FIVE LESSONS ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA
In last week’s blog, Actually Associate Julie Minns shared what she had learnt from 46 days without social media. This week, following on from the Actually Masterclass on Thursday, we’re looking at how to ensure that your social media content stands out in this time of chaos.
The global pandemic of covid-19 is an unprecedented event and it has created many unforeseen consequences. One, that was perhaps predictable, was the enormous surge in social media traffic. Various reports suggest that traffic on the world’s most popular platform, Facebook, has increased by between 50 and 75%. And it’s clear, we are all spending much more time on our phone and laptops, scrolling through newsfeeds.
What that means for those of using social media to promote our products and services, is that there is ever more fierce competition for engagement and reach. So, how can we ensure that our content stands out? I asked Actually Partner, Sophie Jane Mortimer – a marketing and social content strategist – to share some thoughts with my Masterclass attendees and I thought perhaps you might find some highlights useful!
I have said this about leadership, about business strategy and about communications – and now it appears the same is true of social media: what was great before the crisis, is still great. But if your content is ‘ok’ or ‘average’, you may have gotten away with that pre-crisis, but you need to up your game dramatically to stand out now.
What makes great content is the application of some core principles. Amongst them:
Be generous: add value with your content; share your skills, knowledge and insights. People will not only come to view you as a reliable expert but you trigger the thought ‘If this is how good his / her free content is, imagine how great the paid stuff must be!’
Be authentic: now more than ever people are sensitised to inconsistency and inauthenticity. Your brand values matter. Keep showing up as ‘you’ or you’ll confuse your audience.
Be consistent: that doesn’t mean you have to post every day or multiple times a day. But do show up regularly and engage regularly – not only on your own content but on other people’s. The algorithm will reward you for your presence!
KNOW YOUR PEOPLE
At the heart of every great business and all great communications is one universal truth: you must know and understand your people. I cannot emphasise this enough. And right now, you need to be updating that knowledge regularly. What are their concerns? What do they long for? What is motivating them? What interests them? What media and social media are they looking at? All of this information should not only inform your social media content but your product development too.
BE A BRAND HERO
People will remember how you showed up during this time. This crisis will pass and on the other side of it your brand can emerge stronger having earned more trust, more loyalty, more respect. How? By focussing more on THEM than on YOU. Switch up your strategy to focus on content that supports your audience – in whatever way they most need. Hence the need to really know and understand them. Make them laugh, if that’s what they need. Make them feel seen and understood. Share your tips and expertise in the areas where they need the most help. Be consistent with your brand – so as a coach working with teenagers don’t suddenly start posting about coping with menopause! – but be helpful! There are some brilliant examples of brand heroes right now who are switching their content to really help their customers and meet them where they are at, check out Motherly; Riverford Organic and Denise Duffield-Thomas for brand hero inspiration!
Pretty much everyone on the Masterclass – including me – breathed a huge sigh of relief when Sophie gave us all permission to post less. BUT there was a caveat to that. If you’re going to post less, every post counts – so make that content strategic and intentional. AND use the spare time to:
- Dig deep into your audience and potential clients – do some sessions that are part helping them, part harvesting their language and challenges. People are longing for connection and support. Find the thought leaders they love and research their content, harvest it and store it in spreadsheet for future use.
- Review all your existing content – harvest from your old blogs, courses, posts, journals to create original, relevant, inspiring, educational content that you can use in future.
- Declutter: Get rid of any platforms and tools that aren’t energising, and feel like a drain on your inspiration and resources. Remove yourself from groups that aren’t fun.
Intentional content requires planning! And yes, I know that with everything else on your plate right now, finding time for planning your social media content might seem like something that can slip off the ‘to do’ list. It can’t! Not if you want to emerge from this crisis with your audience intact and growing. Planning will allow you to make strategic decisions about what to post and when and it will ensure that you don’t miss any golden opportunities.
During the Masterclass, I shared the process I use for getting monthly content planning done in 5-10 minutes a day. If you’d like to know more about that – and the many other insights and tips shared during the class AND get access to my FREE online content planning template – then you can download the recording here.
Let’s ACTUALLY make a difference with great social content.
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To grow your business and your impact?