What Goes into Great Social Media?

People ask us about social media A LOT. They all want to know how to get more likes and followers, how to get more people to interact with their posts, and how to use their accounts to get more customers.

Well, all of that is certainly possible with social media, but to the surprise (and sometimes disappointment) of many people, there aren’t any magic formulas or quick fixes that make it happen for you. Good social media takes work.

Like a website, engagement and traffic are the product of good content. Posts that are relevant, interesting, and dynamic are at the heart of any successful social media presence. People have to actually be interested in the things you post – otherwise they will just get lost amid the noise.

There is a stark difference, however, between website content and social media content – namely that your website can be all about you, and your social media can’t be. The term says it all: SOCIAL media.

When you’re being social in “real life,” do you really want to spend any time with people who only talk about themselves? Who use every opportunity to promote their own interests and advance their own agendas?

Probably not.

In fact, you probably prefer having conversations with people who are interested in you, who have interesting and helpful insights to share, who ask provocative questions and start meaningful discussions.

All of that carries directly over to social media. To get people to participate and engage with your content, it needs to be truly social – or even more accurately: it needs to be sociable. Ask questions, interact with people, make friends, participate in ongoing conversations; and do it because you want to connect with people, not just because you want to turn them into customers.

Now, because you are still running a business, there will be a component of your efforts that is meant to capture prospects and gain new customers. You should certainly be including these kinds of posts in your overall approach to social media; they just shouldn’t fill your WHOLE page. When you do decide to promote your website, talk about your products, showcase new services, etc., make sure you’re including links to your website (or wherever you want people to click through to).

Still, to get people to click those links and check out the posts that can actually generate revenue, you have to establish those relationships, and that’s going to take some time.

Be cool, post pictures and videos (to help snag people’s attention), be relevant, be friendly… Just be social, and with time and a little diligence, you can build up your followers, form relationships with the people you’re connected to, and get to a place that’s mutually beneficial for you and your audience.

Of course, you can (and should) also dive into all of the analytics and metrics to see how your posts are performing, look at the benefits and costs of advertising through social media, stay up-to-date on algorithmic changes that may affect the visibility of your posts, explore the most beneficial times to make posts, and research what kind of posts get the best engagement in your industry.

But all of that happens on the business side of things, and for most social media users, that’s all very secondary to actual social interaction (whether that’s with individuals OR companies).

You can employ all the tactics and best practices in the world, do everything exactly as the studies say you should, and follow all the rules laid out by the experts, but if you aren’t actual social with your social media, nobody will care.

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