Creating exceptional content is not easy (which is why folks like my clients leave it to me). I was thinking about that as I read Mitch Joel’s recent post “Content Is Hard… What’s Your Brand To Do?”. That’s where he talks about what a “tall order” it is to create and deliver content that’s “timely, consistent, relevant and ultimately , the stuff that consumers are consciously looking out for.”
But after you’ve created it, you’ve got to get it out there. Great content ends up being not so great, because no one sees it. To help companies that are navigating these paths, I talked with Vancouver’s Clique & Co. Digital Marketing Consultant Lynn Shinto and Koho Community Manager. The topic of our chat: “What are some of the things you’re doing in 2017 that helps great content stand out?”
Most of Lynn’s focus lately has been on Instagram, Facebook, Facebook Live, Pinterest, and Twitter. At least, that’s where clients seem to want (or need) to built up awareness. Let’s run through the different social channels.
Instagram is good for business topics like lifestyle brands fashion, sports, adventure, food and travel. Ecommerce is a bit of a grey-area. “It’s obviously a great platform to show-off any product or service where you can can capture that deep, rich, almost visceral visual feel and experience,” she said.
Instagram Stories are an awesome tool for step-by-step instructions or location type features, she added. “Look at Erin Ireland’s (To Die For Foods). Their Instagram Stories shows the value of having raw conversations or showing snippets of someone’s life.” Ireland does a great job of capturing authenticity and transparency, as both qualities are crucial to creating content that’s meaningful and more shareable.
As for Facebook, for Ecommerce there is no questioning its value as an advertising channel, Shinto says. “For coaching people, educating your audience, or invoking some kind of discussion, Facebook is a great channel. In terms of live events or happenings, presentations, talks and announcements, Facebook Live is effective for elevating one’s professionalism, expertise or connecting your brand or business thought leaders with the community.”
Pinterest works well for tips, life-hacks, recipes, and overall a great channel for the “mommy blogger” and parenting community for instance. “I’ve also seen it have a huge influence in the wedding business,” Lynn says. “Again, the key appeal and best route to success is the quality of your visual presentation. With Pinterest and essentially every social channel, the most important step in achieving your goals of making content more impactful is remembering the time-tested maxim that one picture is worth a thousand words.
Guidelines for promoting social content
Quality content over quantity is the tried and true way to go. It’s also important to post regularly. Use it or lose it, with the ‘it’ being your audience.,
“Regardless of your resources (time, team size, and budget) it’s always a challenge to balance the content flow between curating and sharing with creating and promoting. With curating there’s a certain amount of automation you can consider to save time and ensure your social presence is consistent.”
What about automation? “I’m on the fence about using bots for curating content on platforms like Twitter since I haven’t found a good tool that actually sounds authentic,” Shinto says.
Lynn has tried tools like Quuu and Dlvr.it before going back to scheduling her own content through scheduling tools instead like Hootsuite, Buffer (for Facebook and Twitter). Both Grum.co and Later are great tools for scheduling and posting content to Instagram.
But how do you find good content to curate and share? “I like BuzzSumo for monitoring news or using Google Alerts to stay on top of anything specifically related to our business.”
She’s not sold on totally automating the content sharing process. “Even though it may take me a little longer to schedule out content, it gives me a peace of mind knowing that what I schedule out uses the correct language or voice that I want the channel to reflect.”
With content curation bots, the voice isn’t always ideally aligned. “That means I’m spending more time correcting the tweet or post when something’s not right.”
The risk of over automating your social feeds is increasing the likelihood that some content will have no connection with your brand, and even worse could potentially damage your image. At some point if you’re acting and sounding like a robot your community will tune you out and turn you off.
What about scheduling social content?
“Being consistent gives your audience and opportunity anticipate when they are likely to hear from you,” Shinto says. “You’ve also got to give your audience something to care about. You shouldn’t be afraid of sharing something thought provoking or will generate discussion.
“The goal is always thinking about why people will want to come back to your social channels, and simply going through the motions, being unoriginal and uninspiring all but guarantees you’ll get nothing in return.”
There is no magic wand solution to aligning content marketing with social platforms, and building a hub of community engagement. It’s an investment to create meaningful content. And, its takes energy to be in tune with what your audience wants, when they want it and where they’ll get it. It’s a delicate balance between being a content curator and content creator.
Final thoughts about sharing great content on social channels
“Think of this whole process like being at a great social event,” Shinto says. “Most people don’t gather around that person who’s just talking on and on about themselves. People gravitate towards the conversations that are insightful or entertaining. Or they want to be connected to interesting social trends, or sharing ideas ideas about new things.”
So get your voice out there. But first, make sure you’ve got something new and important to say. Great content speaks for its