What to say? When to say it? Who should you tell?
If only I had a dollar every time a client said to me, “We don’t know what to say on our social networks”.
I understand. Addressing a customer or customer audience through a social channel can feel awkward. A surprising number of people experience digital shyness when posting on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and other channels (even when the communication is on behalf of a business).
I guess that’s a good thing. This means that people feel apprehensive about what to say to an almost invisible, yet vast audience. Use this sentiment to make sure what you post sounds the right notes for your audience to hear.
In the professions of law, medicine, consulting, and even retail, people aren’t trained in college or graduate school to know how to promote a business or service on all these new social channels. . What to say on social networks to promote a business? And to whom should these messages be addressed?
It is important to have a strategy rooted in the reality of your business.
There are a few steps to follow to ensure that the communication approach is effective.
1. You need to know who your audience is.
Define the different demographic avatars of the types of people you want to reach who would care about your business. I can assure you that the list of people types will be longer than you imagine.
Here are some examples of avatars: customers or current customers; potential buyers or customers; media contacts who would be interested in your services or products; peer professionals who could be referral sources; or just specific types of people who would care about your business.
The list of types of people could get long. It’s important to consider as many types of customer avatars as possible and then map your messaging to those subgroups.
2. Define the types of content you want people to read or see.
Make a list of the types of posts or content you would like to share. Examples of content areas include: positioning yourself as a subject matter expert, presenting visually beautiful images of your products, educating your audience on the benefits of your services or key attributes of your services, sharing thoughtful content to from other high-quality sites such as news outlets or featured articles that highlight the work you do or the products you represent, featuring the people who work on your team, etc.
3. Once you’ve defined your audience and content, start posting an interesting mix of content types across audience segments on a regular basis.
Over time, you will discover what works well for your business. Don’t worry too much about when you post, as you’ll discover the times and days of the week that work best for your audience. And, if you increase the (advertising) content, you will do so over at least a few days, if not longer, so when you post becomes questionable.
It’s important to test messaging and explore what works well for different types of stakeholders who may be interested in your business, products, or services. When you take this stance on your content marketing strategy, you will discover beneficial surprises and your business will grow.
• Rebecca Hoffman is the founder and principal of Good Egg Concepts, a strategic communications and brand marketing consultancy serving clients in Chicago and nationally.