The driving engine in Social Media is content. Yet, few people truly understand what separates great content from filler. You can read white paper after blog post telling you when to post, how often to post, engage your audience with posts, blah, blah, blah.
Those make for great boilerplate presentations. Unfortunately, they do not help you focus on how to create great content.
I stumbled upon this article from All Facebook that features an interview with Gayle Weiswasser, the VP of Social Media at Discovery Communications. This is a company that creates content for their cable channel on a daily basis, so you would expect that they “get” social. Read this quote in response to the question “What is your staff doing to try to boost engagement with your audience?
Before we post, we at Discovery always ask ourselves, “If I were a fan of this page, would I want to check out and share this content?”
Bingo! The key to great content is looking at if from your audience’s perspective.
This is not an easy process. You are too close to what you do and are emotionally connected to your brand. You have an insider’s perspective and knowledge. And, unfortunately, you have a vested interest in everything your brand stands for. Simply put – it pays the bills.
Your audience is not bound by those emotional ties. To begin with – they could care less about who you are and what you stand for. They aren’t “in to you” because of your brand qualities. What you may think is the coolest thing since cheese in a can is absolutely meaningless to them.
The coin of the Social Media realm is – what’s in it for me?
Your mission is to sell me on what is so great about you.
The challenge is in reconciling the two.
Take your audience’s perspective.
Try your best to take your emotional involvement out of the content equation. You have to be able to look at yourself and say “who cares”?
Thinking like your audience means learning from them. Watch their reactions. See what they do (and don’t) respond to. When all else fails – ask them for their opinion.
If you adopt this mindset you will actually find the art of content creation easier to manage because you will have the proper focus.
Your thoughts (because I want to see it from your perspective)
Steve Allan, Social Media specialist