Why Content is Currency on Social Media ?

We live in a world which has already exploded with information, thanks to social media! It is imperative to think that how much information is received and how much gets lost in the process. To top it up it is also important to note that out of the information received, how much is valid and relevant to us. Content is important and that’s a passé now. What is important is that is there a context to our content? What is the purpose of the content we are sharing with our audience? Are we talking because we want to talk or because we have something to talk about? And not to forget, where are we sharing this content? What is our platform strategy? All these questions are pertinent because content is that currency which helps us to grow our social media business.

We need this currency called “content” to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and targeted audience on social media! While the purpose is clear, it is necessary to further divide the audience in to types because they are different. Their needs vary and so do their behavior. The audience can be divided in to ‘casual’, ‘connected’ and ‘core’. Now since the audience is of different types, obviously their appetite for content will also vary. How do we cater to this need? Simple, we divide the objective of the content as per below dynamics -

  1. To Entertain

  2. To Inspire

  3. To Educate

  4. To Convince

Okay, but why do we cater to this audience? It is because we want to convert this audience in to our customers. By using the above methodology, we can touch the customer sweet spot, which exists where interests in which audiences are passionate about overlap with the brand’s relevant programs and products. The idea is to relate to the customer through a shared interest. The customer, rather than the brand, should be the driver to brand advocacy and this can happen only when we have powerful content to share with them.

Powerful content need not be heavy duty trade secrets or technical jargons. Content that is contextual is powerful. Content that is experiential is powerful. Content that evokes an action is powerful. How do we create such content? The trick of the trade is to inject ‘emotional connect’ or ‘intellectual stimulation’, whichever is applicable.

Since content is the currency that we need to grow our social media business, it is critical to define the business goals we want to achieve via content. Basically our content marketing goals should be aligned with our business goals –

1. Brand Awareness - Are we monitoring and increasing the brand mentions and plugging PR stories on social media in a regular manner? Dissemination of relevant content on relevant channels is a must to increase brand awareness.

2. Building Trust – Are we creating content that adds value to our customers? Does our content answer the most commonly asked questions? If we want to build trust among your customers, we not only need to do that but also share expertise. It is natural to trust an expert rather than someone who is a mere broadcaster. This can be done via blogs or social media chats.

3. Leads – This is perhaps the most critical of all as generating leads is the ultimate goal for any brand. Content can give us the winning edge because it can create that much needed differentiation from hard selling. For example if we want to sell an yoga apparel, we don’t write a sales copy for it but a post on why it is advisable to wear flexible and breathable fabric during yoga. This type of content not only adds value but also establishes our expertise in the subject, which automatically helps in generating leads.

4. Engagement - This is a tricky one. As a brand we have acquired fans but what do we do with them now so that they don’t leave us? There could be different ways to engage the fans through appealing content that either calls for likes, comments or shares. It is good to define the purpose of the post and measure the responses to form a better content strategy.

5. Traffic – Earned links and social shares are great methods to gain referral traffic. Guest blogging and social media conversations can help a great deal here