Bigger is not always better: Two ideas for your social strategy
by Dale Landrith
After the recent upheaval in social media regarding audience reach, the new Facebook algorithm, and removing organic promotional content, enough was enough. It was time to look at the facts and generate a discussion with our team, to cut through the chaos and speculation to what really matters in marketing.
Content is King … what does that mean?
The term, “Content is King” has been thrown around for years, and it seems to capture the essence of the times we’re in, but to turn the concept into something real, we have to look at what this phrase actually means.
Recently we had a great team discussion on this topic and looked for specific ideas we could put into action to help our clients become kings of their content.
There were a couple of themes that stuck with me, and looking back, those ideas are really not that surprising. No, they’re not groundbreaking, but I think these two insights are the key to finding success with your online marketing.
It’s not the size of your audience, but the quality.
As strategists threw out their thoughts for discussion on what constituted great content, I asked, “Is great content about engagement, reach, ROI, exposure, clicks, likes, or does any of that matter? Among the replies was a reference to Seth Godin’s theory of the tribe, and that it is more important to build a loyal following than a huge number of fans.
A tribe in this case is simply a fan base that loves your company, is committed to your company, and will be brand ambassadors, spreading the good word to their friends and beyond. A powerful tribe of a few hundred fans can be far more powerful than thousands of non-engaged fans that have done little more than simply clicking like.
Though people tend to look at the “almighty fan count,” let’s take a quick look at the numbers to see just how powerful a small tribe can be for your business.
Is a tribe of 200 better than 1,000 fans?
If you have 1,000 fans, and you have decent engagement (5% of your fans are engaged in any week), you would have 50 people “talking about this” at any given time. In very round numbers, an average Facebook fan has 200 friends, so if 50 people expose your content to their friends each week, your potential reach is 10,000.
On the other hand, if you have 200 people that are in your tribe, they are more likely to be engaged in your daily posts and sharing your story regularly. These people not only love your company, but they think everybody else should too. The same math says that this tribe would expose your content to 40,000 fans. It’s easy to see how these 200 people could be more important to the bottom line.
What are these fans are sharing about your company?
Average fans typically enjoy sharing the fun things you post. They show their friends pictures that showcase people, memes that ring true to them, and ideas that maybe others haven’t seen yet. On the flip side, tribal followers will showcase the fun stuff in addition to the content that makes you money. They will share a post about a restaurant’s special or tell their friends that the chef blew their mind with the meal they had last week. They will share an image of a resort they visited and tell their friends about the best vacation they ever had. This form of social sharing is better than any advertising you could do, because people listen to their friends, and they’d rather hear it from someone they know, than a brand voice or advertisement. This will always hold true, regardless of the medium or channel.
What do your fans want to see?
The second fundamental step for success is giving your fans what they want to see. We know that posts that are shared, retweeted, liked, and pinned must be great content, right? Or, is it posts that gets customers in the door or gets them to buy your product? This “great content” that you hear about, and that businesses strive to develop, may be easier to find than you realize.
How do we find the proverbial crystal ball and look into the future to guess what our fans want to see? The first step is to see what they’ve liked in the past. When I generate content, I like to have three things in front of me. First, is the live channel that I am writing for. Second, are the analytics for previous posts. Lastly, is a document outlining the keywords, demographics, products and services, branding information, and other key details about the business.
Armed with this data, I can see which promotional posts worked well, which posts the tribe jumped on, and what failed. This allows me to put together content for the future that has a better chance of connecting with my audience.
For example, instead of simply posting all of the pictures from my last business event, what if I choose a few great ones, make a collage, apply a filter, overlay some text and logo, and post one awesome image, with a call-to-action leading to my website. Or, instead of trying to convince people that they should buy my product, what if I make the discovery process fun, by putting together a quiz that leads people my way. The idea here is to see what content connects best with your audience, and then think about creative, fun, inspiring ways to publish that information.
Looking at these two seemingly simple ideas can make a huge difference in your social media strategy. Get the people engaged that have lived what your business offers and loved it. Post content that enables them to promote your business and show everyone what a great decision they made in choosing your company.
This strategy will make you money and trump any algorithm changes or questions you may have about what is the right content.
For help building or understanding the strategy that your company should take for online marketing, contact Dream Local Digital today. We’ll sit down and analyze what you’re doing now, what your goals are, and formulate a plan that gives you a great opportunity for success.