The whole point of using a content strategy for social media is to make connections—to build an audience and develop trust. Social media is an important part of that strategy, one of the Three Pillars of Online Branding.
Social media is easy enough for anyone to use, but getting the nuances down is the challenging part. I see fellow small business owners and prospective clients getting stuck all the time. The most common mistake is in using a broadcast mentality.
I get it—you want to “get the word out.” Every entrepreneur has a bias towards the product. Every creative has a bias towards their art. If they could just see what you’ve produced, they would be convinced, right? The problem is that there’s too much content and too many products out there already.
So how do you start the relationship? In this week’s episode, I get into how to re-think your social strategy. Three simple actions to get the most out of social media:
- Invite. Building awareness is the first step towards establishing a presence. It’s OK to use social media as a broadcast mechanism. You have to be smart about this, though. Trying to capture the attention of people who are not interested in you or your ideas is off-putting. But you can be more efficient by using automation tools. Do this with caution—and of course, always write for people, not robots.
- Attract. The next step, beyond simple awareness, is to make your content visible and valuable. Social media can be a great networking tool. You’ve got to pick the right channel, though. The good news is that this is up to your audience, not you. If you’re new to this, try out multiple channels until you find the right one or two. Then seek to eliminate the others.
- Converse. Get into discussions. Look for places where there’s an exchange of ideas—where you can contribute to the conversation. Ask questions, with the genuine intention of learning something from the exchange. Offer to help, respectfully, with a perspective or angle that you have based on your experience. Your ideas will get better for it. It’s like free market research!
I know—this can feel like a lot of “extra” work. But building trust is your responsibility. No one else can do it for you, so you have to take it seriously. Invite conversation. Expect feedback. Be patient. Be persistent. And above all, it’s a social space—so don’t forget to have fun with it! I’ve gained so much from the conversations that I’ve had, especially on Twitter.
Next week’s episode will be about selecting the right social channel(s) for you and your business.