Less is more. You’ve heard the expression that a minimalist approach is more effective in artistic or aesthetic endeavors. But what if I told you that the same strategy applies to social media, too?
Unless you’re churning out amazing content with each and every post on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, take a step back and re-evaluate your social media strategy with these four tips.
1. Discover whether you’re a minor leaguer.
Try this old reporter’s trick: Tell your significant other — or even your mom — about the latest social media post you published for your business. It’s doubtful that your loved one will be moved by a photo of your product and a hard sales pitch. When you’re at the bar with your friends, do they bring up your latest post in conversation and mention words such as “funny” or “clever?”
If you’re looking for a more scientific method, evaluate your social activity’s metrics. Are people commenting and liking your status at a rapid pace? Is your Facebook relevance score above a 7? If not, consider complementary media channels to help distribute your content. Embed a correlating video, such as the one I created for this article, to give your audience more ways to interact with you and your message.
2. Be a great storyteller.
If you’re posting content merely to keep yourself busy and make your brand feel like part of the rapid social conversation, stop. Telling great stories will generate more buzz for your business, allow you to invest your time more wisely and generate more sales from social channels.
The unique story behind each game is one of the reasons that people are so obsessed with sports. If you knew that the quarterback who threw the game-winning touchdown against his team’s arch rival was a career backup who grew up without a home, you’d be even more captivated as the clock counted down to zero. And you wouldn’t stop there. You’d tell your friend the final score, but odds are you’d also say, “Can you believe that new QB? First game under center, and he delivers under pressure. I feel so happy for the guy, considering the harsh conditions he grew up in!”
3. Think like a sports journalist.
The game’s final score determines a win or loss, just like sales establish a bottom line for your business’ success. A seasoned newspaper writer would churn out a story to get people talking about the game. Eventually, that leads to ticket sales that fill the stadium. It’s no coincidence that every major sports league requires its star athletes to talk with reporters after the game. Fans want to know what the coach told players in the huddle just before the game-winning three-pointer. These insider details generate interest, buzz and a bigger audience.
What great stories are taking place within your business? Does the chef at your restaurant have an amazing personality to go with his thick Boston accent? If so, start capturing him on video and distributing this content on Facebook and YouTube.
Purchase an affordable DSLR camera and take pictures of regular customers who can become brand advocates — with their permission, of course. Introduce people to the couple who’s been married for 20 years and comes to your place every Tuesday night for the best crab cakes in town. Your neighborhood also can be a character in your company’s story. Shoot artistic imagery of the area around your restaurant or store and post the pics on Instagram. Make sure that the visual narrative is consistent with how you represent your brand. If you’re in the food business, you always can post artfully composed photos of your cuisine.
4. Bring all of the pieces together.
Before you make another generic social media post, take a step back. Try to find the captivating stories that are already taking place at your business. Bring to light the personalities of your associates and your customers alike. Adopt a journalistic mentality to find a great story each week and tell it in a compelling fashion. Together, these tactics can bring your company to life.
If you’re making 10 social media posts a week to little fanfare, it’s time to pivot. Focus on one great post per platform each week — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube will give you a good cross-section. Invest advertising dollars to support this one post, and serve the great content to your target audience.
Don’t be surprised if one of your friends mentions the post during your next happy hour. And don’t be discouraged if you don’t succeed with your first story. Each season is made up of many games, with plenty more stories on deck. It’s time to find yours.