I Hate Talking About Technology
It’s not about the technology
It never fails. Every time I speak to a group of business owners they want to ask me about the technical aspects of social media. What is the best time to post content? How many tweets should I post per day? Great questions but they’re fundamentally missing what I feel is most important. The audience and the content.
Focus on people
You can post your content at the perfect time on Facebook but if your content sucks it doesn’t matter. If you’re not thinking about your audience it doesn’t matter. I run across this fundamental misunderstanding on a daily basis. People think social media is the silver bullet to their communication woes. If they could just post their newsletter to their Facebook page open rates would skyrocket and gold coins would rain down from the sky.
Business owners are worried about not knowing the technical aspects of social media. That’s a genuine concern. It’s not something just anyone can do well. However, any successful business owner should know their customers and what they like. That is one of the biggest hurdles in using social media to communicate. You have to know your audience.
Once you’ve got your audience you need to figure out what they love. What do they love to read about? What can you help them accomplish? What expertise do you have that they can use? Always focus on giving to your audience. If you give your audience overwhelming value it helps build context into your relationship. This context is what helps drive engagement and future actions on your messaging. Don’t expect people to give to you when all you’ve done is repeatedly ask for what you want.
Focus on your content
Many people think social networks like Facebook and Twitter are just another way to communicate. What they really are entirely news ways to communicate. Let me explain.
You cannot post your newsletter content on Facebook in the same style, tone and format. It’s simply not going to work. Each network has its own unique language that you have to respect. Twitter is different from Facebook which is different from Instagram. Respect each network for what it is and don’t force it to be something it’s not.
Facebook content should be visual– content that you know your audience will love. Your tweets should be thought provoking. Similar to really well written headlines that make you want to read more. Your Instagram photos should be beautiful or show faces and emotion. If it’s not a great photograph it doesn’t belong on Instagram. Your pins should be visual and help your audience accomplish a goal they might have.
Don’t get lost in the technical aspects of social media. It’s most important to remember that it’s the people behind the keyboard that ultimately drive what happens online. Taking the time to understand your audience and what they love will serve you much more than any software or technical piece of advice ever could.