With hundreds of social media platforms to choose from, it can be difficult to decide where to host your content so that it reaches the right audience. The visual of The Conversation Prism is an excellent tool to see the various channels, categories, and uses of social media. It can also act as “validation to show executives that social media isn’t a fad and is bigger than Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest.” You must consider where to find your audience and who your community will be. Dave Kerpen explains that utilizing your employees is often overlooked but valuable because “the collected social connections of your employees exceed the social connections of your company, and those employees are perfectly situated to create awareness”.
For many, blogging is the best place to begin the conversation. Through your blogs, you have the ability to create your best content and feed it through many other channels. The platforms included under the Blogs/Microblogs section in this infographic by Solis and JESS3 are Typepad, Squarespace, Movable Type, WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, and Medium. Picking the best platform to host your content does warrant your time and research but the most important area for your focus should be in the actual creation of content.
Writing ideal content takes foresight and planning. Pam Moore gives fifty examples of ways to “energize your community to become loyal brand advocates and customers.” The premise of her article is to show that everything you do should be about your community. Any information or inspiration you post should benefit them and not only make them want to be better but give them tools to do so. She uses keywords like “help”, “offer”, “give”, “share”, and “provide” in many of her examples illustrating how to achieve this. They all embody the idea of passing something of value from you to your community without asking anything from them in return. Be an asset to your community and ensure that you are successful in the delivery of your content. Mari Smith and Craig Silverman show a step-by-step guide to creating engaging content. You already have the tools to begin. Reflect on things that you are interested in, have knowledge about, and a passion to share with others. Your enthusiasm will shine when you write about something you already know and love. Furthermore, researching your areas of interest won’t seem like a chore when you seek new information. When considering how to make appealing content to brands and media companies, be mindful that people are visual and want to see appealing images and content. If they see something they like, they tend to want to explore further. Guy Kawasaki stresses the importance of having a great profile because it “acts as a social media resume where people can see who you engage and what you’re interested in.” Bring others into your circle to help you explore your content further and allow them to challenge you and hold you accountable.
Questions to consider:
1. How often is it acceptable to post about unrelated topics for entertainment purposes if you predominantly post to add value by writing about topics related to issues pertaining to your community?
2. What is the best entry-level blogging platform that can accommodate you as your needs grow?
3. What ratio should be spent reading versus writing as you analyze, practice, and refine your content?