going to resonate with them, and from there you can foster the kind of relationship that turns them into happy customers—and, potentially, amazing influencers!
Know who your customer is. Listen to them, try to understand them as people, follow social conversations where customers are, and figure out who your existing customers are on social media. Watch and listen to them! There’s a lot of clues, there, in terms of what messages are going to resonate or not. Too many companies concentrate on e-mail lists as opposed to getting to know their user base, and social media is often ignored. If you ask us, it just makes sense to know who your people are on social media.
With a good social media content strategy, just remember: act like a human being! Ask questions, get to know them, and act like you would when you’re making a friend in real life. When you make people feel really special on social media, the added benefit is that they share how you’re treating them with all their friends. And that’s how you build brands faster and more strategically than others.
Step 3: Get The Right Message to The Right People
An important step in social media content strategy revolves around the information you’re putting out, and making sure that message is reaching your targeted audience. For example, let’s say you sell vitamin supplements. In the beginning, you’ll want to use social media to look at conversations that revolve around what you’re doing! Join Facebook groups, check out Twitter hashtags—get inside the mind of the people you’re trying to sell to.
Importantly, the message will not be the same for everyone. You wouldn’t send the same message to a 50 year old man that you would a 20 year old woman, would you? Keeping it authentic and genuine from person to person is a way to guarantee that they’ll trust you, and cultivating those relationships is important for your business! Try to find connections and common ground, and honestly? Just remember that you’re doing the same things that people do in real life to network and make friends. The only difference is your computer screen!
It usually takes about 7 to 12 steps to get to a point with customers where you can make a call to action to do business, and using these techniques of social media content strategy, you’re climbing up the ladder faster and faster! For example, your first call to action might be a simple “thank you” to the customer for a follow or for sharing your post. From there, you can ask them questions pertaining to what they’re talking about, and—eventually—you can engage with them for business.
When it comes to targeting, Melinda encourages people to have 10 meaningful interactions with people. Just 10. That way, the number of people you’re engaging to be influencers is smarter and much more manageable than most. Just pick 10, see how car and wide their social media posts go in regards to their activity, their personality, and how much they’re trusted by other people. When it comes to “normal everyday people”, the difference is quite clear in the results you’d get versus a big brand or cooperation.
In the end, Melinda really chalks up her success on her ability to work smart. No one has time to be on social media 24/7—we’ve got lives to live, things to do, and it’d be impossible to stay glued to the screen at all times. Additionally, some people can’t make the conversion of talking in real life to using the internet for the same conversation as quickly—things can get awkward, and a hint of too much professionalism can dissuade a customer from wanting to do business. Trust us—when it comes to social media content strategy, keep it genuine, and keep it authentic. We can promise you that you’ll reap the benefits!