(5 min read)
Understanding what makes social media so effective and learning how to use this valuable tool is essential for today’s business owners. Social media allows you to have a one-on-one conversation with your customers through engaging content. Social media can be easy once you learn what attracts and delights customers and create valuable content and customer experiences. At Illini Marketing Consultants, we would like to share how you can create shareable, relevant, value-driven content and tell your story to existing and potential customers.
A problem of volume
With the average person getting hit with at least 2,000 marketing messages a day, they are becoming more creative in blocking them. We skip commercials on our DVRd shows, use adblocker browser extensions, caller ID, email spam filtering, and more. Traditional marketing such as radio, billboards, or even newspapers only enables a one-way conversation. Unfortunately, these one-way conversations only allow you to shout out your message, are expensive, and are less effective. Rather than shouting to the masses who are focused on blocking you out with traditional marketing techniques, focus on being visible to people already interested in your industry through social media.
A new way to communicate
Social media is a great new and cost-effective way to communicate with your customers through valuable content and experiences tailored to them. Every like, comment, and share improves your ability to qualify prospective customers and turn them into leads for your business by engaging with your audience. This new marketing channel lets people learn about you, go to your website for information, show interest in your products or services, and potentially make a purchase. Social media success is driven by the content you create.
Content Brings the Customer to You
To attract and delight your social media audience, you need to develop a strong content strategy. In the awareness stage of your customer’s buying journey, social media is excellent for introducing users to your brand and product. However, great content seems more like a story than anything. Creating shareable, relevant, value-driven content ensures your audience always pays attention to your story.
Elements of successful content
Excellent content has six characteristics that can cut through all the noise.
- First, it is native, using your chosen social media platforms’ unique language culture, sensibility, and style.
- Secondly, the content doesn’t interrupt. Since social media has become an entertainment, news, networking, design, or friends-and-family experience depending on the platform, your content must not interrupt the user’s experience. For example, your audience may not be in a buying mood today. They are far more interested in buying from a brand or company they believe understands and represents them. Creating content that doesn’t interrupt the user’s experience will put you in a favorable position. When your audience is ready to buy, they will remember your content and seek you out.
- Third, amazing content doesn’t make demands often. Too many brands and companies use social media to make a hard sell. Instead of constantly selling on your social media, create simple, memorable, inviting to look at, fun to read, and targeted content. Undemanding content answers four main questions for your audience. First, it solves a burning problem for your audience. Second, it provides quick-fixes to customers’ common issues. Third, it busts a Myth or Misconception about your industry. Fourth, it challenges the industry status quo. A good ratio to remember for undemanding content is 60% of posts about your industry, 30% of posts about your brand, 10% of posts making a sale.
- The fourth feature of great content needs to leverage pop culture. By staying on top of the latest celebrity gossip and understanding the issues and news that matter to your audience, you prove you know them. By seamlessly integrating your content into where they are consuming their other pop culture candy, you will get a better return on your social media efforts.
- The fifth feature of excellent social media content- it’s micro. Instead of thinking about your content as content, think of it as tiny, unique nuggets. These nuggets consist of information, humor, inspiration, or commentary that responds to today’s culture, current events, and conversations in real-time. By talking about what your audience talks about and how their preferred social media wants to be used, you can build brand equity and establish value with your customers.
- The sixth feature of fantastic social media is consistency and self-awareness. Content that consistently answers the question “Who are we?”makes your core story constant. Knowing your personality, brand identity, and the message is being self-aware. Sharable content makes a person feel, and when a person connects with feelings, they are likely to share the content. You own this content and the relationship with the person sharing the content. Traditional marketing and its one-way conversation are renting a relationship with your audience. Owning this relationship instead of renting it makes a social media connection more powerful and profitable.
Grow Your Business With Conversations
Unlocking the potential of your social media is a cost-effective way to grow your business, brand, and consumer awareness. Creating shareable, relevant, value-driven content to tell your story to your existing and potential customers requires a focused approach many companies fail to take. Instead of using your social media channels like traditional marketing channels such as radio, billboards, or other outbound channels to broadcast a one-way conversation, businesses should be using their platforms to create two-way conversations with their audience. Creating these conversations requires a company to follow the six features of successful social media content. It also requires the correct ratio for content and answering the four questions many customers want answered. Remember, every like, comment, and share improves your ability to qualify prospective customers and turn them into leads for your business
Ultimately, a company’s social media channels need to provide valuable content and experiences tailored to the customer and drive them to a company website. Using your social media channels in this way will allow you to get more out of your social media as a small business owner.