Why You Need Channel Specific Social Media Content
The invention of social media dashboards is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, they are tremendous time savers. Using Sprout Social, Buffer, or HootSuite allows you to post content to multiple channels from one convenient location. However, dashboards have spawned one particularly bad habit: posting the exact same social media content to all channels.
Five years ago you might have gotten away with this, but in 2014 savvy social media users have come to expect different types of content on different channels. Social media channels have developed specific personalities—not because marketers have made it so but because users have made it so. In order to have success with fans, you need to get to know your audience, the channels they frequent, and what they’d like to see.
In a recent interview for Marketing News magazine, Martine Reardon, CMO of Macy’s remarked about the challenges Macy’s faces with content:
It’s also about being able to take content and make sure it’s being created for the right channel. The worst thing we can do as a marketing organization is have one piece of content that we try to adapt for every device or channel. That will not play well.
In the same article Nikki Baird, managing partner at RSR Research said, “If everything you have on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and your mobile site is exactly the same, it tells the consumer that they only need to pick their favorite channel and engage with you that way as opposed to saying they’re going to see a different side of you in these other channels.”
If specific content seems daunting to you, here are four quick tips and one example to get you going in the right direction:
1. Brush up on the different personalities and fan expectations of different channels. Remember the adage “Facebook is the living room, Twitter is the news room”? This infographic gives you a great visual overview.
2. Do some simple audience research. If you have a Sprout Social or Hootsuite dashboard that gives you simple audience metrics, get to know them. Look at demographic information on Facebook Insights. If you don’t have that benefit and are not actively listening to your audience, look at the national statistics from sites like Pew Internet Research. Take a look at where different age groups are.
3. Set up a simple listening dashboard. Make sure you’re listening to what your fans are saying on your channels. Keep track of trends, important issues, sentiment, note when volume rises and falls. Start cultivating a habit of watching data. It will pay off as you put together better content that meets their needs based on what they’re talking about.
4. Learn to re-purpose. This is the most important skill you need in order to tell your story on different channels. Nobody has time to tell multiple stories on different channels. How can you create different story lines on different channels? Just remember the different personalities from point one above and tell the story different ways. For instance, what if you have a big rivalry game coming up in a couple weeks?
Mobile website: news stories building up to event, history of the rivalry, and news stories after (stats, interviews, etc).
Facebook: Event announcement, video interviews with fans, fan-generated content or contests, pictures of fan experience pre-game, fan polls.
Twitter: Real-time news commentary leading up, links to news stories on website, pre-game photos, player and coach quote snippets, retweeting good coach, player, and fan tweets leading up to game, in-game updates, post game links to news and interviews, pre-game fan experience photos.
Instagram/Snapchat: galleries and stories of behind-the-scenes pics and video leading up to the game, player and coach interviews on video, pre-game video/pictures of crowd, in-game fan experience pics and video, post game celebrations, snippets of pressers or interviews.
YouTube: pre-game team player huddle or fan experience rituals, post-game interviews, in-game highlights.
What if you only have one person taking pictures during an event? How about making up a shot chart before the game so your camera person is aware of the different story lines you want to pursue?
Giving fans channel specific content involves a paradigm shift, but once the change is made, the boost in engagement is worth the retooling. How do you tell the same story on different channels? Any tips you could pass along?
Chris Syme's newest book, Practice Safe Social, is a leading resource on how to use social media responsibly. Her agency, CKSyme Media Group specializes in crisis and reputation communications, training, and social media services. See her website at www.cksyme.com. Follow her on Twitter @cksyme
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