We are all very aware of the massive amount of content constantly being pumped onto the internet, so I won’t bore you with a mountain of stats. The bottom line is that we are drowning in content, and it is almost impossible to get your brand noticed and on people’s radar. So, when thinking about social media, how do you cut through the noise to get yourself heard – by the right people?
Here are a few do’s and do not’s to bear in mind when creating content for social:
Be relevant & topical
Help get yourself noticed and gain views and followers by posting reactively and topically – jumping on board with trending topics and conversations is a good way to inject yourself into the conversation, having an opinion will help you get you noticed. It is often said that social media starts out as theatre that then becomes relevant.
With so much content out there, saying something different and interesting will immediately put you ahead of 95% of brands that are saying absolutely nothing of interest and just pumping out dull and aimless content. Try to say something different and you’ll increase your chances of getting noticed.
All of this talk about being topical and interesting should be taken with a pinch of salt, however! A lot of brands don’t give consumers enough credit – the fact is that they will take notice, and offense, if you’re putting content out there that is at odds with, or just very tenuously connected to, your established brand values. So when I say be relevant and be topical, I don’t mean just start jumping on board with random topics or making outrageous statements – if you sell baby clothes, don’t make a contentious post about the latest political news.
Ultimately, you need to make sure your voice and your input remains authentic in everything you do, because when it seems forced or fake, consumers will become annoyed and alienated
Think of the bigger picture
It is important you have a social media strategy, a set of aims and goals that you constantly have in mind when creating any piece of content. When it comes to social you need to constantly be asking ‘why’? What will this piece of content achieve? Is it contributing to achieving x, y and z? If not, get rid of it.
Social media is a great way to tell a powerful story as it is an easily accessible, relevant platform that is part of the consumer’s every day life. While you can use topical conversations to be see, make sure everything you say fits in with your overall brand message and image. Cheap likes and short-term attention will not last – make sure content is tied to an overall goal.
Get caught up in the metrics
When managing social media channels it can be very tempting to get caught up in the very impressive-sounding, and somewhat misleading, metrics based around things like the number of ‘likes’ and followers you get. These stats can be misleading as they are by no means any indication of meaningful growth or an impact on your bottom line. The 100 new followers you have on Twitter could be entirely outside your field or market, and will do absolutely nothing to further our goals. It is very easy to get carried away by big numbers that ultimately don’t mean jack. Like most things, social should be about quality and not quantity. You can and will have casual conversations, but at the end of the day you should be focusing on the depth of engagement, not the range.
Building up an audience and a following takes time, as does establishing your brand’s voice and image when you’re new on the scene – so be patient! It typically takes 18 months to build an audience and gain credit, so don’t expect overnight results. Remember that social media is about having a conversation, you need to communicate well and gain the consumer’s trust – all of which takes time.
See it as a one-way channel
As I’ve said a few times, social is a conversation, a back and forth between brand and consumer, so don’t make the mistake of posting content and stopping there; engagement is key in establishing trust and gaining loyalty.
Social is also an extremely useful tool in in helping manage issues as it can give brands a heads up on potential problems or complaints – as its such an immediate communication tool, feedback is very quick and can help on spotting issues and avoiding crises from developing.
If you need any help with social media strategy and content production get in touch with DAC London.