My first blog post, almost two months ago now, touched on the importance of quality content and how to go about creating it. Refresh your memory of it here, and then think back to the last couple of posts about social media and the power it holds. This gives us high quality content and the power of social platforms and how to use them, so combining the two undoubtedly gives us amazing social results and engagement, right?
Nope, afraid not.
Like anything to do with social and content generation, things are never that simple and I’m going to attempt to fill the gaps a little here. As with the last few posts, it’s by no means definitive or complete but it can start you off and give you an idea of what to look for when anyone is creating your content and managing your platforms.
Keeping your audience in mind
I know I go on about this a lot but you wouldn’t believe how many times I see content somewhere where it just shouldn’t be. Yes, that is a generalisation and there may be some value to a small number of that audience – but how much of that audience is going to keep you brand or business going when everyone else goes somewhere else? If you’re going to be specific to a smaller audience, don’t hide it or pretend it is part of your normal content plan, make it a bit more obvious so that everyone knows what’s going on.
In the end, all audiences will have one thing in common if they have followed or liked your page or brand: you. Not everything should be about you but there should always be a reason to why you have posted or created that content. If it isn’t relatable in some way to you or your audience, it’s safe to assume it doesn’t belong on your page. This applies to the funny content too but there are always exceptions and sometimes, a risk can yield great rewards while others can lose you people from your audience.
Weighing up that risk and getting it wrong happens far too often.
What are you actually offering?
I don’t mean what you’re trying to get them to buy, get involved in or promote for you at this point, although that is always something to remember. What I mean is what they are getting from your content. Trying to understand what they want is only half the battle but do you, or your team, have the time to create everything properly and professionally to the expected standards?
If not, then you need to look at alternative ways of doing it that provide a similar value. As I’ve said before, cheap, flat and rushed content is the worst kind of content and will lose you your large audience. With so much content out there, be smart about what’s around and use it to your advantage – but be careful to respects rights and ownership at all times (if in doubt, find something else). Show you understand not only what you want or need, but what they want and need too.
I don’t mean to say you should ignore the smaller parts of your audience with more niche interests and needs, but ask yourself one question: are you really the best place to focus on that part of your audience, or do you think they have other ways of getting what they don’t get from you? If you answer yes, you are either very niche, and your audience reflects that, or you don’t understand the amount of content available on the internet.
These groups will take what you give them and if it’s not enough they’ll look elsewhere too but if you still give them valuable content they’ll keep coming back. How you drive that engagement, if possible, is something that takes a lot longer to understand and get right. Also bear in mind it can change on any given day, week, month or year!