Social Media Strategy: Tips to make your content go further.

Imagine you’re out to dinner with a table of people. The person on your left is talking about cats while the person on your right is talking about sweet potato. Would you interrupt to declare your opinion that leggings aren’t pants? A solid social media strategy is about finding the best way to be relevant – how about that photo you took the other day of a sweet potato that looked like a cat?

Crafting and maintaining a voice is an investment that can at times feel like you’re throwing content into a black hole. Great friendships aren’t created overnight. Trust and common ground is established over time, shared experience and action

One of the biggest issues I come across is deconstructing social media. Between Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn people don’t seem to know what to post where. They are each unique outlets and need to be acknowledged and treated differently. If you had triplets, you wouldn’t give them all the same name because it was easier – and if you would, social media probably isn’t going to work out for you.

When it comes to facebook it’s all about engaging your community of users. The best way to encourage interaction is to ask questions. Whenever I explain the concept to clients I liken it to meeting someone for the first time. Imagine you’re at a party, you’ve just been introduced to someone and you’re trying to start a conversation. The most obvious way to do this would be to ask a question. Offering a dead end statement wouldn’t get you very far. The same theory of conversation should be applied to Facebook posts. If you sold washing machines online, posting a picture of a washing machine with a link to your site will get as far as a 1-legged donkey trying to run up a hill. Posting a picture of a sock and asking your users a question such as ‘If I were a washing machine, I would hide my socks ______?’ may get you further.

Here’s a few tips to keep in mind before hitting the submit button.

Setting the Tone
Your posts should have a purpose. Try and keep them light hearted and informal. Think of them as little morsels of interest. Your may type them into a computer, but a computer isn’t the one reading them. Humanise your tone of voice so people can relate to you.

Good things come in small packages
Assume your followers have the attention span of a goldfish and keep it short n’ sweet. No one likes an essay! Twitter will sort that out for you with a limited space of 140 characters. In this instance, size does matter.

The rules of engagement
The rule is simple – give the people what they want. I’m not suggesting being inauthentic; if you are random statement girl, own it. I’m suggesting phrasing things in way that encourages participation. A great way is to ask questions, ask people for help solving common problems, asking people to remember the past – we all love a little nostalgia.

Hear Ye – This is action calling
I’m a firm believer in asking for what you want and with 140 characters; you don’t have a lot of room to play with. If you want to spread the message then the best way is to ask for a retweet. This works best with a giveaway i.e retweet to win. If it’s answers you want then ask a question.

Check yourself before you wreck yourself
Typo’s can be detrimental and punctuation matters. Hipster abbreviations such as totes are not acceptable, ever. Run your posts through a spell check and a fact check before you hit post.

Part of a successful social media strategy is knowing what not say and learning to work around opportunities, openings and mutual participation. Don’t collect followers like ceramic penguins; build an engaging and responsive community.