There are numerous changes coming to the Bing platform and this Mashable article does a great job of outlining them.
The one item that struck me is how Facebook likes will now start affecting search results. That means the more times you can get your fans and followers to respond to your content the more likely you are to affect your SEO- at least on Bing. We have known for quite some time that Facebook’s Page Rank algorithm is affected by audience interaction. Now, this interaction has taken on greater importance.
Which leads to the obvious question – how do I get my followers to click “like” on my content?
The answer is simple while the process is exceedingly complex.
Connect with your followers on an emotional level and they will respond. See how easy that is? All you have to do is create content that touches someone.You can say resonate or engage or interact but the bottom line is you have to give them something that they care about.
Of course, doing that is what separates the great communicators from the average posters. Great communicators know how to reach inside an audience and cause action. And we know that every action causes a reaction (Wow, high school physics finally came in handy).
The question for you, Mr. or Ms. content Creator, is – exactly how do I do that? Here are a few ideas that will get you started:
Think like your audience – Whatever you have to say about your brand is really meaningless to me. It is your job as the content creator to craft your message in a way that has relevance to me. The easiest way to do this is to examine how you feel about content you interact with ON YOUR OWN TIME. Examine your personal interactions in social media. What makes you respond? What makes you click away?
While it would be incredible arrogant for anyone to presume they know exactly what their audience is thinking at any given moment, this process will help you to get outside of yourself and gain a different perspective.
The biggest mistakes I see in content is inward focus. Telling me who you are – alone- does not create an emotional bond. Telling me how what you do is meaningful to me is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Understand emotion – When I say the word “emotion” the visceral reaction is usually “love” or some other soft, tender, personal feeling. Emotions run the gamut from fear and rage to amazement and humor. We can be equally touched by a drama or a comedy. Our interest can be piqued by facts or questions. Tapping into emotion means you are getting someone to pay attention.
So, when you are crafting content ask yourself this question – How do I expect my audience to react to this? If you can’t see an emotional connection between what you are writing and what they are reading – re-write!
Don’s ask, do tell – The biggest mistake I see in content creation is asking for responses. While it is important to “ask for the order” the question alone will not elicit a response. You have to give them a reason to respond. That goes back to that whole emotional thing.
“We just got in a shipment of new shoes. What kind of shoes do you like?” That is not the kind of content posting that will get a ton of likes. You haven’t motivated anyone to respond. You just asked a question.
“Studies suggest that shoes lose most of their support after about a year of walking. How old are yours?” This sets up a situation that makes someone think. Even if they don’t respond you have cut through the clutter and made an impression.
Manage expectations – Even the best content will only get about a 1% response from your followers. If your Facebook page has 5,000 fans your best posts will likely garner 50 likes and/or comments. This is why growing a fan base is so important. It is also why great, emotional content is so important.
Know your voice – The beauty of social Media is that you can humanize your brand unlike never before. This applies to small businesses and non-profits alike. Develop your style. Realize that everything you post does NOT have to be of monumentous importance. Strive for a balance between the frivolous and the essential. Find that mid-point between having fun and delivering value.
As I wrote about viral videos here, there are no guarantees your posts will generate responses. The variables are many – time of posting, relevance to the moment, competing voices, etc. The best thing you can do is deliver consistency. If you develop an expectation in your audience that what you say has value – to them! – you will generate more responses and more loyalty.
It takes time. So start now
Steve Allan, Social Media specialist