How to Rise Above the Noise on Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok are just some of the social media platforms used by millions of people around the world. If you’re in business, you likely know you need to have a social media presence. But how do you go from just posting to actually connecting with your customers or audience?
I find many businesses and organizations, who don’t have dedicated social media specialists, post for the sake of posting. They see social media as a necessary evil instead of an integrated part of their marketing and stakeholder engagement plan.
So, how do you get your social media posts to rise above the noise and be heard?
It all starts with your intent. What is the intent of your social media account? Your posts? Your engagements?
Is it to tick off something on your to-do list? Or are you posting with the intent of sparking conversation, educating or adding value? Now I’m not suggesting every post is going to be earth shattering with 1 million shares. Rather, your posts need to, at the very least, be adding some level of value to a person’s day.
So for you retailers, filling your Facebook page with product shots, aimed solely at selling inventory, is not adding value. It’s just noise that quickly gets tuned out.
The kiss of death to any social media page is thinking everyone is your audience. When you bring this broad sweeping mindset to your posts (everyone from ages 19 to 89 wants to read this) the result is no one reads your post.
Think about your own personal experience. What are the brands, companies and organizations you follow? Why do you follow them? What is your personal connection?
Now reflect on your demographic profile. Are you typical of who would be following this organization? If their posts grab your interest and speak to you, then you are likely part of their target audience. If you often skim posts with little interaction, then, although you follow them, they are less interested in engaging with you.
Why? Because you do not fit in the profile of their ideal customer and/or target audience.
Now look at who you would like to engage with on your social media page. If you’re a business, what does your ideal customer look like (and note, this may not reflect your current customer base)? If this customer was standing in front of you, what questions would they have, what would interest them and how would you interact with them?
By seeing the people who read your posts as real people, with real interests, you will move beyond one-size-fits-no one posts to creating content that truly resonates with your ideal customers.
Do your research
Now that you’ve gotten clear on your intent and who you want to engage, do some more research. That’s right. You haven’t nailed it quite yet.
I recently worked with an organization that was looking to engage 19-year-olds. They were using Facebook as their main platform.
For those of you shaking your head, you know where this is going. If you don’t see the problem, find a 19-year-old and ask them how they like Facebook. They will likely look at you like you have 10 heads and maybe say “I don’t know, ask my mom.”
Facebook is pretty much boycotted by anyone under 30. Why? Because their parents are on it. No self-respecting teen or 20 something wants to be caught dead on the same platform as their mom.
Talk to your ideal customer or stakeholder. Find out what social media platforms they use instead of wasting your time on the platform you want to use. Learn HOW they want to be engaged – finding out what type of posts they like and, most importantly, what they hate.
I’m always surprised at how too few organizations take the time to talk to their ideal customers or stakeholders.
The best way to figure out who is following you and determine how your posts are received is to conduct a mini-audit of your social media platforms. This is an opportunity to dig into the analytics on your page, as well as talk to real people.
Start with looking at the backend and running the stats. How many followers do you have? What’s their average age? Where do they live? What posts have the biggest engagement? Has there been a corresponding increase in sales or visits to your website based on a social media campaign or even a post?
While it can be great to have a lot of people like a post, if it doesn’t translate into website visits, sales or other key measurables, it’s just vanity engagement.
Now, talk to your ideal customer and/or stakeholder. Don’t worry if they follow you or not. The point here is to learn more about what brands they follow, what platforms they spend their time on (to determine if you’re using the right platform), how they select who they follow and what online experience do they enjoy.
Ask these individuals to follow you (giving them an incentive) and provide feedback on your content for 1 week or 1 month. Ideally, this is a group you could tap to test ad campaigns or new ideas before launching. When you are responsible for a social media page you are too close to truly evaluate its effectiveness. You need an honest outside perspective.
I know this sounds like a lot of work, but social media needs to be seen as an extension of your business or organization. Like all interactions with your clients, it has to be carefully planned, monitored, executed and evaluated.
It’s time to rise above the noise and be heard.
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