Put away the old thinking about marketing and communications; clients and customers are no longer looking to be sold something – they are looking to be engaged. Consumers are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages a day and they will ignore an attempt to simply sell them something. The idea of putting content on the web just for the sake of getting it done is nonsense and sends a bad message to your audience. Creating effective content can be time consuming, but it’s vital to your company’s growth. Here are a few tips to help you make creative, effective content:
- Change your feelings toward social media. Start thinking of social media like any other media kit and not just as something you have to do. When you change your mentality, you will be more willing to explore social media, commit time to it, and discover its value.
- Set a goal and define how you will measure success. Figure out who your audience will be and your call to action. All of this planning will help you narrow your scope, select which sites would be of most value to you, and inspire content ideas.
- Keep your message consistent across all forms of media – consistent, but not identical. Personalize your message for each site. Remember each social media community has a different audience and uses different lingo. Also, if people connect with you on multiple sites they can see the time and commitment you are putting into social media. It may sound trivial, but people notice.
- Participate in the community. Remember social media is not a task – it is a means of building a relationship with your customers. Share fun or interesting pictures, stories or videos – even if they have nothing to do with your product or service. You will gain your audience’s trust by showing them you want to engage with them, not just sell them something.
- Post content that promotes a two-way conversation and encourages comments. Do not forget to write back. People will perceive your business as being one that listens and responds to its customers and a company that learns from its customers.
- WIIFM – what’s in it for me? This is what is going through your customers’ minds – what does this company offer me that its competitor does not? People are drawn to contests, exclusive offers, giveaways, and coupons.
- Tell a story – create value. Give your audience a peek at the personal side of your company. People love to feel like they belong and are a part of the company. Let them get to know the staff, give an office tour or share what is happening around the office.
- Use visuals. Pictures will catch your audience’s eyes as they scroll through all of their other updates.
Now, more than ever, the customer is in charge. If they don’t like your message, they can easily tune you out, so make sure all of your content is meant to engage and inspire your audience.