Don’t Be Boring: Driving Engagement by Providing Value

Now that the buzzphrase “social media marketing” dominates the blogosphere, many businesses equate a strong social media presence with successful customer engagement. They go on to saturate their followers’ newsfeeds, stretch their mailboxes to the limit, and generally make it hard for friends to get anything productive done online without running into marketing content. And yet, nothing happens. Even worse – by overexerting themselves online, these businesses risk committing the worst sin of social media – being a bore.
This phenomenon occurs because reaching out to the customer and making a connection with the customer are actually two different things. The former is necessary for the latter to happen, but by itself, it does not help your business and could actually harm your brand. If you’re the kind of company that makes major efforts to dominate Facebook but sees little ROI on social media, you might want to rethink your strategy.
To make a connection, an effort has to be made to meet your customers on their level. Think: what kind of person would be a potential customer, and what content would that kind of person enjoy viewing online. At Little Jack, we distill this concept down to providing value. Just like your product or service provides the customer with value, your marketing should provide him with a miniature version of that value — whether that’s helpful information, humor, or inspiration.
Here are three questions you can use to ensure you’re not a being a bore before the next time you post:
Would you share this with a friend you saw walking down the street? We understand that a lot of the social media game is deciding you’re going to do two posts a day and then sifting the desolate back alleys of the web for “good enough” material. But if a lot of the content you produce is not something you’d share in real life, congrats, you’re spamming your followers.
Is the content delivered in a unique voice? Just because you’re linking to something else does not mean that your marketing work is done. The same article social media article can and should be introduced in a different way by the 2500 companies that link to it. Think about it this way: a good introduction tells the customer “Here is how this relates to what WE do.”
Is the content actionable? You should evaluate the content you post to determine how much of it translates as actionable. In other words, does your content make the customer go, “Huh..” and how much of it makes him go “Yea!”? Actionable content could be anything from encouraging followers to Like! a post for a potential reward, to boosting content sharing through various incentives, to making it easier for the customer to get more information from your business.
Exciting stuff! For the social media marketing minimalists out there, you can reduce these 3 questions to just one aspiration: don’t be boring. The other things will take care of themselves.
And join us next week, when we’ll discuss how streamlining content and web design can help increase customer involvement by reducing noise and highlighting actionability.
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