Less Promoting, More Connecting with Social Media

Social media is an inexpensive and effective way to connect with a community. Content promoting your brand is important, yet other interesting content should be the majority of a social media plan. Organizations do a disservice to themselves and their community when they repeat the same old product and service benefits on social media. Other interesting, non-promotional content contributes to the conversation about an organization’s purpose and helps build relationships with others who have the same goals.

Engaging with the Community

A community is more than clients. It’s also influencers, advocates, peers, and partners with a common interest or goal. It’s a group that has interaction and communication. A community provides value and connection to its members by helping each other learn and gain expertise in their field. It’s an inexpensive and targeted way to network with people.

Engaging with your community means sharing content that interests them. Sofie De Beule, content marketer, says “if a brand focuses too much on itself within social media as a means for boosting sales, its audience will immediately see through it and tune it out. Only by discovering what your audience is really interested in and responding to those needs, will your brand be able to maintain a consistent, sustainable, and engaging online social media presence.”

Build Your Brand

It’s important to provide thought-provoking, stimulating content that relates to your brand. It’s easy to be too broad, for example, if I share education topics ranging from how it’s important to be a proficient reader by the third grade to digital badge stories from high school students, I’ll miss targeting my audience and people will lose interest.

To become focused, remember why you started or joined your organization.  You may want to get others involved to ask these questions:

Why do you get up and go to work every day?

What are your values?

What ultimate benefits do your products/services offer?

Example: Let’s start with an organization that provides high school students with entrepreneurial programs. People in the organization believe that when education is personalized students become more engaged. They are fired up to come to work because they’re helping students who are bored in school become more innovative, self-confident problem-solvers. To start, they probably have stories about these kids benefitting from their programs, and these stories could be told without self-promotion as long as they focus on the students.

Read, Research, Learn

For more content, organizations can look to their communities to see what they find interesting and important on this topic. Marko Saric, blogger, has inspirational ideas in creating content:

·      Read a lot and learn constantly

·      Take concepts from books and write about own perspective and experiences

·      Attend meetups and conferences—topics discussed are people’s problems, questions, and how to solve them

Writer’s Block is Avoidable

Using a marketing calendar and filling it with topics for the year helps you hit the ground running. Don’t worry that there will be many blank slots at first. Use the calendar as a working document, so people can add ideas any time. Saric says to write every day—write like you talk and edit later.

  

Making a commitment to creating interesting content daily or at least twice a week is worth it. It helps build relationships, provide more value to the community, and strengthen your brand. It’ll help you become more of an expert in your field, and you’ll help others gain expertise, too.