I had acai bowls this morning with one of my best friends. Like many, he seeks to leverage the awesomeness of Social Media for his professional association. Now I’m no Rob Bertholf, but my simple advice on basic Social seems a helpful approach for lay-folks. So rather than write an email to my friend, I thought I’d just throw down a post.
Back to my friend, this morning he was abuzz with, “OMG, there’s so much to ingest about Social but we have soooo many Big Ideas about this or that and how to get everyone talking about US!…” I could just see those panties bunching up his crack. Common issue, right?
So I looked at their website including watching a super long intro video. After the reel, I found myself raising my hand like Tom Hanks in Big uttering, “I don’t get it.” Of course the thought bubble over my head was, “What the frick! I look at a website, watch a video and I still don’t get it. OMG! Seriously!!???!”
My straight-faced advice: gear your website to lay-people. What does this have to do with Social? To be Social, you gotta have something folks can talk about. So cut the jargon. And talk to PEOPLE. Then they can “like” and “share” what you have to say.
The 80/20 principle of Social is 80% great content, 20% other fancy stuff. On the Internet and in Social, CONTENT IS KING so provide content that your target audience wants. All that stuff about gaming search engines and fancy Social initiatives can be regarded as Phase 2. Take this to heart: Google is really smart, so you’re better off spending your life force being helpful with what you know rather than trying to game a mega billion dollar ultra-egg-heady set of geeks on their turf. Thus, for Phase 1, play where you have game and come from the heart ~ that leads to Social Success. To wit: Here’s 3 tips to winning at basic Social:
1. Create a Strategy Around Being Helpful
“Strategy” may sound technical and fancy, but the basic winning principle to Social is really seeing and feeling your audience. Online Social is no different that cocktail party socializing. It’s so simple: see, interact, share, love, ask. Just be human. Be cool. Be nice. You might even sex it up for extra traction. By contrast, look back on your website to see if it’s any of those things. Like NOT! Right?
More specficially try this: put on your customer’s hat and search for intel on your website. What keywords would you use to search their problems? What pain-points might they have in mind to seek answers for? Get into their heads and understand their angsts and aspirations. Being Social begins with understanding who your audience is and what they need.
2. Create Helpful Content
Content includes your site’s navigational scheme. Your site should be wired to allow for easy access to answers: i.e., guide surfers from a perceived problem down through tips, recommendations and solutions.
For example, blogs are designed to organize and deliver advice as they allow viewers to easily find relevant information. Knowing that, just spew your thoughts into posts and folks who need your perspective will find it. Social experts call this being “authoritative” which is the first step toward precipitating visitation and sharing ~ remember, CONTENT IS KING so have the goods and build them into accessible fashion to gain eyeballs.
3. Connect With Those Who Need Your Help
The rest is easy. Once you have bitchin’ content, you just need to get it into the right channels. Folks will in turn refer your content to others in need. The Holy Grail of Social is to get others “sharing” your stuff. So keep in mind that anyone who shares content is generally endorsing it, thus starting from an attitude of helpfulness resonates all the way through the process.
Case in point: I’m hoping this post was helpful to my friend. If so, he will read all the way to here, “Share” it with his association and ideally “Comment” below that he has deep gratitude for my awesomeness in taking the time to pick the fabric out of his you-know-what… BOOM! Mission accomplished.
Bottom Line: Helpfulness = “Likes” & “Shares”
Be helpful. Have heart. Be likable. You’ll gain Social traction and that all important “share.” For Phase 1, set aside the fancy stuff ~ Just create useful content. After that, if you get an appetite for more, consider a Phase 2 Social Media Audit to pimp out your content and evaluate optimal next steps.