Here are five very simple tips on demystifying your content strategy and making it work for you:
1) Know and simplify your message
It is 2014. We are all extremely busy. And we all crave quick, relevant and useful content that is easy to find and easy to digest.
Keeping your word counts down, your content clear, and your messages on point will help you gain momentum and loyalty. It is a harder road than finding sensational or viral content and sharing it at the right time, but please trust me when I say, it is worth it!
Know who you (your brand/company/message) are, and be passionate and clear about sharing that message and good things will happen.
2) Know your audience. Who they are and who you want them to be.
Regularly interacting with your audience, you’ll come to know the kind of people that are generally attracted to your brand and your message and be able to offer content that is conducive to their needs and interests. Over time, this builds a strong and positive psychological bond between your brand and your customer base, and what happens from there is absolute magic! You get a following of helpful human beings who share and amplify your message BECAUSE THEY WANT TO and IT MAKES THEM FEEL GOOD and that is when you get to see a real evolution and positive change for your cause, product, activity or brand.
Also, sincere and genuine appreciation does not hurt. If you get a compliment, say thanks. If you get great feedback, respond. Take the time to do this, it strengthens you, makes the person receiving the positive response feel appreciated and therefore more likely to do it again, and good things happen and continue to happen from there.
As with any relationship, your relationship with your online audience requires maintenance, so don’t be afraid to maintain! And when it all gets too much and you can’t stay on top of it or respond to each person individually, either employ help to keep up with it online, or make more general comments showing gratitude.
3) Know your brand – evaluate and make changes and evolve thoughtfully, never as a hair trigger response
Know who you are and be confident in sharing useful, relevant and evocative news about it.
Your passion, knowledge and confidence will shine through in the information you share.
Conversely, if you waffle, go off topic, rant, spam, over-post, under-post, or make drastic and regular changes to your messages or your brand direction, people are going to react badly and give up and find somewhere else to spend their screen time.
You simply have to invest a bit of time and capital into good listening/watching metrics and tools. There are literally dozens of apps and software packages for this.
I rely a lot on Klout and Kred and the built in FB metrics as these are all free.
You’ll want to take the time to research and invest in a robust social media monitoring suite that works for you.
Stay relevant and authentic (people respond to authenticity, and will pick it up and disengage if you’re insincere or, even worse, deceptive.)
Don’t be afraid to change and evolve, however, do so slowly and thoughtfully and let objective data on your engagement help you to steer your ship in the direction it needs to go.
4) Know when and how much (monitor this as well)
It could be argued by some that it is a fine line between adding regular and engaging content and spamming people. I don’t agree.
Here’s a great short article that attempts to unravel the mystery of how often businesses should post on FB and how to help monitor this:
And this is a fabulous infographic from last year that might help unravel the mystery of when and where to post:
I have this printed and on the wall. Great info graphic that I refer to regularly.
5) Don’t get overwhelmed and be prepared to deal with the pitfalls of an online identity. AND HAVE SOME FUN!!!
And last, but certainly not least, enjoy sharing and engaging online.
If it is a chore you are not going to do it.
Here’s the thing:
If you are true to the first four suggestions we’ve discussed here, you’re already winning!
You know your brand and your message. You’re confident and passionate about what you are trying to say and why.
This will all be visible to your audience, and searching for, sharing and creating content will be so much easier when you’ve nailed this down. Keeping your message simple and relevant might be your biggest challenge if you are particularly passionate. So make sure you have a good and brutal editor to help you with this.
As with anything, there is a dark side you need to be aware of and prepared for with social media and your online presence.
Keeping your content relevant and on topic, as well as having some guidelines for audience and participants on your social media will help protect you from some of the pitfalls.
My business partner sometimes struggles with terrible trolling and bullying on her fantastic and uplifting community pages. (I know, what kind of bored jerks turn on someone who is out there doing good in the community right!)
She has to have rules and guidelines for posting above and beyond the basic terms and conditions on the tools she is using.
Then, when someone steps out of line and attacks her or someone else, logic, reason and terms and conditions protect her and enable her to remove bullies or overly aggressive and negative individuals from the group.
Try not to take this stuff to personally. Nip it in the bud and stick to the facts when managing these problems. DO NOT RETALIATE! That is what this nasty little trolls want.
Well, it has been a pleasure sharing this with you all today.
I’ve just hit my 1000 word self imposed limit for these quickfire communications blogs so will leave it there.
Have a great week.