A lot of businesses ask for help with their social media efforts. Typically, entrepreneurs feel they have to keep up with their competitors.
Yet the first thing I tell them is “Don’t do it. Unless you’re prepared to do it right.”
You see, far too many businesses don’t start out from the right foundation, and don’t have a clear recipe for tangible results that would justify the considerable amount of time they need to allocate to their social media efforts.
It’s the old adage: “If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you plan on getting there?”
But fortunately, there’s really only two key ingredients you need to build a loyal and engaged following.
Whenever I come across somebody’s website, Facebook page, Twitter feed or LinkedIn profile, I search for signs of professionalism. To get a quick read on whether somebody merits following, I look at how consistently they post.
Have they posted for many years? Do they post regularly?
The posting frequency itself doesn’t really matter – it’s the consistency that I am looking for.
Consistency also manifests itself in the post topics. If I see a large range of seemingly unrelated topics, it’s easy to assume the author has no clear mission.
So, define your niche, and make it easy for me to understand what you stand for.
2. Make Me Want To Share Your Content
The second ingredient is the most important one — make your content sharable.
For your social media efforts to matter, people need to share it.
The key section from that post:
People share either because you’ve blown them away with the product experience (congratulations, by the way) or because it makes them feel good in some form or fashion.
That’s it. Does your social interaction, social promotion, social content fit one of those criteria? If so, you’ll do well. If not, it will sit there, unshared.
The two principal reasons for sharing:
- If you don’t have a great product that just lights up the Internet, you’ll need to make your audience feel something else to share. Self involvement (…) means that the person feels smart by having inside information. Most everyone likes to be an expert in some area, and like it when their friends look up to them for it.
- (…) We share stuff because it will help a friend or a neighbor out. “Here’s a coupon for that product I know you’re thinking about buying,” or “I came across this really negative review of product A. You may want to avoid it.” This helps people, but I also believe it makes us feel good about doing it, so chalk another one up for some small amount of self interest.
Whenever you decide on what content to put in your social media channels, think about how that content would make your audience look good in front of their friends — by creating something that either makes them look smart or that allows them to be helpful to others.