You know that guy at the party who is having a one-way conversation? Here's how to avoid being that guy.
The Importance of Curated Content
You put marketing strategies in place to promote your company, your products, and your successes. But when it comes to social media, talking about yourself exclusively isn't the best approach.
Posting curated content is just as important to driving engagement as any post about your own company. Content curation, the process of gathering information pertaining to a specific topic or interest, allows companies to broaden social media reach and start different conversations. By posting information that applies to your industry as a whole, or even items outside your industry, you touch on the other interests of your audience and begin to establish yourself as a thought leader.
Your followers are loyal to your company for a reason, but they have interests and concerns outside of what's happening in your organization. Learning that you share these interests with them, or that you can at least have a conversation about it with them, builds more loyalty and strengthens relationships. The ability to have broader conversations also proves to your followers that your knowledge extends beyond the capabilities of your organization.
The Cocktail Party Approach
Still unsure about taking this approach? Think of it like a cocktail party. To meet people at the party, you're required to mingle, to talk, to make conversations and establish connections. But only talking about yourself won't help you figure out who you have things in common with; you have to find out what other people at the party are interested in and discuss those topics. No one wants to talk to the person that only talks about himself. Apply this concept to social media marketing – if you're only posting about your company, followers are going to turn to other sources for a broader scope of information.
However, if you make a good impression by showing interest in what others are discussing, they will be more likely to reciprocate. They’ll be willing to learn more about you, and perhaps even share your news or introduce you to others with similar interests. In social media marketing, this reciprocal relationship often appears in the form of retweets, mentions, or LinkedIn connections. If you post an article from a trade publication, for example, that media organization might engage with your marketing content in the future.
The Social Media Content Mix
Varying content types improves your social media presence and strengthens your customer relationships. A healthy mix might include the following:
- Find ways to engage followers – surveys, polls, contests.
- Plan a collaborative series with customers, partners, and vendors.
- Consider seasonal concerns and buying cycles.
- Example: My Mom is Beautiful campaign – the subject was not directly related to the company's product, but it was an idea all followers could relate to and it drove engagement.
- Example: Launch Team pairs up with Novatek Communications every fall to create a medical device series that coincides with the MedTech conference. Using co-branded blogs, videos, and podcasts, the two companies are able to give both audiences unique takes on the trends in the industry.
Company's Current Activities
- Promote innovation, culture, quality – highlight what differentiates you.
- Publish content with links to your site.
- Share company news, such as new equipment, new hires, expanded capabilities, daily office culture.
- Example: VisiMax Technologies purchased a new coating chamber for their lab and used social media to keep their followers up to date on the arrival and installation process.
- Example: When Rochester Precision Optics hired a new president, they not only informed their customers but also publicized the news with a press release and social media posts welcoming him to the team.
- Set specific themes – no more than 3.
- Use only quality news sources.
- Avoid sites with annoying UI and sites that promote direct competitors.
- Example: While regularly promoting our own blog on social media, we also share information we believe our followers will find useful from other sources we trust.
- Example: MurLarkey Distilled Spirits doesn't make craft beer, but because they are in the craft beverage industry they use curated content to reach the segment of their market who may have an interest beyond gin, vodka, and whiskey.