Sometimes when I decide on a class topic I never know how its going to go. I know every one has an opinion on how to do social. The Millennials think they are experts on it. And if posting pictures of Dilbert complaining about his job in a cubicle, a lost or abused dog or crazy hastags about being in chains is the idea of social campaigns well then by gosh they have it licked.
But if your plan is to put up good content that people may want to share, then this is the blogpost for you. I am a big believer that many companies large and small are doing social wrong. When social media first started gaining its footing, it became painfully obvious that the fortune 500 did not know how to utilize it or what it was there for.
Social media is a beautiful thing. For years marketers were trying to find a way to be invited in to people’s lives. Of course if you sell beer you advertise on a sporting event and if your Tide you advertise on Rachel Ray. But social is the perfect way to be invited into someones life, but marketers don’t know what to do with that power and therefore abuse it by sending sales messages daily, they do cute hokey stuff that does nothing to further the brand. Then there was one lone sane voice in the wilderness, Williams-Sonoma.
Every day Williams-Sonoma sends recipes and gadgets to make life easy. They never overtly ask for the sale with their daily incursion into our lives. They provide us great things we can use. They treat their followers with respect, where as they don’t insult their intelligence and they don’t barrage them with coupons and sale messages. Most of all they have build a large solid channel that supports their website and sales team.
As I teach social techniques. One sure fire method of building followers and building engagement is providing people with something to engage with. Take this actual post your reading. It will get read on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I will gain followers, and most of all, what i really care about is viscosity. I continue to cement the value of my site in the mind of Google.
After all as people interact with my pages and read and retweet them, Google then understands that the page is safe for its rankings. This is not a spam page and furthermore we are not a spam site. Moreover we provide information to our online communities that we have built up thought providing quality content. By putting proper hashtags and headline on my post, I get my audience.
Conversely the idea that you can gain a follower by putting up some off the wall Hashtag to help build and audience seems to be misapplied and this is a common tactic for the Millennials or so I’m told. So as the person explained that they presently they are teaching social media specialists to find a hashtag, use it and someone might come along and like your site. Sorta like putting a hook in an empty ocean hoping one lost fish swims buy and lands himself on your hook. But sure enough I see it all over the social world.
So I continue to advocate a strong piece of content with the right hashtag, built with the end user in mind will travel farther and faster than gimmicky, corny, hokey hashtag.
To that resolve I had one of my students write me about her experience with all this and this is what she sent me:
I took your advice and instead of blogging just about “new arrivals” etc I created a page called Jewelry FAQ and am answering things my customers ask:
How to care for designer jewelry
How to determine the right necklace length etc etc
what jewelry to wear in the south of France (yes they ask me this)
Also in our blog I have now shifted the from strictly posting about jewelry to more of what you suggested “answering my customers”
Also my customers love to know about the designers we feature so I am now interviewing the designers and doing a Q & A with them and blogging it
The results have been great! Rarely are my post of a pic “reposted” shared etc BUT in this case people are retweeting sharing facebooking ect