The value of social media content to followers varies greatly from post to post. Each person may like to dislike a post, but there are types of posts that do better than others. This is because some posts naturally give more value. Value is what followers feel the usability and worth of a post. These posts often invoke emotions like happiness, sadness, anger, or trust.
To compare the value of social media posts we can break them down into four categories. These are the broad type of content that you can share. These include:
- Personal Engagement: engaging with followers through conversation.
- Custom Content: branded content that you make and followers want
- Duplicate Content: content that someone else create and you share with your audience
- Promotions and Ads: sales oriented content
Many small businesses need to consider the resources that are put into creating these types of posts and the subsequent value followers get from it. The ROI in social media is in how you use it. Offering value to followers creates fans. They can promote your message to others or buy something when you need them to. Fans are an asset to your business.
When I hear people debate the ROI of social media? It makes me remember why so many business fail. Most businesses are not playing the marathon. They’re playing the sprint. They’re not worried about lifetime value and retention. They’re worried about short-term goals. – Gary Vaynerchuk
Resources like time and money are often limited to small business. Consider how much you put into posts compared to what you get out.
Personal engagement with your audience and custom content are often the most valuable content to followers. This type of content also builds your long-term brand or authority. Custom content takes more resources to make which is why small businesses often avoid developing it. The value you receive from custom content, the ROI, is far greater in comparison to duplicate content.
Twitter and LinkedIn groups are great places to have conversations. These platforms are designed to engage with people more than sharing links. Facebook, Medium, and LinkedIn Pulse are designed well for sharing your own content with others. Pinterest and Instagram are unique in that they are designed for sharing your content, but specifically images and photos.
Duplicate content and promotions are the most poplar types of posts. Which isn’t necessarily a good thing. They are often easy to create and post, but offer little value to followers. Promotions and advertisements do create a short-term increase in sales which it good for profits. Short-term profits should balance with the value that posts bring followers.
Offering so many promotions and content that isn’t yours will often distance yourself from your customers. When overused, it annoys followers and they will unfollow or learn to ignore your content. This limits your overall reach and long-term ROI of your marketing.
Effective social media pages and profiles have a unique mix of content that is right for their specific audience. The majority of content should be personal engagement and custom content. This builds the best following and has the most long-term return. You should figure out how much resources you put into this type of content as each business is different. These resources create an asset for your business by creating fans out of your followers.
It’s a dialogue, not a monologue, and some people don’t understand that. Social media is more like a telephone than a television. – Amy Jo Martin
Use promotions and shared content sparingly and when its appropriate. The short-term gains from ads may to tempting, but you need to consider the long-term growth of your business. Give value to your customers and they will be happy to give exponentially more in return when you present an offer.
Utilize branded content when you really feel that your followers will value it. Too many pages will share content just because it matches their industry. Although sharing content with your followers may be simple it needs to be thought out.
Strategic partnerships are a great opportunity to share others content with purpose. This is a chance for you to share something with your followers want. In return, your partner can share your content with their followers.
You may also share content with the intent of helping an organization that matter to you. This kind of shared content offers more value to followers and helps an organization in need.
All marketing should be done with purpose. Social media is not an exception from this. Just because its simple to post content doesn’t mean its easy to get results. Even “social media professionals” don’t always get effective results. These professionals are great at sharing content and adding hashtags, but fall short at creating assets and long-term return. This is why some brands don’t get the return that they expected. Why some “experts” don’t think social media is valuable to businesses.
Related Article: Writing Facebook & Twitter Posts To Engage Customers One-on-One
Develop a strategy when posting on social media. Post with purpose. If you don’t know what to post than simply ask your followers. Be creative and invest in offering real value to the people who follow you, because they care about what you have to say.
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