One of my clients called a couple of weeks ago in a panic. He asked why are we not on Snapchat, Instagram or Periscope? He commented that we have established presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, but noted that “nobody uses those sites anymore!”
I replied, “Good question, but not the first one to ask.” “What do you mean?” he replied. I replied with “here are the questions to ask first.”
- Who is your target market? Segmenting your target will help identify what tools to use and what kind of content to create. If personality content is needed (a blog or video), you need to use a member of your target market as either content creator or content host. For example, if you are selling bridal dresses, perhaps your content creator should be a new bride, but if you are selling bridal catering, you may want to feature someone who also connects well with the mother or father of the bride, as opposed to just the bride. Think about how your target user may use the content to help sell your proposition to other stakeholders.
- What is the problem that the members of your target market have? How are does your company solve the problem. No matter what social media tool you use, you need to create content that connects with the reader/viewer. Many searches focus on getting a specific answer to a problem. Understanding the problem and creating content that addresses the problem will focus the discussion around what makes your business special. It also helps move the discussion off of cost or price.
Creating a set of questions and answers in small bits, provides several posts as opposed to the traditional brochure or promo piece that answers every question in one piece. Don’t make me search a ten minute video so that I can find one answer. Provide me ten – one minute videos, so that I can find the answer to the question that I am asking immediately.
- What is your call to action? Assuming that you attract the audience through a social media tool, what is the next step in the selling process? What do you have to offer them? In the business to business environment, call to actions are often a “free consultation” or an “invitation to a webinar”. Software companies will often offer a free download of a trial version. In consumer situations, companies will sometimes offer a discount for users or viewers. Also, consider an invitation to join a special group of “loyal readers / viewers”.
- What kind of social media tools are you using today and why do you feel they are not working. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are established. If you have worked to create a presence in these environments they can be used to test run a proposition before trying a new channel. Before you start new, make sure you are using these tools effectively.
Are you ready to look at using a new channel? Before you start to create content, just participate in the channel. Join it as a user. See what kind of content you like. Your viewers tend to like the same kind of content that you like. Look at how the power users interact with their audience. What are the methodologies being used to move the viewers to the next step. Comment and repost. What kind of conversations are you participating in?
Ready to get started as a content creator? Think about what kind of content you need to create for that specific channel. The newer ones focus typically on a fine tuned higher volume content creation plan. Note that successful users create regular content. Thinking about using Instagram for example? What is your ability to regularly create photo content? Are you going to post up only business content or do you want to give your viewer some insights into your personality? Who is going to take the pictures and post them up? Who is going to curate content and maintain the community?
New social media tools can enhance your business proposition and provide your prospects and customers great insights into who you are and how your business works. But before you start, answer some questions and have a plan for both content creation and implementation.
This post was also published in Business Uplugged. Here is the link.