This is a question every social business should be asking themselves and their audience. “Are you distracting your social media audience with HOW?”
Today’s world of “Big Data” and digital transfer is a never ending race to be the first to find out how to use or market the next hot tool, system, service, or app. Be sure you’re not about to let your audience find out about it elsewhere.
Let me outline a practice often seen from businesses of all types on all social media platforms.
You follow the blogs, business journals, and webinars, trying to stay one step ahead of yourselves and your competition. And to let your clients, prospects and followers know you’re on top of the “how” of things, you report to them every detail of your discoveries on social media. Every tidbit about your niche by every credible “expert” finds its way to feeds. You’re giving your audience all they need to know. You’re the expert on “how”.
Do you know a business like this, maybe it’s even yours? Obviously you want your audience to trust you, your content, and your knowledge, but are you overwhelming them with content that is likely relevant to you, not them? What it takes to do your business may be of interest to your investors and associates, but your audience wants to know what and why. What can you do for me and why should they care.
One of the biggest challenges in social media marketing is getting beyond distracting your audience with “WHAT I KNOW AND HOW I DO IT”. As business owners and entrepreneurs we often lose sight of the fact that much of our audience is looking for solutions. Solutions they want you to provide. Solutions often lost in the noise of others. Noise you yourself are posting. The key to social media is not what you know about your niche, but what you learn from your audience about how they use your niche in their day to day lives.
First and foremost, avoid audience distraction by not sharing overly technical or complex content that leaves your audience overwhelmed, board or confused. You may know the ins and outs of quantum physics, but if you’re posting on your custom pastry shop social media, your audience likely won’t care to see the latest super nova discovery on a Facebook page. Sounds pretty intuitive, but as a consumer of social media, we see this daily.
That said, there are several effective ways we know to present social media content without distracting your audience and here some of the more effective approaches we use:
1) “How To” content. Every industry or niche offers the opportunity to share “how to”s. Whether it is sharing recipes or automotive repair; business practices or fashion trends, informing your audience about how the information you are sharing can be used immediately by them will draw them in.
2) Visual content. The occasional kitten, puppy or other “awwww” moment is fine but consider keeping them on topic by creating topical meme’s that keep your audience on point while enlisting the cute factor.
3) Trends and tactics. Citing a trend or tactic from a reputable source, and then asking your audience for their opinion and feedback on how the trend or tactic will directly affect them, enables them to be a participant.
At the end of the day what you take away from your social community is far more important that what you know about your industry. Always be a student of your industry because competence is critical. However, when engaging your audience, be a student of their desires and share their “What” and “Why” more often than you share the “How”. You’ll find your audience focused on you as a solution, not distracted by the details of the how.
This was a guest post by:
Jim Earl – Jim is the co-founder and CEO of @TeemLLC. Jim’s experience included spending several years developing an understanding of the social and digital media environments that has become the foundation for what is today Total Exposure Entertainment Marketing, LLC.