A startup CEO recently told me how he fell into the vanity likes/following circle and spent many thousands of dollars trying to amass likes on Facebook. While it is important to get a community of followers for your brand, it is critical for that community to be relevant to your brand. What good is a community that consists of people liking you, but not being interested in your products? They are never going to convert. And if you have been lucky and have a community that is relevant to your niche, the second part of the puzzle is, how do you keep your community engaged? Today, I will talk about three tips on finding brand-appropriate content for your niche communities.
1. Scale content curation: Content curation is a three-step process. You follow a seek-organise-share cycle. And as easy as it may sound, it takes effort when you need to do it on an everyday basis, relentlessly. That’s the reason tools have been invented to help you fight the battle. Here’s a good list to go by:
- Content seeking: Due to industry-specific journals/online magazines, set up specific Google alerts, Newsle, Twitter, Feedly, Pinterest. Choose the one you get and are comfortable with. Do not restrict yourself to a one-member content team. Involve other team members to share content pieces that are relevant to your brand and products.
- Content organisation: There are a few things to remember, content curating does not mean copying and pasting content what you found on one blog to your own. That’s plagiarism. What you need to do, is to put your own perspective on top of the content you identify with or have found. Add value to the existing content for it to be useful to your community. Even if you’re just sharing a 140-character tweet, add a remark that makes it your own. Be proactive in sharing your opinions, be you.
- Content sharing: You’re in luck if your teams are curating content for you. Ensure that they share it further from their own social handles too, and become brand ambassadors! When you share do not forget to credit the original creator and give them a shout out! Share like you care
2. Create original content: There is no doubt that curating may seem easier and faster, but as a brand you need to create a sufficient level of original content. This is not as complicated as it may sound. Here are a few examples that are easy and do not require too much time or effort.
- Be an “event parrot”: If you are attending a networking event, get your whole team to create original content for your social streams. This may mean videos, photos, tweets, Facebook, Foursquare entries, etc. Ensure you create a buzz and lace it with your brand’s hashtag (#). Be visible for an industry event that will also help you be seen in your particular niche. Use events and conferences to also connect with other participants and build engagement on social media.
- Interview your product teams: Whether its the latest product update or a recent fix, send out a couple of questions to your product and sales people and form the basis of a great product-related blog post that your customers will appreciate. No one knows your brand as well as your own employees!
- FAQs: Go to industry forums and FAQ sections of product magazines. Answer the questions that your consumers have. Be consumer-centric and their first source of answers to product and industry-related information.
- Use internal content: SlideShares, presentations, videos – all that can be shared externally can be a part of your original content plan.
3. Optimise your content: Ken Herron, Head of marketing, Unified Inbox, shared a great quote a couple of days ago:
“Social Networks are like snow flakes. They may look alike but all of them are unique” (via @Kenherron)
Make this your mantra. Once your content is ready to be shared, do not copy paste the same content and headlines on each network. It needs to be optimised. Taking a step back, you do not need to be on every single social network. Choose the networks based on where you expect your consumers to be! The top three optimisation tips include:
- Choose your network based on consumer data: Rely on social media demographic data and your industry experience.
- Do not copy paste updates but optimise them for each network: Twitter is 140 characters, Facebook’s tonality is friendlier, and LinkedIn is all business – it helps to optimise based on facts!
- Use tools that save time and optimise faster: Tools that allow for approval (when multiple members are curating and creating content), and also enable you faster curating, editing, scheduling and optimising for each network at the same time. Outbox Pro is one such amazing tool doing all these at once. So, get your team to create content, send it to you for approval, schedule it at any date and time and optimise to the networks that you choose and add to the tool. This is a seamless process and hardly takes time!
Which tools do you use for finding the most brand appropriate content?