It’s not rocket science to figure out that social media is an essential part of your company’s marketing success. The average adult between ages 25-54 checks social media platforms on their phone about 17 times a day or more. This data makes social media an obvious channel to use to connect with current and potential customers.
The success you do or don’t have on social media largely depends on whether your audience engages with your brand on social channels. This goal demands that the content you use on your social channels not be boring or lackluster. But what if your product is, simply put, boring? You can use social media to create interest in your brand even if you have a boring product or service!
How do you create content that interests your audience?
The main thing to be aware of as you build your social media strategy is to avoid excessive promotional posts. Your audience will quickly tire of content that is only aimed at getting them to spend money. The 80/20 rule is a good guideline for promotional posts. Limit your promotional posts to 20 percent of your content or less.
When you do make promotional posts, try switching things up to keep your audience interested. Run a contest or offer a promo code exclusive to your social media followers. In your non-promotional posts, share a variety of other types of content, including links to relevant articles, news, local events, photos (either single or multiple), recorded video, live video, memes, quotes, polls, quizzes, etc.
How should you fill the other 80 percent of your content?
Creative content is always important but becomes a particularly crucial need when your product could threaten to keep you on a short leash. Social media is ideal for providing information, entertainment, and connection. You need a strategy to help you choose content your audience wants to engage with.
We’ll explore 3 common strategies and their benefits for boring businesses:
Content curation means you pull the best content surrounding your topic from different content creators around the web. Content curation is a great strategy for a boring brand because it allows you to use content that you know is already popular on the web.
There are many resources to use when curating content. BuzzSumo is another powerful tool to have in your arsenal as it allows you to search for a topic and returns results based on how many social shares that content has across social media channels. You can also filter results by date, selecting results from the past year or the past hour. Reddit has a trending page that shows trending posts and topics. You can also find trending or relevant content on Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Following companies like Mashable, Business Insider, and other relevant content creators make finding their best content quick and easy.
When using content curation, you can also look to larger brands in your industry who are not your direct competitors. For example, a dentist sharing content from Crest or Colgate. A business that sells vacuum cleaners might share content created by a popular cleaning product brand or a blog post from a popular mommy blogger. These large brands will provide relevant content from an industry expert, which will provide value for your followers.
The second strategy you can use is to create all of your own content to post on your social media channels. Benefits of publishing your own content include that the content is completely unique and can be branded with your company’s name. Make sure your company’s website has a blog. Continue to follow the 80/20 rule about promotional posts on your blog. Write posts that are interesting and valuable instead of “salesy,” then post them to your social media channels.
Along with a blog that provides valuable content, you should use a variety of content that is naturally engaging. Make a quiz that is both educational and entertaining. Create a video that uses humor to explain your product. Memes, photo contests, caption this, lifehacks, fun facts, or a post series over several days are all great tactics to get your audience to engage.
Don’t forget to be personal when publishing your own content. Include pictures of employees and company culture so viewers feel a connection to the real people behind the company. Publishing your own unique content will help create a personality for your brand and improve credibility with your audience.
The third strategy is a mix of curating and publishing content. This is the most common strategy and is a shot in the arm for a boring brand. You get the best of both worlds by using trending content and connecting followers to your brand’s unique vibe.
Don’t believe that just because your brand is boring you don’t need social media marketing. Take heart from many companies that have ordinary products but have been very successful on social media platforms. Companies like 3M, PayPal, and Unicef are just a few that have proven this success possible. Read about some tactics these campaigns have used here. Following industry leaders can provide more inspiration to help you choose the best content strategy.
How to Choose Your Strategy
How do you choose which strategy is best for your product or service? There are several things to take into account. Your resources will largely determine what will be the best for your business. Do you have the capability to create content in-house or does content creation have to be outsourced? What are the impacts on your budget in either case?
The cost of the resources obviously need to be offset by your returns. Use your ROI and ROA to determine whether creating content is working for your budget or if using someone else’s content is going to be more time and cost effective for your company. You should also consider that social media can help you develop a relationship with current and potential customers and thus be a tool for customer acquisition.
If your budget is very limited, you’ll mostly likely want to use content from someone else. If you have a flexible budget and the resources to make creative content that will excite your followers, publishing original content is the better choice for you. If you have some resources but not enough to consistently produce high-end creative content, using other people’s’ content and supplementing with your own blog posts and occasional video or quiz, etc. is the right strategy for you.
Each of these strategies gives you the opportunity to engage with your followers in a unique way and all of them can toss the idea that boring brands can’t succeed on social media. You can post content your followers will love and never need to use the word “boring” to describe your company again.
More on social media strategy here.