Technology is now evolving faster than the speed of light and we’re evolving faster than ever as a species to keep up with it. We’re also evolving as a society. We’re more impatient and inquisitive than ever before, and our consumption of brands and content is changing rapidly too.
The job of social media platforms is to keep up with our expectations and look after us as consumers. As marketers, we get angry when the likes of Facebook changes its algorithm or layout, but millions of pounds of research will have been behind that change. It’s all about improving the consumption experience. Google’s number one job is to give us exactly what we want with one click. If we have to click on four or five links to get what we want, Google will feel that it’s let us down. The same principle applies to Facebook. If we scroll through twenty posts and none of them are what we want to see, Facebook will feel that it’s failed. Facebook is striving to give us perfection with every scroll, just as Google is with every search. In order to do that they have to evolve as fast as they can. The evolution of our consumption creates the evolution of technology to meet the demand.
Ultimately, it’s in our interest that platforms make changes to improve the consumer experience because it helps keep our followers on there. Instead of resisting or resenting the changes, we need to find ways to complement them. When a social media platform makes an alteration, try to understand why they’ve done it. Learn how it affects the end user and how it can improve their experience.
Here are 5 key things to consider when creating content for social media
1. Social media platforms aren’t for marketers, they’re for consumers
This is such a key fact. So often we forget this so when we market to our followers, we don’t treat them the way they want to be treated. Think about your own personal consumption of social media. How do you feel when your Facebook or Twitter feed gets clogged up with advertising? I’m pretty sure you don’t like it. This is the great irony when it comes to most social media marketing. We moan about constant plugs and adverts when we’re on the receiving end of them but happily inflict them on our own followers. Social media platforms build systems for the sole purpose of looking after their audience. To be a success on social media we need to take inspiration from that, not fight against it. Like the platforms themselves, we need to focus on how we can look after our consumer better.
2. Think from the end, not the beginning
To be able to look after our social media followers better, we need to start by focusing on what theywant rather than what we want. Identify the problem the business is there to help solve, then work out how you can solve it. Kind of like a Quentin Tarantino movie, start with the end and work back to the beginning.
Whether you’re a business owner, service provider or a creative, you need to make looking after your followers your number one priority at all times. So many people get this wrong. They focus solely on plugging themselves, their product or service on social media, completely forgetting the fact that social media was not set up as a platform for advertising. When you work in harmony with the platforms and make it all about improving the consumer experience and keeping your audience happy, you really start to see positive results.
3. Move away from ‘push media’
Most people are experts in social media from a consumer’s point of view, but this doesn’t automatically make them experts from a marketing point of view. This is largely because social media marketing is so different from any other marketing we’ve had before and a lot of people are failing to realise this. When it comes to social media marketing, most people are posting adverts. We call this push media – constantly forcing things upon your followers. If you’re doing this, you’re only using a tiny fraction of the potential social media has to offer.
The problem stems from trying to crowbar traditional advertising into a brand new platform. Think about the kind of advertising you see on television or in the press. All of these adverts push things in people’s faces because they’re a one-way medium. You can’t have any kind of conversation or engagement with a newspaper ad. You can’t share a television commercial with your friends. Before social media there had been no way for the consumer to talk back to the marketer. We’re still advertising at people when we’re now able to have two-way communication. We need to radically rethink our strategies and take full advantage of all the possibilities social media offers us.
4. It’s all about engagement
A key strategy in social media marketing is engagement. If you can get people to like, share and comment on your posts, it helps to spread the content. It’s important to recognise that you shouldn’t focus on the number of followers you have. The level of engagement that you get from your followers is what is really important, and to get a good level of engagement you have to take care of your audience. If you look after your social media followers, your numbers should take care of themselves. If you’ve only got 500 followers on Facebook, don’t devalue that. That’s a lot of people. Imagine if all 500 people shared your posts and got their friends to see your content. That’s where the power lies, and that’s why getting interaction with your content is much more important than the number of people following your page.
5. Looking after your audience
Looking after your audience is simple – you just give them what they want to see. Make content which is relevant to the audience which is engaging with your content. When you get a peak in engagement, ask yourself what made that particular piece of content particularly valuable to your audience and try to replicate similar techniques in upcoming content. Run competitions with amazing prizes that really add value to your consumers. Value your audience and they will engage with you. When your audience engages with your content, the social media platform rewards you by showing your content to more people, and so it goes round and round.
Think of social media in terms of the number of people who can make a difference. Your followers don’t have to be super fans, they just have to engage with your content by liking and sharing and telling a friend. It’s your job to make them want to do that and you do that by creating content that will entertain, help or inspire. Deliberately connect with those who are engaging with your content to give them a more fun and relevant experience and learn what works and what doesn’t by reviewing your insights for engagement spikes.
We hope these 5 top tips help you create a better relationship with your audience, so that they can look after you and your brand. Get in touch today to find out how we help businesses achieve the growth and results they are looking to get out of their social media presence.
Black Rock Media is a Digital Marketing Agency based in Brighton, UK. www.blackrockmedia.co.uk.