What is your social media doing for you, but more important, what is your social media doing for your members and clients? Are you getting the engagement and results you want?
Sometimes we’re so eager to get our message out to our members about our products and services we forget true engagement isn’t really about that and it’s actually turning off our members. Bottom line: social media is not about you, it’s about your members and clients.
Before the start of the school year, our director asked us to view Simon Sinek’s famous “The Millennial Question” interview. I have a few disagreements with his characterization of millennials, but that’s a subject for another blog.
One of the interesting things he stated was, “We know that engagement with social media and our cell phones releases a chemical called dopamine … It’s why we count the likes, it’s why we go back 10 times to see if the interaction is growing, and if our Instagram is slowing we wonder if we have done something wrong or if people don’t like us anymore.” So for a personal social media account, focusing only on the likes is normal, but for a business account, it can be the kiss of death. There is more to social media engagement than likes or views; you also have very important actions taken on your page such as visiting your website, responses and interactions with your page, and sharing and tagging. But don’t take my word for it: other giants in the world of online marketing and social media have weighed in on this as well and can teach us a lot to help improve engagement with our members.
Gary Vaynerchuk’s book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World” focused specifically on this issue, using boxing analogies to tell his marketing story. “Right hooks” are the posts with selling and pushing of your own products/services; “jabs” are the posts that share engaging content with your audience and get them to respond emotionally. He found it much more effective to throw a lot of jabs that connected emotionally with his audience, while occasionally throwing in the right hooks that made the attempt to sell. People don’t want to be sold something all the time. They want to get to know you a bit more, they want to engage with content that resonates with them. This draws them closer and encourages them to become very loyal to your brand.
Guy Kawasaki (“The Art of Social Media” with Peg Fitzpatrick) actually set numbers to what he prescribes for social media content mix, originally suggesting in his 2014 book that 20% of your social media should help promote your own products and services. But take a look at how those numbers had changed by the time this live training happened in 2017:
- Curate articles: 80%
- Reshare posts: 10%
- Create articles: 5%
- Promote your business: 5%
So, these days he’s actually talking only 5% of your social media content should be used to promote your own stuff.
Kawasaki believes very strongly in providing “the good stuff,” and believes that it is “90 percent of the battle of getting more followers.” And it doesn’t have to be content specifically about your industry. On the contrary, he believes content that resonates with your audience, no matter what it’s about, is good. Like Vaynerchuk, he’s a fan of little selling and much content providing, what he calls “the NPR model.” He explains it this way: “NPR provides great content 365 days a year. Every few months, NPR runs a pledge drive to raise money. The reason NPR can run pledge drives is because it provides such great value. Your goal is to earn the privilege to run your own ‘pledge drive.’ A ‘pledge drive’ in this context is a promotion for your organization, product or service. If you are familiar with American radio or TV networks, the question is, ‘Do you want to be NPR or QVC?’”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.