I told you that the best way to attract an engaged social media audience is to put out quality content, consistently. And then connect with others who are happy to help promote your content.
Now it’s time to look at exactly how to go about doing those things.
What is Quality Content, and How to Create Some
A big part of social media is sharing other people’s content. And certainly you want to do that, and do it often. But, ultimately, you’re going to need your own great content to establish yourself as an authority in your market.
With content marketing being “where it’s at” right now, it’s not good enough to just write anything and put it out there. Your content has to be quality, or no one’s going to come back for more.
When I write, my foundation goal is always to produce something that will make people want to add me to their “favorites.” That could mean subscribing to my list; adding me to their Reader; or putting me on their Facebook Interest lists, Twitter list, or “special” Google+ circle. That’s how you define “quality.”
How to create quality content could fill at least a book, but here are some of the important starting points to get you thinking:
- Be relevant and creative: This can be a little tricky. You want to be creative, and write about things others aren’t writing about. But, you also want to be relevant, and cover what others are writing about so your audience doesn’t have to go elsewhere to keep up with what’s happening in the market. The key to creating content on the same topics everyone else is talking about is to give it your own unique presentation.
- Solve a problem in a step-by-step manner: Always focus on problem-solving for your market. And make the solution as easy to follow and implement as possible. Generally, your market is online looking for answers, not for your opinion, or to be entertained.
- Focus on action, not theory: Give your readers something they can actually use. Make sure they walk away with something they can do that will make their life better or easier.
- Give away your best stuff, but leave them wanting more: Don’t make your content about selling your stuff. Instead, make it about helping your audience. Give them such incredibly valuable information that they can’t wait to pay you for what brilliance certainly lies beyond your “free” line.
- Vary your content type: Use written, audio, and video content. Different people will be attracted to the various types, and your faithful readers will appreciate the variety.
Here’s the place where a lot of “experts” are missing the boat, and causing a lot of their followers to needlessly struggle. Yes, you must be consistent. But, “Consistently” doesn’t equal “Constantly.”
Unless you have a great team, and I’m assuming you don’t (yet!), you can’t be everywhere all the time. So stop trying. And stop posting “good morning,” and “good night,” and “what’s for lunch,” every day on your social media accounts. That does not meet the definition of “quality content.” (I know, there are a few exceptions. If those kind of posts work for you, who am I to tell you to stop. But, they aren’t the best or easiest or even a good way to build a targeted following that will grow your business)
Ultimately, you’ll have to define “consistently” by experimenting. But, for starters, you should be blogging at least once a week, and posting on your chosen social media platforms daily. Figure out how often you need to post by seeing what it takes to engage people in conversations there.
Where to Find the Right Connections
This may feel a little like a Catch-22 situation. You need lots of good people to promote your good content, but you can’t gather those good people, until they’ve seen your good content.
Fortunately, you aren’t the first one to have this problem. So, there are lots of good solutions. You just have to connect with people who will help you, and be willing to help them in return. Here are my favorite sources for connecting with others who will get the word out about your great stuff.
- Triberr.com ~ Start your own tribe of bloggers, or join one in your market that already exists. All tribe members’ RSS feeds appear in one spot inside Triberr, and you can then easily share with any or all of your social media networks.
- JustRetweet.com ~ JustRetweet is based on a point system that allows you to award people points in exchange for sharing your content. You spend the points you accumulate when you request retweets from others.
- SocialBuzzClub.com ~ This is a paid service, just $10 a month, but is worth the money. The content you see here is usually high-quality. Members agree to share content on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
- Twitter Lists, Facebook Interest Lists, Google+ Circles: Make lists and circles of people you see creating good content. Consistently share their stuff. There’s no guarantee they’ll share back, but many will. This can be a slower way to get your content shared, and is “hit and miss,” but I’ve formed some of my best mutual sharing relationships this way.
The Good News Is . . .
Once you start doing these things ~ writing quality content, consistently, and connecting with others who will share it ~ you will start to notice the snowball effect taking over. At first, you’ll have to produce more content, and work harder to get people to share it.
As the word gets out, and more people get used to seeing your good stuff, you’ll be able to create less content, and it will be shared by even more people, while you’ll find yourself spending less time working to get people to share it.
Give it a try, and let me know how it works out for you. What works best? Do you have ideas and/or experiences that work even better for you? Are you still struggling in some area? Let me hear it in the comments below.