A version of this post originally appeared on Edelman.ca.
I’m not going to start this post by listing out how many tweets, Facebook messages, YouTube videos, etc. are transmitted every second. That wouldn’t be showing up differently. We all know it’s a heck of a lot. That’s why it’s imperative to make sure your social content stays fresh and is differentiated. Below are some methods that help me show up differently.
Show up differently. Literally.
Say it with me: I will not wish my community a happy first day of spring (unless you’re writing for a gardening client, in which case it probably makes sense). Find the white space that your community fills. Then, find a way to use social content to add value to your community members’ lives. Sure, you’re selling widgets too, but make content so great that people barely notice the product placement. Selling eReaders? Make an online book club. Hawking cameras? Make an online photography gallery. Social content 3.0 has a rich, deep narrative that can only be achieved through insights. Insights -> content -> engagement -> insights. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Your community is your client first.
Account types may shudder at this thought, but serve your community first. Your audience target is very likely nothing like you or any of your friends. Picture where your community will be consuming your content. Like an actor method acts, method write. Now, make them feel something. Make them laugh, make them cry, make them pick up the phone and call their mother. What’s the next step for your reader after they’ve read your content? If you can’t answer that, you’re in trouble. Oh, and speak their language. If your community dangles participles, don’t be afraid to do so yourself.
Write something, then cut it in half. Does it still make sense? Then try cutting it in half again. Brevity is key and words are a terrible thing to waste.
Don’t be lazy.
Don’t rely on smiley faces or exclamation marks to indicate tone. Develop a personality for your brand that speaks for itself. Also, don’t shoot down ideas you believe in or hinder your creativity just because “the client would never go for it.” If it’s good, give it a shot. It might not fly today, but it might tomorrow. Do whatever it takes to keep pushing.
Know when enough is enough.
Leave your community craving more. Know them well enough to know when they feel they’re being spammed.
So, how will you show up differently with social content?
Alison Fleming is a digital copywriter at Edelman Toronto.
Image by Geraint Rowland.