Looking to get your social media marketing abilities in tip-top shape? Align with these 6 concepts and you’ll be on your way to making an impact in your business.
Just like in any profession, the only way to get better at something is to practice. You can read up on news, take advice from friends, brainstorm and come up with new strategies, but the only way to improve your skill set is to put your theories to the test.
When it comes to social media marketing, this is a difficult task. We create content, test the platforms, responds to consumers, and then… an algorithm changes and forces us to make adjustments.
In a way, it is like being on a professional sports team and only getting to sharpen your skills during actual games. The learning curve is steep and the pressure is high. But just like in professional sports, players engage in practice sessions, drills, and exhibition matches to refine their skills before, during, and after game time.
The problem then becomes, how could we hone our skills so the adjustments are incremental, instead of massive?
To solve this problem, I’ve taken a few concepts from a recent social media conference, and adapted them so you could better understand and align with the changing marketplace and consumer behavior…
The following slides are from Joe Pulizzi’s presentation at Social Media Marketing World, with personal notes and takeaways added
Concept 1: Content Sweet Spot
We are in an interesting place because people are actively looking for recipes, nutritional information, seasonality, etc. The question is; how do we differentiate from the rest of the produce/grocery/influencer information being put online? The Content Sweet Spot! Joe Pulizzi describes this as the intersection where a consumer pain (or passion) point meets our area of expertise.
Of course, there isn’t always a perfect overlap between pain/passion and expertise, but there should be some, and that’s where we want to focus our content creation efforts.
2016 Social Media Trend: Video : Live, Informative, Engaging
Concept 2: Content Tilt
The best question I could ask, that helped me process this topic is; Are we telling a different story than everyone else in the produce industry? That’s not say we’re telling a false story, but are we telling the story in a way that stands out? Example: cauliflower is high in vitamin C, but did you know cauliflower makes amazing vegan entrée, loaded with nutrients?
Here is a new formula for when we think about in-store signage, blog posts, recipe content, etc: Who is the target audience + What will we deliver + What is the outcome of the audience.
The key is to be very specific, which allows our content to be tightly targeted and specific to the needs of our community. As John Lydgate famously said, “you can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”
The goal for our content should be to impact some of the people, all of the time. If we make four pieces of targeted content, for the same category, our impact will be 300% greater than one piece of broad content.
Concept 3 & 4: Building and Nurturing an Audeince
This is where the rubber meets the road. Building and nurturing and audience takes a long time, so it’s important to be patient and set realistic expectations. A common analogy compares building a social media audience to a relationship, in that no one wants to get married on the first date. Take the time to develop a relationship, add value, build trust, then get married.
In order to attract an audience, we need to create a content hub for them to go to (Melissas.com / blog). While we will need to promote and publish our content to a variety of destinations in order to get traction, our content hub should be the primary platform where publishing takes place.
The reason why it’s so critical to own your content hub is that it’s insurance for the future. Like many other businesses learned, when Facebook drastically reduces the visibility of brand content without paid promotion, building our content hub on “rented land” is a recipe for disaster if the landlord decides to change the rules, raise the rent or evict you.
While our primary focus has been to attract new eyes to our content, we should also focus on retaining those eyes. The internet is awash in content these days and people have short attention spans, so it’s important to have an amazing email program and constant exchanges in value.
One key to staying memorable is to maintain consistent regular touch points by turning social media fans into email subscribers. While it may not be the trendiest tactic in digital marketing, email lists are still the gold standard when it comes to building an audience.
Concept 5: Diversification
While we want to have a main goal for each piece of content we produce, it makes sense to branch out into multiple formats for our message, as this could help us both reach new audience members and reinforce our authority among our audience and industry.
My take on this type of diversification includes:
- Associates as ambassadors
- Personal blogs
- Writing books
- Public Speaking
- Digital Media (email, banner ads, video ads)
- Print Media
- In-person Relationships
- Event branding
Concept 6: Monetization
“First build an audience, then monetize it” – Joe Pulizzi
Although monetization is typically the last step on the audience building roadmap, there are purchase opportunities that we don’t want to pass up, like Black Friday, Mother’s Day, Christmas, etc. We just want make sure that we don’t cross the line of being pushy or dishonest with our audience in our attempts to monetize. The objective of social media marketing is first and foremost to serve our community.
– Analyze: Take our email subscribers and put it against your customer database to get an idea of how our email list is converting
– Be the leading expert in a niche! A loyal audience leads to revenue
Types of Monetization: