In a brief article at the Huffington Post, Kimberly E. Stone recently outlined three mistakes that companies frequently make in trying to develop their voice and presence on social media. Looking it over, I think her points are accurate but can actually be boiled down into one overarching mistake: privileging quantity over quality.
This is sort of implied by the reference to “meaningful relationships” in the title for Stone’s article. It’s easy to be tempted to try to use social media to make as many superficial points of contact as possible, in the shortest period of time. But this is quite different from creating meaningful relationships that result in continuous engagement and brand loyalty. Naturally, the latter is much more effective. You would agree that there is a difference between shouting from the rooftops like a crazy person and pushing out insightful and well-thought messages to garner respect from the community.
Interestingly, the quantity-over-quality error is also behind a lot of mistakes in search engine optimization. As Pink Shark Marketing is a full service marketing agency, we see a lot of instances of these mistakes in both fields. We understand that any successful online marketing strategy must focus on producing a steady, even if not rapid flow of carefully constructed, relevant content.
Here are 5 ways to Create Awesome Content:
This is extremely easy to do! There are now ways of finding out what is trending on each social network. It will even sort out local events if you want to weigh in on them. The strategy that we use is to share your voice from the perspective of your company. What does that sound like? Will you use slang in your copy? Or, are you going to keep it professional? There are ways of employing both but some of the greatest content has come from companies who take off their corporate hat and act as if they are just another face in the crowd. We personally love Taco Bell’s Twitter Account.
This sounds like a no-brainer but sometimes we confuse our “audience” with our “peers”. Of course, we love to share content about what is going on in the industry but by far the best content is the simple stuff that engages with people like we are a human being. Why not ask your audience what they are thankful for? Or, why not share the excitement of the latest NASA discovery? Who cares if it has nothing to do with your product or service? Do you find it interesting? Will it necessarily hurt you? Now, this isn’t to say that you should clog up your timeline with cat gifs and bacon recipes (even though both are awesome). There has to be balance. At least until you get to the big leagues.
Another way of adding balance to your content by inserting questions into the copy. Nobody wants to talk to someone who doesn’t value other’s opinions. Always keep this in mind when creating your copy. Just like everything else keep it simple, it could be a “what do you think?” on the end that drives engagement. Try to add your own spin on it to stick out from the crowd.
On the same tangent of added value and perceived value, we come to one of the biggest mistakes that people can make. If you want your content to shine and continue to provide value you need to provide people with a sense of accomplishment. It takes you about 5 minutes to read a blog post but in the eyes of the successful, time is our most precious commodity. There are plenty of blogs and websites and social media accounts designed to waste time. If you want to educate your audience make the action steps attainable. Start with the simplest actions or concepts and list them out. The final steps are to elaborate and broadcast!
Much of this blog post is attributed to providing value for the intended audience. But, what’s in it for you? Surely, you can’t continue to run a business without asking for the sale. When the time comes you need to be clear and concise. Do you want them to purchase the blouse that you just posted? Show them the exact page that they can purchase it from. The call to action extends beyond the words, it also plays in to where you direct that traffic. Using this specific example of a boutique it is important to draw traffic to the site and there are merits to sending your audience to a general page so that they can see more of what you have to offer. However, it is much more effective if you send your audience directly to the source. Most e-commerce platforms allow you to show related products on the page so utilize it.
Such content is obviously more appealing to individual consumers and more likely to generate the likes and shares that many companies are trying to elicit through contrived, inconsistent, rapid-fire social media posts. But quality content is also more appealing to search engine algorithms, and applying a quality-over-quantity philosophy to your online marketing will direct more people to your website at the same time that it keeps them engaging with your social media.
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