Creating a Community For Your Brand

Deciding what content you want to create for your social channels isn’t easy, but it’s easy to get it wrong. Many brands fall in the trap of thinking that social media marketing means literally trying to convince people to buy their products online. While that is one of the potential end goals, by no means should you allow this objective to influence too much all of your marketing efforts.

It does make sense that you’d want to share as much information about your company as possible to strum up more interest. But, having too many CTA’s and posts talking solely about your company can be detrimental to your business. There’s a very fine line between brands being overly promotional and not promotional enough.

Let's not forget the definition of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. They are social platforms, primarily created for friends and acquaintances to communicate with one another. They provide the opportunity for brands to communicate their messages to their audience - the focus here being on OPPORTUNITY. If brands decide to talk solely about their products and services, then they’re going to be like that guy at the end of the bar, the guy that sits alone. That one that no one wants to talk to, because he only talks about himself.

There’s a strategy that will actually help you to understand the art of creating conversation with your audience, both current and potential. This strategy is called the 4-1-1 Rule. Originally coined by Andrew David, author of Brandscaping, it was made popular by Joe Pulizzi of The Content Marketing Institute. Essentially, this rule states that “for every self-serving or post, you should repost one relevant piece of content and most importantly share four pieces of relevant content written by others.”

So basically, for every six pieces of content shared via social media (think Twitter for example):

Four should be pieces of content from your influencer target that are also relevant to your audience. This means that around 67 percent of the time you are sharing content that is not yours, and calling attention to content from your influencer group.

One piece should be original, educational content that you have created, like a blog.

One final piece should be sales-related — like a coupon, product notice, press release, or some other piece of content that drives sales, with a call to action.

Posting content in this way will create a relationship with potential customers, as it gives you the opportunity to have have dialogue, build on your business awareness, and keep in touch with your followers.

Clearly, the numbers are easy to follow with this strategy, but it doesn’t have to be an exact science. As long as you understand the thought behind it, you’ll do well! When you share influencer content, they notice (influencers being your customers, target audience, competitors, etc.). Add to that the fact that you are simply sharing their content because you find value in it, and want to share this value with your audience, and you’ve got a win on your hands.

At the end of the day, social media platforms are content distribution platforms. So, remember that you want to attract an audience — not drive people away.

Generally, trying too hard to promote yourself does the latter. Mix it up, share content, share stories, tell people about what you do but don’t lecture them. Make it interesting and establish yourself as both a participant and a leader in the conversation.

The key takeaways from this are:

  1. Be relevant

  2. Don’t talk about just yourself

  3. Listen to your audience and give them a reason to engage with you.

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