When creating content, you need to be laser-focused being relevant and creating value for your target demographic.
Despite this being a bit of a no-brainer, I frequently find that there is a tendency for some businesses and brands to gravitate toward creating content that is relevant to them, and not necessarily their audience.
This is actually understandable.
Chances are that you’re in the business you’re in because you have a deep-rooted passion for it, because you’re good at what you do, and because you’re incredibly knowledgeable in your area of expertise.
So why not write about it, photograph it, film it, make infographics about it, pin it, tweet it, podcast it, and get that knowledge and passion out in any way possible?
Well, the problem is that as fascinating as every detail of your business is to you, it might not be of any interest or value to your consumers.
I’ll use my own circumstances as an example to illustrate this further.
The ideal target for my content includes business decision makers, entrepreneurs, brand managers, marketers, or anyone holding a similar position.
If I created a blog post about how to juggle the management and content creation for multiple social media communities, each for a different brand, it might be interesting content and it is certainly relevant to me, but for the average business owner, marketer, or brand manager – the intended target of my content – it is completely irrelevant. The people this content would likely appeal to include those employed at social media marketing agencies, advertising agencies, community managers, and the like.
I would completely be missing my mark.
If you find yourself making decisions about what content to publish based on how interesting it will be for you, how proud you are of one of your accomplishments, how it will make you look good, or anything that is very you-oriented, then you’re not putting your audience first. Relevance and value to your audience needs to be the single guiding factor when creating your content, even if it means holding something back that you think is amazing.
Have you ever published content that in retrospect hasn’t been relevant to your consumers?
How do you ensure your content will be relevant and of interest to your audience?
As always, it would be great to chat with you more about this in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s pretty ridiculous that I’m writing a blog post about not writing blog posts.
Anyway, indulge me, and maybe you’ll find something of value here.
Typically I like to write for this blog as my publication dates approach every Monday and Thursday. It allows me to write about the things that I find to be relevant in the moment, and pass along as much of that information to you.
As I’m sure you can relate – particularly if you work for, or own, a small business or start-up – life and work can get a little crazy at times. Work piles up, due dates approach, new opportunities present themselves, and who knows what else.
Things get busy, time is at a premium, and something has got to give.
For me, today was one of those days. Just unbelievably busy, but busy with great things. Lots of work and lots of opportunity. So, I worked on those things because they are important and took priority over pumping the same amount of time and effort into my blog that I typically do. And that’s okay.
It’s easy to get hung up about executing a social media strategy and ensuring that you never miss the publication due dates you place upon yourself. While it really is a good idea to get in the habit of making social media a part of your regular routine, you shouldn’t let other business obligations slip as a result.
So, what does this mean for you?
Don’t worry about ensuring that your social media activity is executed with 100 percent precision. Producing killer content and having high-quality interactions on a regular basis are important, but if you miss one of your own publication due dates, don’t sweat it. People will value the experience they have with you on social media, and they’ll stick around. Most people probably won’t even notice.
Social media is only going to work for your business if your business is in amazing shape. So make sure it is. Don’t sacrifice your ability to handle more important business-related responsibilities for social media. If you’re spending all sorts of time on your social media marketing, or writing for your blog, but you’re not making things happen for your business, your priorities are probably out of whack and it’s time to re-think how you’re going to achieve your broader business goals.
Have you ever caught yourself prioritizing social media activity over things that are probably more important?
Let me know in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Image Credit: Veer
‘I want to shut down my Facebook page because I don’t want to deal with all of the negative comments that people have to say about my business’
Have you ever heard something like this?
Have you ever thought this?
If you’ve thought it, please, take a moment to hang your head in shame.
I’ve recently had discussions with several friends and colleagues who have shared stories of their clients wanting to remove their business from social media because they don’t want to have to address negative comments, the headache that trolls can cause, criticism from their loyal consumers, or simply because they don’t have time to address these concerns.
The very thought of wanting to ‘remove your business from social media’ is completely missing the point.
You can’t remove your business from social media.
All you can do is remove yourself from the discussions that are going to happen about your business, regardless of whether you’re participating or not.
Just because you ignore issues, doesn’t mean they’ll go away
Consumers don’t limit their online expressions of discontent, enthusiasm, or other opinions on businesses to only those with a Facebook Page, Twitter timeline, Pinterest board, YouTube channel or blog.
They have their own blogs, their own Facebook profiles, Twitter feeds, message boards and almost numerous other options for sharing their experiences, opinions, and perspectives on your business.
By not engaging in social media, you’re willingly being ignorant to these discussions and removing your ability to participate, make things right, and in some cases, defend yourself.
