Commit to engaging, shareable content

29/07/2015 - 06:44


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Firstly, you’ve got to love what you do; then you must find a way to share that love with your social media audience.

Social media is a crowded space if you want to get your message out there, whether as an individual or a business with a brand objective.

If your goal is to engage a large audience, then you need to check a few things before you start to see if you really have what it takes.

What are you passionate about? You really need to know the reasons why you want to undertake a particular project. It’s a long journey, and you need to remain committed for the duration to make it work. (To explore this topic more, read Start with Why by Simon Sinek.)

If you don’t love the project, there is a chance you won’t last the distance. Keeping yourself engaged is the most important part of this journey. There will be days when it all seems too hard. Can you get a mentor or friend to help you? Someone who will push you if you stall?

You need to stay inspired and have a sustainable plan. If you are authentic and this project is part of you, it will be easier to sustain the momentum; your staff and those engaging with you on social media will join in with you and match your enthusiasm. It’s contagious. Inspiration, leadership and authority are the vital elements to sharing your passion and experience.

The key is ‘share ability’. The word ‘viral’ is an overused expression in this space; I prefer to think the preferred term and goal is ‘shareable content’.

Sharable content creates a community that will create repeat business. You want those engaging with you on social media to follow you indefinitely, not just as a one-off.

Triggering an emotional response in your viewers is an important video strategy; it has been suggested that a strong and positive emotional response is 30 per cent more likely to encourage sharing than a strong but negative emotion, like shock or anger. If you want to explore this in more detail read Jonah Berger’s book Contagious, which thoroughly investigates why things catch on.

How will people find you?

It’s a crowded space, but do you understand ‘search’ and ‘indexing’? If people do find you, how are you working to ensure they come back? This is part of being authentic and fascinating to your audience. To do this you need to understand your ‘fascination advantage’ and communicate that effectively to your audience.

This extract is from Sally Hogshead, from How to Fascinate, which I highly recommend.

“Beware vanilla, embrace pistachio. Vanilla ice cream is a crowd-pleaser. Most people like it, and almost everyone will eat it. It’s easy, comfortable, and safe. The Gap khakis of ice cream. Vanilla is the comfort zone. Far fewer people, on the other hand, like pistachio ice cream. Pistachio is a distinct and polarising choice. Yet the people who like pistachio usually love it. Re-e-e-a-lly love it. Crazy love it. While fewer people buy pistachio, this flavour has a competitive advantage; rather than dumbing-down its taste, it can focus on serving a tightly defined core with a distinct point of difference. The goal of pistachio isn’t to please everyone. It’s to engage a few people really, really well.”

Social media is a conversation, which is what distinguishes it from traditional media. How do you engage those in your audience in a conversation, with you or among themselves? Connecting with the community around your content is an effective way to bond with your community and keep it engaged.

If you know your audience, you will be able to talk directly to your fans. You will get to know them by responding to comments and looking at your media analytics.

Consistency is a must for building a loyal audience. Fans expect you to have a consistent format, posting schedule, recurring elements, such as – openings, sign-offs, phrases, gestures – and your persona. Most of all enjoy what you do.


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