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?
10 thoughts on “The Right Social Media Paired with the Right Content: The Brick and Mortar for Building Solid Relationships”
I think it can be very easy for a business to post about unrelated topics because there is usually so much content. For example, over the past year I have seen so many random holidays on social media it has blown my mind. From National Ice Cream Day to Talk Like a Pirate Day, I think there is a “day” for everything. As silly as they may seem, these posts are important to businesses because they give them a personality. They are very successful when a businesses can somehow connect them to what they do. Southwest Airlines usually does a pretty good job of this. For purely off-topic posts, I think the standard should be about once every ten posts. Posting too much unrelated content could dilute your brand or people could follow you for the wrong reason.
What do you think the standard should be for off-topic content?
Sean, I agree that a company can use off-topic content to establish their personality. That’s a good point you bring up. If the off-topic content doesn’t add value or personality to your brand it should be avoided or used with extreme caution. I’m not sure I could put a number on it though. If the occasion warrants it, then go ahead and use it.
Erin, “3. What ratio should be spent reading versus writing as you analyze, practice, and refine your content?” is such a great question and something I hadn’t really considered while doing the readings. In my opinion, reading to writing ratio should be somewhere around 75% reading to 25% writing. Having a thumb on what truly is current and fresh will in the end be much more valuable than just putting content out there for content’s sake. I talked in my blog about knowing what “bad” content looks like and I think this is a very important aspect of creating good content. The only way we are going to know what bad content looks like is to read as much content as possible. Thanks for your post!
Jake, I think that’s a good ratio. It might also depend where you are as far as experience. When you are first learning to blog, you might want to write as much as possible to get a feel for it. Either way, it still takes a lot of practice!
I think people should post things that aren’t always related to your own content since it makes you more interesting as a brand and makes you more likeable. No one would want to be friends with someone who only talks about one thing, right? As far as blogging, I like wordpress and I think it can be a great tool, I am just having a hard time figuring some things out, like widgets. As far as what ratio should be spent reading versus creating content, I will say that right now I am doing 90% reading and only about 10% creating my own content and I know that I have to make a drastic change when it comes to my percentage. I would say an ideal place to be would be at about 50% doing both. That’s just my opinion though.
Amanda, I also think WordPress is a good one. I think we learned an important lesson in class this week about WordPress though. If you want to have more control and the ability to really customize with plugins, you need to create your blog on WordPress.org rather than .com. I think a 50/50 ratio is good when you’re starting out like we are but I can see how 75 reading/25 writing would be more beneficial a little later on.
The best social media platform for a business depends on the nature of the business. For instance, a women’s retailer will benefit from multimedia based, female dominated sites such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr. Brands should use visuals such as images and video to engage potential customers. In contrast, an education based company will benefit from Facebook and Twitter to keep students and parents up to date with class assignments, new products, tutoring opportunities, new laws that affect the educational sector, etc.
Jason, good point about the use of multimedia applications. Businesses don’t fit into a standard mold. Each business has to find the right platform for their industry. Thank you!
Erin, I think when you’re building a brand, post as little entertainment posts as possible and only post relevant information. When you have an established audience you can take more liberties and trust that the audience will still be there. Even once you have an audience, 2 to 3 entertainment posts a week is sufficient enough to show your personality.
Steven, I love the fact that you mentioned having an established audience before posting content for entertainment. That’s a great point and something I will seriously think about when moving forward.