You can learn from negativity and apply it to improve your business
Consumers complain and spread negativity for a reason; they’re unhappy with your business. Sure, trolls exist, and some people are just inclined to complain, but most consumers have legitimate criticisms when they take their frustrations online.
Even when consumers are being negative, this is can be positive for your business. For every single person who expresses their criticism online, how many consumers are biting their tongue, vowing to themselves that they’ll take their business elsewhere in the future? It’s worthwhile to listen to what they have to say, and to view this as an opportunity to improve your business.
You can set the record straight
On occasion, there are consumers who express concerns on social media who are doing so unjustly. Maybe their negative experience was an anomaly, maybe they used your product improperly, maybe they didn’t set your service staff up for success. Whatever the issue, being able to receive these complaints also gives you opportunity to set the record straight and help those consumers out with their problems.
This will not only help the consumers you’re directly connecting with, but future consumers will be able to see these interactions and have greater faith that you are going to support your product or service, which can positively influence their purchase decisions. You might be able to avoid these issues or complaints in the future by creating record of your interactions, as a sort of FAQ or troubleshooting guide.
In my opinion, there is exactly one reason why engaging in social media could be viewed as a negative, and that one reason is that you no longer want to be in business, or no longer care about the future success of your business. This isn’t to say that the success of your business is entirely dependent on social media, but the perceived downsides are actually incredibly positive in most situations.
Have you ever been frustrated by complaints or negativity expressed on your social media properties? If so, how did you handle that situation?
If you have anything you’d like to add or discuss further, please feel free to do so in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Photo Credit: Veer
The value for any business or brand of attracting only the most relevant followers and fans on social media – be it Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, or any other platform – is easy to understand.
Your efforts on social media will be more strongly focused on potential consumers.
You can expect higher conversion rates.
Engagement and interaction with your content will be more meaningful.
Conversations started on your social media properties are more likely to be amplified.
… and on.
I’m sure you get it, it’s pretty 101.
So, what’s this article all about then? Why would you ever want to attract irrelevant fans and followers on your social media properties?
There are a few reasons actually:
Attract relevant fans by providing social validation
It takes guts to be the first, or amongst the first, to do anything. You might be judged. You might be unsure of your decisions. For prospective fans and followers who are relevant to your business, a sizable social media community – relevant or not – can act as social validation to join your community. Ultimately, attaining irrelevant fans and followers can serve to attract a greater number of relevant fans and followers.
Build a sense of momentum and gain increased organizational support
I don’t need to tell you that there are more important metrics to gauge success on social media than fan or follower acquisition. This said, there are still a huge number of people that think of social media as an alternative broadcasting platform, and therefore view the number of fans and followers on social media properties as being equivalent to potential media impressions.
This is the wrong way to think about social media marketing, but if they’re not easily educated, let them think this way (for now anyway).
If you can build the number of fans and followers on your social media properties, you are going to be more likely to convince these kinds of people that you are gaining traction through your social activity, and will therefore be more likely to gain increased organizational support. This could be manifested through increased financial investment, additional resource allocation, or greater access to potential sources of content. All of these things could positively impact your social media marketing efforts.
I acknowledge the number of counter arguments to this, but in some cases, the path of least resistance can allow you to do things you wouldn’t be permitted or supported to do otherwise.
Encourage those working on your social media properties
This is particularly relevant for small social media communities in their early stages of growth. For anyone who has registered a Twitter account, started a Facebook Page, written for a blog that isn’t well established, or undertaken any similar activity, you know it can be discouraging to think that you’re expending incredible effort for virtually nobody to be seeing the fruit of your labour.
Picking up a few fans or followers can be incredibly rewarding, relevant or not. Even as your communities grow, acquiring new fans can be encouraging and psychologically rewarding, and can help sustain high levels of effort and enthusiasm to keep working toward more important objectives and KPIs.
Despite the positives I’ve listed in this post, I would never encourage you to go out of your way to acquire irrelevant fans or followers for your business’ social media communities. Also, I would never try to convince you that the value of an irrelevant fan or follower is anywhere close to a highly relevant, targeted fan or follower.
Under certain circumstances, however, there are actually benefits to having your communities grow in whatever way possible. You should embrace every new fan or follower, and recognize that even though they might be relatively inconsequential to directly helping you achieve your objectives, they might help to positively influence others who will make a greater impact. They can lead to the acquisition of more relevant fans, they can help to build internal support, and they can encourage sustained effort toward greater objectives.
If you have anything you’d like to share or add to this topic of conversation, it would be great to chat more about this in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Photo Credit: Veer