Since the introduction of social media, the way we connect with others has changed dramatically. Now more than ever, it has become easier to reach a vast audience of people who want to learn more about and do business with you. As time goes on, each platform evolves as it matures to serve not only the people who use it but the people who invest in it as well. With each change comes a new tactic, user interface, and feature. However, these three steps in the overall strategy you need to use to create content that converts visitors into customers remain the same.
Step #1: Understand The History And The Goal Of The Platform
Let’s use Facebook as an example of how to understand the history and the goal of a social media network. To make a long story short, the concept of this platform first began as an invitation-only, website-based social media network that silently launched in 2004. At first, it only allowed people with a Harvard email address to get an account and login. Then it was slowly extended to other colleges and eventually to everyone else. Currently, Facebook has 2.7 billion users, and 2.1 billion people who use one of Facebook’s core services – WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger, every day. With one-quarter of the world’s population signing in daily, it’s the biggest social party of all time.
Why is the history of any platform so important? In order to understand what the current goal is, you have to know where it’s been. Facebook now has a long history of tracking everything you do. From what you like, to the things you comment on, and which types of posts you engage with. All in all, they have up to 52,000 data points on every individual they have accumulated while each user has been scrolling, clicking, and commenting. Their goal is to figure out what you like and show you more of it. The better your experience, the more likely you are to spend your time there.
Step #2: Figure Out What People Are Doing In Order To See Results On The Platform
Through the algorithm Facebook has created, its job is to judge which posts or videos get the most exposure. However, it will continue to change as it evolves. The good news is that even though Facebook’s features, tactics, and user interface changes often, your overall strategy does not have to. Your strategy is to figure out what content they are rewarding people for right now and the tactics being used to create the type of content they want. The best way to see an example of this is to look at the things that are consistently showing up in your news feed and are getting the best engagement. Then you can use similar tactics to model it and start to see the same results.
Start with the experts, influencers, and brands in your industry that are already speaking to your target market. I’m sure you are already following a few big names in your space that you wish you had the same kind of engagement as they do on their posts. From there, see who else pops up in your suggestions for who to follow next as they will be similar to who you’re already following. Doing this will allow you to see every important conversation they’re having with the kind customer you want to do business with. This will allow your news feed to become the best market research tool in the world. It will give you access to every ad that’s being run in front of them, the messages that are being portrayed to them, people they are connecting with, the pains they have, and questions they want answers to. This is how you plug into the ecosystem of your potential customers.
Step #3: Create Your Publishing Strategy
Finally, the content you post. What’s on your mind? (The question Facebook asks you every time you open the app)
Posting content about what’s going on in your business and life helps you work your way into connecting with your audience. Remember the research you started doing from Step #2? What kind of conversations are they starting with the audience you want to engage with? You don’t have to look closely to figure out the tactic they are using. That’s because the most common form of copy is the “hook, story, and offer” method. This is used to intentionally pull people in with a great title, get them engaged with a story, and make them an offer they would have asked for anyways because the expert did such a great job telling their story. Every post you create should have a goal like this. These conversation starters are proven to pull the right people in and detract those who aren’t interested in doing business with you.
“Content is one of the few forms of marketing that has a compounding return.” – Tomasz Tunguz, former Google product manager.
Social media is not only a powerful tool on its own to help you build a brand and generate more business from, it’s also a vital component in search engine optimization. Creating valuable and relevant content will not only help you generate traffic to your website right now, but it’ll also give you long-term, sustainable returns over time. This happens when you pair your efforts on social media with the content you create on your website, i.e. blog posts. Having a consistent publishing schedule and social media posting will allow you to rank higher on Google that will build your traffic generating machine.