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Social Media Requires High Quality Content to Be Effective

Social Media Requires High Quality Content to Be Effective

02.12.2015.

Social media has taken the marketing world by storm. Companies across all industries are jumping on the bandwagon, creating social media pages to represent their products, services and expertise. Many of these pages, however, fail to meet the critical objectives of connecting with a target audience, creating brand recognition and loyalty and eventually leading to sales. The biggest reason for this frequent failure is the lack of quality content available for posting.

It’s important that companies understand that social media is better at amplifying their content than it is at serving as a marketing tool on its own merits. If you aren’t producing quality content relevant to your audience, your chances of achieving the above objectives are slim to none.

Here are a few things to consider when creating content for your social media channels.

Consistency

The content that you create needs to be consistent with the brand image you put forth. Tone, voice and style all need to be a fit with your social media, website, brochures and other marketing material you present to the public. Your social media channels should serve as a preview of what your followers can expect from the rest of your content if they click through to your site, so it’s important that your social media pages mesh with the content on your website and your brand as a whole.

Consistency

Site Traffic

An important objective for the content you post on social media is for it to drive traffic back to your website. While it’s important to mix in plenty of content from other authoritative websites, you’ll want to make sure you’re sending your followers back to authoritative content on your own site. This way, if you have high enough quality content that’s helpful to them in some way, they’ll return, share your posts and potentially fall in line with your sales cycle.

Traffic

Helpfulness

If all you post on social media is sales-focused marketing material, you’ll find it quite difficult to build a loyal audience. The best type of content is the content that helps your audience members solve a problem without directly pushing your product or service on them. If they like the content you’ve shared with them enough, they’ll likely stay in touch and a relationship will start to build.

Help

Accuracy

This one is critical. You don’t want to start building that relationship by appearing helpful only to have your advice end up being wrong. Make sure you check your facts, and don’t lead those consuming your content in the wrong direction. If the content you meant to be helpful ends up causing headaches because you didn’t take the time to check your facts, watch out. An audience member scorned is likely to bash your brand online at any given opportunity.

And don’t forget about the accuracy of the text you include in your descriptions for each social media post. Grammar mistakes, overdone punctuation, all caps and other mistakes can turn your followers off and send them away.

Accuracy

Visual Appeal

If you are creating visual content like infographics, ebooks or videos, make sure you don’t skimp on quality. Your audience will see right through cheesy stock imagery or hastily thrown together layouts. Take your time. Hire a professional designer or use the one you’ve got in house. Your audience will associate the quality of the design with the quality of the copy it surrounds, so be sure to pay careful attention to visuals.

When you promote these on social media, be sure to accompany the post with an image that entices your followers to click to view more. If your social media channels don’t pull in a good image, load up your own. It’s important that the visuals in the post match expectations when followers land on the actual content.

Design

Consider Location

Content isn’t one-size-fits-all, by any means. This is especially the case when it comes to location. Whether targeting by country, city or even by neighboring zip codes, you need to take into consideration the cultures, habits, behaviors and nuances of people in those areas. What resonates with an audience in a city like New York or Philadelphia may not connect with people in rural farming communities, even within the same state or general vicinity. In cases like these, it’s best to really study the target region before creating content, or even consider hiring a copywriter or content creator with local expertise.

Once you’ve created content to target a specific audience, be sure you’re on the right channels. If you’re targeting audience members in China, for example, Facebook isn’t your best option. You’ll see better results posting on a platform like Weibo. Be sure to learn as much about the social media habits of the audience you’re targeting as you can before you start promoting that localized content.

World

Following these tips will take your social media marketing to the next level. Social media should never be approached without thought and strategy. It should be given as much attention as any other marketing tactic in regard to strategy development and quality. Social media without a plan and without high quality content to fuel your efforts is like a rock band without an amplifier.

Anthony Gaenzle is a Lead Consultant and Marketing Strategist at AG Integrated Marketing Strategists

He has worked with numerous businesses to help them develop and implement effective marketing strategies. His expertise spans a wide variety of disciplines that include content marketing, SEO, graphic design, marketing strategy, social media, film and video, and more. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Master’s in Marketing and is currently nearing completion of an MBA from Clemson University.

You can connect with Anthony on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+

Author:

Barry on December 2, 2015 AT 11 am

I think your article would get more attention titled Ways to create high quality content on social media, or something like that.
When I read your title, I thought “Obviously” and didn’t read it.
Effective headlines can pull readers in. Now that’s obvious

    Heather on December 2, 2015 AT 11 am

    Thanks for your feedback, Barry! We constantly test new headlines and titles to see what grabs our audience’s attention. We appreciate when our readers take the time to let us know explicitly what works for them (and what doesn’t!).

Anthony Gaenzle on December 3, 2015 AT 10 am

Hey Barry, thanks for your insight. I certainly appreciate where you’re coming from, but headline quality differs for different readers. So while this one didn’t connect with you, it’s actually received a ton of shares and activity, and it clearly states what the reader is to expect. That said, it’s good to see people like you out there actually analyzing the content and not just lazily browsing through it. We need critics in our world, or we never improve!

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