Let me start off with asking a blunt question. Is it possible for a person or company to truly just talk and listen to its customers? I know, there are tons of articles out there that say you should be providing content that matters to your audience just to help and engage them. Let us be honest with ourselves, when we create or share content that an audience wants we are doing to move towards a goal of building an audience and generating influence.
Pam Moore put together a fantastic list of tips about how to engage and grow your social media following. Her best advice came from her introduction instead of the 50 tips she provides in the blog post. She stated that “with every post, tweet, status update and blog post you should be thinking about what positive impact it will have on your community”. Even if you are writing an article just to provide advice to your readers or posting some jokes for everyone to laugh at it has to drive towards a purpose. If it is to build an audience write and share things that attract people, or write to engage, or write to entertain. Whatever it may be, have a purpose behind it.
If you have ever created any plan at all you must know that goals are incredibly important in achieving success. The best goal for every piece that you create would be that it is shared, retweeted, and goes completely viral making you rich. These are great goals but most likely a bit to lofty to be achieved. Be reasonable about what you want to achieve, look at what you are about to post and think about what it was designed for and what you can achieve with it. If it is a funny cat video, then see if you can get is shared an X amount of times. Or if it is the health advice of the day then try to get it retweeted an X amount of times. Just remember to keep your content relevant to your overall goals.
It is touted over and over that content is king, but if you are anything like me it may be a struggle sometimes to figure out how to find and create your own content. When I am at stand still I try this age old trick, look at what other people are doing. Guy Kawasaki, a former Apple evangelist, wrote and summarized 10 easy steps for building social media influence. The steps themselves may seem simple but I don’t know how many times I have myself skipped over them. Lately I have become a huge fan of lists to create a process for myself. Lists like Guys remind me what is essential every single time. I have one for info graphics courtesy of Mari Smith. Actually, one of my lists is an info graphic of all the prominent social media platforms out there. As far as content goes, info graphics are one of my favorite things. They provide a colorful image with quick to read information and images to give that data an extra dimension. Is there a list that you use to help you stay focused?
The lists, info graphics, and engagement all do lead to one thing, and that is whatever you need it to. Remember that your connection to your audience, your brand, and everything that you do leads to a goal. Set an objective, make a list, and execute. Whether you use eye catching info graphics or write make sure that you try and creative a positive impact on your audience.