Back to School Series: English
Here, we’re going to present a great challenge. We believe the bar should be set high, and that you have the opportunity to meet it. First, list your top 5 favorite novels. Reminisce about what made them great. Consider the characters that stuck with you long after you closed the back cover. Now, write social content that compelling.
If you think we’re asking you to become Ernest Hemingway, you’re not far off. We believe that great social experiences create lasting relationships, and the first foray into that is engaging content. To help make the task at hand easier, let’s break up content into the Three Cs: Create, Curate, and Converse. We’ll unwrap what each of these mean and how to use them to build strong content.
When creating content from scratch, start from the bottom. We mean way at the bottom. Ask yourself, “What am I hoping to communicate to my audience?” and “How am I going to accomplish that?” These seem simple enough but honing the purpose and intentions of your content will allow your message to carry through to your customer base.
Pragmatically, think about the way different social channels are used. Is this story best told through a blog or will a tweet do? Can an image carry this idea or do I need to create copy to accompany it? Offer your audience an enriched and comprehensive content experience.
To quote Pablo Picasso, “Art is theft.” What Picasso meant to say was, “Great art has its influences.” Likewise, your social channels will rely on the top thinkers in your
industry to help add to your content. Social business is dependent on word-of-mouth and utilizing relevant content will only increase your brand voice’s traction. Take for example the REI Facebook page. The REI community managers help customers learn about sales, new products, and activities that local REI stores may be hosting. But they also go the extra mile to find information that their audience would find valuable. They recently posted about the most popular bike race in Orange County and linked to the event's registration page. Curating content relevant to their customers encourages REI as not only a brand but also a lifestyle.
Social media is about creating an open dialogue. It's easy to post content that speaks to your audience, but you should also give your customers the chance to respond. Whether it be on Twitter, where customers are responded to in a timely manner, or prompting a discussion on a blog, your audience should feel heard. Create content that allows for your audience to contribute their own thoughts, or offer their own submissions. Post open-ended questions that allow your customer constituency to fill in the blank. Offering your audience the chance to chime in is another way that content can help deliver a profound message.
Now that you've got the Three Cs under your belt, you're off to deliver the next Great American Novel. Or at least the next Great American Tweet. It will begin "It was the #best of times; it was the #worst of times..."
Hope to see you all later this week as we continue the Back to School Series! Want to recap our lessons? Check them out here. Want to skip ahead a chapter or two? Download the Social Business Textbook. See you Thursday, class!