I spend so much time on the Internet. I feel like I’m a million pages into the worst book ever, and I’m never going to stop reading. — Aziz Ansari
After thirty some odd years of reading books, I’ve become skilled at knowing when to call it quits. Usually it’s within the first 20 pages, maybe more. Sometimes I don’t want to read it right now, and sometimes I don’t want to read it at all.
In the world of social media marketing, that’s a generous amount of time to spend on one piece of content. In most cases, I give just a fraction of a second to a piece of content to decide whether it’s worth my attention.
I don’t think I’m alone in saying that.
A fraction of a second is how much time you have to convince your audience that your content is worth their attention. And their attention is worth a lot.
For this reason, you can drive yourself mad over algorithms and their secrets.
In January, Facebook announced it would change their algorithms to feature more posts from friends and family than from pages.
Social media marketers just about lost their shit, because they thought the end was nigh. As it is, they spend so much time looking at Insights, Organic Reach, and Engagement.
In an effort to quantify the value of my work, I set aside time every week to look at these numbers for the gym. I look for what kind of content is doing well, but the truth is I can do everything right and still get low engagement.
It’s tiresome and mystifying. It hasn’t taught me at all about improving our stats. All of this has me quantifying the value of the task itself.
Then there are the results that the numbers don’t show.
I know from what people told me that our audience appreciated our Mother’s Day social media campaign for it’s sincerity.
I know that a Facebook live video allowed a grandmother to watch her grandson’s tournament when a health issue prevented her from being there in person.
I know that an article I ghost wrote about a single mother’s path to owning her own business sparked a conversation between two people.
As a writer, my heart holds a treasure chest for testimonies like these. These are the very connections that I long to create in my work.
You need to know the algorithms, so your content gets noticed. That is why they are vital tools, not strategies.
A social media strategy is knowing your voice to the point that it is inseparable from you.
It is having a clear message for a distinct group of people and knowing how to present yourself to your audience.
It is knowing who they are and speaking to them and no one else.
Without that clarity and self awareness, no algorithm will give you the attention you want.
When I created the Mother’s Day campaign, I had never put our members at the center of attention quite like that.
When I was filming live videos at the tournament, I had no idea whether anyone was watching or whether they’d even care.
When I wrote the post about a single mom, I was writing for a massive portion of our population who are often left out of stories entirely.
What all these have in common is that I had no idea what I was doing or what the outcome would be. I was throwing mud at the wall to see what would stick.
I posted photos of mothers with their children and gave them a space to tell their story in their own words.
I took a chance on various jiu jitsu matches at the tournament and one of them happened to hit the mark.
I stepped outside of our routine blog content and chose to tell a different story.
If your content is human, authentic, and sincere, then your social media marketing will be unique.
Content marketing is not a transaction. It’s a human connection.
It takes two people to make that connection. It’s not just about what they can give to you, but what you can give to them. What do you have to offer?
Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash
Originally published at word-savant.com on June 7, 2018.