Creating great content is not enough for a successful social media strategy; you must amplify it in a way that makes it stand out among all the noise and connect personally with your audience.
“It used to be content creation was the finish line, now we have to think about igniting what we create,” social media expert Don Stanley told a packed audience at June’s Social Media Breakfast Madison at the Great Hall of the UW-Madison Memorial Union.
You should now spend just 20% of your time on creating content and 80% amplifying it, he said.
“Brand power is not coming through content, it is coming through content transmitted by friends,” said Stanley, president and CEO of 3Rhino Media and an internationally recognized, award-winning social media and marketing instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Marketers perk up if they can get a recommendation from someone.”
But the challenge comes from the fact that people are suffering from “Content Shock” these days, Stanley said.
“There is a limited capacity for us to consume because, believe it or not, we all need sleep. As more content gets out there, there is more noise and we have to figure out how to stand out.” Consider this:
- 83% of brand marketing say social sharing is the number one benefit of digital marketing.
- 85% say when other people share content it helps us better understand and process brand information and events.
- 70% are more likely to make a purchase based on a friend’s social media share.
In order to stand out and get people to share our content, we must understand our audience and appeal to their emotions. As marketers, the dilemma we face is that people share for intrinsic, emotional reasons but we want them to share for economic reasons. “That’s a big disconnect,” Don said.
It is important to understand why people share content on social media:
- To declare who we are.
- To be useful and appear smart.
- To be generous and kind.
- To grow and nourish relationships.
- To show love and support.
So when creating content, start with these questions:
- Is your own content igniting? What is the competition doing, and is their content igniting? If so why?
- Who are the people who share? Did you know that it will take 338 Tweets on average before someone will retweet? And on Facebook, only one half of one percent of posts are shared.
- Why, where, how do they share? What platforms are they on? Make sure what you create is easy to share on those platforms.
- How do you tap into this and succeed?
- How do you enable sharing in every way?
Don is big on lists, so I’m going to conclude with two of his main ones:
6 elements of the Content Code:
- Brand Development. Think of brands you feel deeply connected to. Coca Cola is a good example.
- Audience and Influencers. Find your core audience members – the 2 percent who share your content regularly – and take good care of them. Send messages to them, retweet them. Give lots of shout-outs.
- Distribution, Advertising, Promotion, SEO. Are you strategically distributing?
- Building Authority. This takes time. You have to do things that get people to think of you as a thought leader in your community.
- Social Proof and Social Signals. Are you getting enough shares to be visible? You’re more likely to go to a crowded restaurant than an empty one. Brag about how many people have signed up for your newsletter.
- Shareability of Content. If you take away one tip today it should be to work on your headlines. If you have a good headine there is 400% greater chance of getting shares.
6 Ignition Tips
- Be sure you have Share buttons. If you do, your content is 700% more likely to be shared.
- Craft a headline. Make it tweetable, descriptive, creative and include a number.
- Remove barriers. Do people really need to register to access your content?
- Create joyful content. People love to smile.
- Be visual. Posts with images get twice as many shares.
- Repurpose your content for different platforms.
“This is still uncharted territory,” Don concluded. But everyone should keep asking themselves, “How do I ignite my content, engage people, and stand out?”
We will post a video of this event from Geekazine soon.
Written by Bill Hurley, (@billhurleymedia / billhurleymedia.com / beachmaniac.com) Editor, writer, social media strategist, website developer, digital publisher. BillHurleyMail@gmail.com, Bill@smbmad.org.
Video by Geekazine: