It is fair to say that we have passed social media market penetration and most user segments are now engaged in at least one social network on a regular basis. Many marketers and businesses have learned to post, schedule and engage with an audience, ensuring that they have some level of presence within the social graph. All of which are extremely important. But what now?
I see 2013 marking a shift of focus and one that is long overdue. As social media marketing continues to mature, what consumers expect is also maturing. Major brands and social media agencies are going to have to shift from a brand centric focus to a consumer interest focus. Small and medium brands and marketers will have to make this shift as well.
When I say “Wearing Social Media Shoes”, I am referring to the phrase and idea of walking in your customers shoes. In other words, putting yourself in their shoes and truly understanding your audience, who they are, what they are into, in order to better understand them and be able to focus your content and message in new and effective ways. Brands need to do a much better job at knowing their audiences likes and interests, thereby delivering content that fills those interests. More importantly, using this information to provide a better experience for fans and followers by removing “over self-promotion”.
Social network users are catching up. They are becoming more savvy about social media and will more frequently to tune out a lot of the promotional posts that are becoming common. Social media agencies and marketers need to shift their content aggregation, posting and creation tactics to better focus on the prospect and their interests. Not doing so will cause disconnects physically and emotionally with ones community.
The great thing about the shift I see coming is that it mirrors human nature offline. Meaning that most people become much more engaged with others that discuss topics THEY are interested in. Since I view social media as a parallel universe to the real world, doing what you would do to build a relationship and a connection with people in the real world, works as well and faster in social media.
Here are SOME key things to consider when evaluating your audience and developing a social media content strategy:
2) Geographical considerations
3) What are they searching for online?
4) Who else do they follow/like in social media?
Major brands will continue to be slow to adopt this change. They are some of the worst at proper social media marketing management. They are so used to everything being about them in direct marketing and advertising, don’t expect them to hurry to start posting more content that isn’t about them. Although, they will HAVE to…
The above four considerations will often guide you to the 3-5 max key topics that drive your audiences interests when they take part in social media. The better you do at determining who your audience is and what topics they are into, the more effectively your content strategy will be at creating conversation and building relationships.