Mastering Organic Social Content in 2018
This week, Kate Delaney sits in as host of the CEOMoney radio show. We talk about what businesses should do on Facebook to maintain their organic content growth.
Giovanni Gallucci: Last week, we chatted a little bit about what was happening with Facebook and the fact that they're kinda constricting the feeds for us on Facebook, and this week, we wanna talk a little bit about what do we do about that, right? Last year, if you were working in an editorial content business, we started getting used to having produced live video, and put up video streams for social media sites. And there were other things that we kind of focused on, like chatbots, and talking about social media with shelf lives and things like that. So we're not gonna go into all that stuff. But what I wanna talk about today is, what can businesses do in 2018 to help them with the landscape that says, "Okay, you're gonna produce all this original content." We've been giving you best practices, and you've developed, in some cases, businesses have developed in house, especially publishing houses of folks that create text-based content, video content, photography, and things like that for the social media.
And, ironically, right when companies get used to doing that, then Facebook comes along and starts tightening up the news feeds where it's harder to get to folks. So, a few things that I can recommend to businesses this week, as far as continuing to create content on the editorial basis, and getting the most eyeballs on it that you can. Number one, relevant content is gonna become more and more critical. What I mean by relevant content is, in the past, if you created stuff that was just good on the eyes, that the folks that followed you enjoyed looking at. That typically was enough just to get people's attention. These days, it's gonna be much more critical for you to produce content. And whether that's video, photography, or text-based content, that you're producing content that actually means something and makes the connection between your brand and between your users and your customers, right?
So, it's a natural evolution. It's nothing to be terribly freaked out about, but it means that, and this is in most disciplines, as you mature in a business, as you nail something down, then your next step is okay, "How do we make that better?" Right? So, this would be a good thing to be doing to begin with. It's just that now it becomes more of a pressing need for a business to be mindful of the fact that we need to put some thought into whether or not the content we're producing actually brings bonafide value to the user, in a way that makes that user or that viewer or that content consumer, makes them really want to take that content and share it with folks. It is absolutely critical that we are creating content that people will share with other folks online, 'cause that's how you're gonna beat the Facebook news feed. Right? So, number one is relevant content.
Number two is in... I did this quite a bit with clients last year, is making sure that, while you wanna overlap your social media channels, it's also more important than ever to make sure that when you come up with your editorial calendar and when you're posting stuff, that the content you produce is specific to Twitter, it's specific to Instagram, it's specific to Facebook. Right? And that means how long is the text, what size are the images. When you post images up on the different social media sites, you need to make sure that when those platforms crop those images, to show them to your users, that they're cropped properly, so that you don't get maybe... If you've got a nice photo of maybe somebody at the company, then you post it up on Twitter, and the photo is kind of portrait mode, like you would take holding up your phone, well, Twitter's gonna crop that image like a 16 x 9, and you may all of a sudden have an image of someone's chest in your Twitter's newsfeed instead of their face, the way you'd want it to be, right?
So you need to make sure that stuff works well, but pay attention to the fact that posting up on a Snapchat story is not the same as posting up on Instagram. And a lot of nuances and you've gotta have somebody dedicated to knowing what they're doing on those channels if you're gonna be effective. We also used to be able to kind of throw stuff up against a wall, and kind of see if it stuck. Much more important this year to listen to what's happening with your users. Find out what's important to them. Flat out ask them. And when I say users, I kinda mean, your viewers or your readers on social media. But it's more important to listen to what they're saying and what's important to them, and it's also super important to listen to what your competition's fans are saying to them. 'Cause part of this game, and I think I mentioned this last week, part of this game in being successful in social media is not only building your brand up and growing your user base, it's also going and looking at what your competition is doing well, and replicating that so you can level the playing field between your brand and the competition. And that hopefully will put you in the position to leapfrog over them once you've kind of leveled everything out.
Two other things that I really want folks to focus on this year is, you've got to, more than ever, invest in the influencer marketing, which means that... It's funny that I thought about when I was putting together this list for this week, just yesterday, I went to an event... We're here in Dallas, and I went to a lecture from a gentleman that has spent about 30 years in advertising, and one of the things he brought to the table, and this is something that's kind of been in the back of my mind, but he put it so eloquently, is that he always focuses, when he's scaling a business, and when he's working with larger businesses, or maybe emerging businesses that wanna grow, he never focuses on getting 10,000 customers. He focuses on finding 100 absolutely rabid brand evangelists because he says that in his 30 years of working in advertising, every single time they find success with the brand, that brand has always got a core base of followers that will do anything to show the world that they're a fan of that brand.
And so in social, when you're doing influencer marketing, you need to be careful not to be so freaked out about the numbers in the follower game. You need to be freaked out about finding 100 people that love your brand so much that they, whether it's in investing, whether you've got a small business doing something, if it is in financial or any other business, you need to find 100 people that like everything you put up online, that comment on your stuff, that share your stuff. Those are the people that will create a viral movement behind your brand, that will push it to exponential growth over the next two, three, four, five years.
And the last one, and this is kind of interesting 'cause... Be open here in the fact that in the financial world, I don't have a ton of experience working with clients in the financial world, but we were just talking having a conversation here right before we went on air about working with financial agencies that work with younger generation folks, and especially in the financial world or with any kind of business, you need to really be focusing on generation Z. These are people that are digital natives. They're 22 years and younger but they are coming out on their own, they're coming out of college, they're starting their professional careers, and those folks now are the people that will be the seed for your growth over the next two or three decades. And so, it's really important if you want to look at long-term success, you don't wanna ignore all the other age groups but you certainly want to focus on folks that are 22 and younger. And look at what that generation finds important and kind of what their needs and their wants are.
Host: Yeah. Wow, you are so speaking to the choir. This is my lane. I go out and I talk to millennials and my thing, I trademarked it, is what's your wow? How do you clearly confidently concisely describe who you are and what you do.
GG: I love that kind of stuff.
Host: And it's oh, I am so glad that I'm filling in and I met you, Giovanni.
GG: Are we best friends now?
GG: We just become best friends.
Host: Yeah, I mean, everything you just said is everything that I'm working on, and for everybody listening, seriously, this is so relevant. And I'm glad you said that generation Z and talked about digital natives because that's it. And I think there's confusion as to what you feed into social media and also taking the same content and using it over and over again, being careful about that, because as you know, I wish we had a longer conversation but we'll have a conversation off the air, about that content not being the same in every space, taking one picture and pumping it out across all the platforms is not good. That's not the way, right, to leverage.
GG: No, absolutely. And you're gonna have a strategy where if you're pushing a product or a service, it's fine to have a strategy and a theme, kind of you create your brand story that covers all the social network sites, but you wanna make sure that you're using language and verbiage, and you're approaching a Snapchat campaign differently than a Facebook campaign, and certainly different than LinkedIn, right? I mean, those are completely different audiences, and sure there's a lot of overlap between the two of them, but when you and I get dressed to go to work in an office, we are not the same people that as we are when we get dressed to go to a music festival on a weekend, and we will respond differently in those different environments. And that's the exact same way social media sites are. There are social sites and there are business sites, and there are sites where we play around with our peers and our family and people that are business associates, and then there are places where we like to be anonymous and have a great time.