Thanks to the advent of social media, we’re ALL now publishers. If you have an Instagram account or a LinkedIn or Facebook page, you have the forum to say whatever you like to the world at large, whenever you want to.
This is a blessing – it’s a free and easy way to attract prospects.
It’s also a curse – as well as providing whatever client services you’ve always provided, you also now have all the responsibilities of a magazine editor.
Of course, some magazines are waaaaay better than others.
As a small business owner, it’s likely you’re acting as your own social media manager (hard work isn’t it?)
And, sadly, because of the huge volume of hot air churned out on social media, if you want to be successful on your social media platform (and by successful, we mean turning the time you’re investing into genuine prospects and ultimately revenue) you have to aim high. You have to create the MOST brilliant magazine. Yes, you have to create Vogue.
You’ll be familiar with business pages that continually BLAST out salesy content about their own businesses, trying to sell in every post, links to sales pages or event pages, with little thought to what their audience might actually be interested in watching or reading.
It’s tiresome and a huge turn-off.
And, just like those random people who decide to pitch up at Oxford Circus with a megaphone in an attempt to convert the evil sinners scurrying into the Tube, it’s a one-way dialogue. No one is listening. No one is converted.
As a business owner you’re also looking for conversions (turning members of your audience into interested prospects) but you’ll find it easier to achieve by making your feed as interesting and engaging as possible, than by standing in the streets shouting. Your aim is to be a hub of interesting information, sharing content that your dream client is particularly ‘into’.
The big brands such as John Lewis, Sipsmith or Hush Clothing do this by creating their own content ALL THE TIME. Whether in the form of blog posts, interesting photography, competitions, recipes, playlists, memes, educational videos, whatever, there tends to be something new and ‘on brand’ to engage with every day.
We get it. This is impossible for you. You don’t have a team of 20 content developers working on your marketing. So, what’s the alternative? You don’t want to be megaphone man, but you need stuff to fill your feed and start conversations with your audience.
Get ready for an obvious yet often overlooked tip right here…
Don’t just share your own stuff on your social media pages.
Now, this titbit may seems obvious. Prosaic even. But, actually, it’s gold dust.
Your job as the social media manager for your business is not to get out your megaphone. It’s called ‘social’ media for a reason. You’re there to build relationships. And, just like a party bore, you won’t do that by talking about yourself all the time.
You don’t have time to create your own content every day, so you need to ‘curate’ a range of interesting items.
Imagine you are the director of a wonderful museum. Which pieces could you ‘borrow’ (always name-checking the actual owner in your captions or intro text) from other providers, to share on your account that would round out your museum collection? Sure, these pieces won’t be directing readers to your own business website, but if you mix it up a bit (recommended around 60% ‘curated’ vs. 40% ‘created’), you’ll keep your audience interested and engaged so they hang around long enough to take in your homespun, website-attracting content too.
The created content takes your audience to your site, where you can sell to them.
This curated content is the stuff that gives flavour and colour to your feed.
It’s the stuff that shows your brand personality.
It’s the stuff that makes you seem less like that party bore and more like a well-rounded character, who enjoys finding out about his or her fellow party goers, engages them in stimulating chat and helpful advice, while lobbing in the occasional relevant fact about themselves to keep the conversation going.
Check out a few of these accounts and you’ll see what I mean.
Interesting, varied, a good mix of home-grown and imported content to engage the audience and stimulate conversation.
(NB: Instagram is a slightly different case because you can’t easily share other people’s content or links on the platform. This means that Instagram accounts tend to post only their own content, so the trick here is to keep it varied and valuable – try to find an unusual approach or angle and use different types of visuals to keep it from looking boring and tired.)
No megaphone. No relentless oversharing of the same dull message.
Next, I’m going to tell you how you know which kinds of ‘other’ content to include in your feed. You can read that post here.
If you need help with this, The Marketing Architect can help you to develop a plan of which content to share on your social media accounts to keep them light, bright and entertaining. We can even help you to source this content, or find you a social media manager of your very ownsome. We’re good like that. Get in touch for more information.