The first and most important thing is to keep it simple.
Marketing of any kind needs to focus on customers. And no one will become a customer unless they:
- KNOW what you do
- LIKE the way you do it
- TRUST you to deliver
That means your content generation and social media activities already have a shared objective of helping you build the KNOW/LIKE/TRUST levels that turn people into customers. What we're focusing on here is making them work together as seamlessly and efficiently as possible so that it’s easy to both get new customers and to retain those customers for the long term.
The customers have to be able to trust you
Keep it REAL
Content is king, but only if it's relevant. Your best guide to creating content is to think about what it is you know and/or do that your potential customers want and need to find out about. What insight do you have that they'd love you to share with them? It doesn't have to be rocket science. Quite the contrary. It just has to be REAL and RELEVANT to your customers. If it's not relevant, frankly, it's worthless.
Find out where they live
You need to know which social media is appropriate for your business. Your business isn't all things to all men, and your social media strategy can't cover all of the 1000's of social media channels out there. So you need to figure which virtual communities are the ones where you'll find the majority of your potential customers, and that's where you can concentrate your efforts. Facebook, for example, is seen as consumer and end-user orientated while LinkedIn is seen as more relevant for B2B businesses.
Which social media platform is right for your business
Good pictures aren't an option
They're essential. So before you even think about publishing anything, put some effort into finding some great SOURCES of IMAGES to complement your words. Good images serve many purposes but the main one is to grab attention and serve as a summary of your content. Again, it must be relevant - if it's not, it will fail - but nothing attracts attention like a great image.
Don't underestimate the importance of pictures
Make it EASY
There are loads of ways that customers will want to interact with your content - copy, share, pin, tweet, subscribe, bookmark, pocket, read-it-later, stumble..... the list approaches infinity. The good thing is that there are even more tools to add functionality like this to any website or blog. You're, literally, spoilt for choice. So there's no excuse for not making it really easy for your audience to do do whatever they want with your content. Just make sure that all this functionality doesn't confuse or get in the way!
Remember, it works BOTH ways
Remember we talked about trust at the start? Well communication is the 'currency of trust'. In other words, communication, is what we use to 'gain' trust and proper communication is a two way thing - we need to listen and understand as well as talk. And we'll need to do it well to gain the confidence of our customers.
Communication is about developing trust
Finally, we need to remember that customers are real people - something that can be difficult to remember in our all new virtual world - so we need to show them some respect. Keep a real person in your mind while you think of what you need to write, keep them there as you write it, as you publish it, distribute it via social media and as you interact with the feedback you generate. If you respect them properly, there's a chance that they'll honour you with their business.