We’ve all been there–you post entertaining and valuable content on one of your social media channels but all you hear is crickets. Even though you’ve followed all the supposed “rules,” included engaging graphics and trending keywords–no one seems interested. You garner no likes, no shares, no comments, and are left wondering, why?
Likewise, you then post something you think is less engaging; maybe the graphic isn’t as dynamic or the story as compelling, but you get 30,000 likes and a page full of comments. And there you are scratching your head, wondering what made one post better than the other.
It doesn’t matter what all the books and podcasts on the market say–content is a fricking crapshoot. What are you missing that could make your posts more successful? The first thing you should probably look at is the difference between content marketing and social media.
Michael Brenner clarified the differences by sayings that content marketing and storytelling are as old as human beings. We have always needed to find useful and entertaining ways to share valuable information. Social media is just the latest evolution in the way we tell stories.
But Jay Baer had a different take on the differences between the two stating that content marketing is a device used by companies to educate, inform or entertain customers, creating attention or causing behavior that results in leads, sales or advocacy. Social media, on the other hand, is used by clients and prospects to communicate among themselves and only occasionally with companies. He goes on to say, “ The goals of content marketing are consumption, then behavior. The goals of social media are participation, then behavior.”
It comes down to a couple of things. First, who is your audience? Do you really know? Even pros, who are experts at targeting for a multitude of businesses, sometimes have trouble focusing on one audience. Keep in mind simple things like geographic area, male vs. female, entrepreneur vs. homemaker. These specifications can change your target market drastically and can create a shift in your analytics.
Are you asking the audience to respond? Sometimes one of the easiest ways to get responses is to ask for it. Remember, social media is extremely, well, social. Just asking for a share or a like can engage a much broader audience.
Watch sites that you like and learn from what they are doing. Coke has some amazing graphics and Oreo has original posts. Putting more time into doing the types of things that popular sites are doing may increase your engagement. Keep the look and the color of your site in mind as you look at your posts with a critical eye. Try to look at it as though you didn’t create it.
There are many books on the market that promise to tell you step by step how to share your information in social media. You may have read some of them. Some show you what to do, others show you what not to do–but content, whether blog form, audio, visual, or in social media still has one basic purpose–to tell your story, and no one can tell your story as well as you can.