Is your Content Killing Your Reach?

“Create good content.” “Create authentic content.” “Be genuine.” “Be real.” If we had a dollar every time we heard a marketer say these things… we wouldn’t need to work anymore. What exactly is good content, or authentic content? That’s what we’re here to tell you.

Good content drives engagement.

Again, there’s another buzz word. But engagement is currently the center of most social media algorithms. But what is engagement? Social media engagement consists of people writing comments, sharing, liking, retweeting your posts, following your page, and repining your Pinterest posts. It is interacting with the content that you publish on your social media pages and website. Good content is important because it drives comments, shares, likes, tweets, follows, pins, and general discussion about what you are sharing. So how do you create good content?

Pay attention to what is working (and what isn’t).

Activity Log

Right now, go to your Facebook profile (from a desktop, we’re being needy). On the right side, there will be a button labeled “Activity Log.” Click it.

This page will show you everything you’ve done on Facebook since you’ve had a profile. Don’t spend too much time going through this but take a few minutes to look through the type of content that you’re commenting on and sharing. Go to your friends’ profiles and look at what they’re sharing. Go through your newsfeed and see what is going viral, what is getting lots of engagement, and what is being ignored. Look to your competitors and brands you admire. Take note of the types of content they’re producing.

Additionally, take some time to look through your company’s Facebook page. If you have 1,000 people who like your company Facebook page, some posts will may only reach 57 people. Other posts may reach 857. Some may even reach 8,057. This can tell you a lot about the content you are publishing and what your audience is actually interested in.

One thing that we have seen over the last several months is the importance of “culture” blog posts and social media posts. What is a culture post? A culture post is content that focuses on your brand, company culture, and/or staff. It highlights WHO you are rather than WHAT you do. Culture posts allow people to identify with your brand. When you publish a Facebook or LinkedIn post with a few staff members in it, someone might say “Hey! I know that person!” and either comment/like/share that post. (Cha-Ching! Engagement!).

While you might think that culture posts are a “waste of time” – think again. The rule of thumb is to abide by the 80/20 rule: 80% of the time your posts should not be a direct ask or sell, leave that for the remaining 20%. Rather, dedicate to sharing the WHO and the WHY of your company.

Don’t be someone you’re not.

When us marketers say, “be authentic”, we mean exactly that. The reason that so many companies and people are killing it on social media is because they are being their true selves (and there are some who are being TOO authentic!). The truth is though, people gravitate to personality. People also need to make the connection to who you are in real-life to who you are online. For example, if you’re not a super bubbly person in real-life, then don’t come across as that online or in LIVE streaming videos. If you have a quirky personality, don’t come across straight-laced and rigid. Your personality, including your company’s brand personality, should shine through on your social platforms, in your website content, on your blog, and in your newsletter. It helps your audience establish a connection with you.

Use the tools each platform gives you.

When Facebook debuted in August 2015, there was a lot of resistance. The idea of standing in front of a camera, while LIVE, was incredibly intimidating. Don’t news reporters go to school to learn their trade for like… years?! How can the average Joe just pick up a camera and stream while live?! And then we did it. We all did it. Nearly 2 billion people have watched live broadcasts on Facebook now.

When Instagram introduced stories a year later in August 2016, no one thought it would compete with Snapchat. Snapchat’s filters were more advanced. Their platform was more developed. But Instagram had something going for them – users were already there, they just needed a push. Once influencers started using stories, it made the rest of us comfortable using them too. Now? It has twice as many active users as Snapchat.

Is your content killing your reach?

All that to say, when a social media platform releases a new tool or feature, don’t fight it. Test it out. See how others are using it. Embrace it with open arms. Not only will it likely catch on (so you’ll be ahead of the curve), but the algorithms typically favor when we actually use the new features.

More recently, the “recommendations” that Facebook offers fill newsfeeds. When you “check-in” somewhere, you’re asked if you recommend the place. Why? Because Facebook wants to compete with websites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and FourSquare. They want to compete with Google reviews. Consumers are constantly looking for feedback online before purchasing, so there’s a huge market for reviews. So don’t be afraid to ask for those reviews and recommendations!

Who knows what the next new tool these platforms debut will be. But one thing is for certain: we will be running full speed into any changes that come our way!

Victoria Simmons