Three Pillars of Social Media

Want the bad news first?

It’s a crowded marketplace out there on social. Everyone is competing for your eyeballs, even if it’s for only a few seconds. If you’re not careful, your efforts are wasted. But, they don’t have to be…

Now the good news…

99% of what’s out there is garbage. Crap. It’s a waste of your time, or in this case, the time that belongs to person you are trying to reach. To stand out, all you have to do is up your game by doing these three things.

1. Share with intention

You want someone to care about what you’re saying, but half the time you don’t even care yourself. You have to ask yourself this question before you hit the “share” or “schedule” button on every single post.

“Why does this matter and who does it matter to?”

Here’s an example of getting it right. Seanwes has a following for his hand lettering, but also for his business advice. In this Instagram post, he provides a quick visual that’s very easy to get. Then the caption asks a question that many creatives have, “What do I write about?” His post answers that question in a clear, concise, and creative manner.

Intention? ✓

What makes his post even better is the subtle sell at the end. He brings you in with a thought provoking question that goes through the heads of many of his followers. Then he provides an answer to that question. Then he leaves a link where you can presumably find more of this type of information if you’re interested. Winning.

Now here’s an example of a brand that got it wrong.

And bear with me here. Because you’re probably saying, “The Dos Equis campaign? That’s brilliant marketing. One of the best ad spots ever.”

And I agree with you.

From a brand marketing perspective the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man (and the new Most Interesting Man) campaigns are top notch. Best in class.

But when it comes to this particular post and their Instagram channel in general, they’re missing the mark. And the reason is obvious — they have zero intention. They simply took the TV spots and put them on Instagram. This doesn’t take into account the audience, the context of the platform (shorter videos, most people don’t watch with sound, etc).

They would have been better off creating supplementary content to their TV spots that are more digestible and enhance the experience for the Instagram follower. There was no effort except a re-post and it’s obvious. (Still love Dos Equis, though).

2. Increase the quality of your content

This could mean any number of things. It could be investing in a better camera and learning photography. It could mean adding captions or text to your videos. It could mean being more consistent with your font choices. But, the quality needs to go up. And that doesn’t mean you need a professionally polished feed that looks like it’s out of a magazine. That might not work for your brand. Your followers might prefer something more raw — to them that’s high quality.

Which brings us to point #3.

3. Listen to your audience

Even if you only have 100 followers. Listen to them. They are the gateway and the key to your next 100, and so on. It’s insane how many brands just continue to put out content that nobody is asking for. That’s the beauty of social media — real time feedback. The market literally tells you, in real time, whether your content sucks or not. Bye bye focus group. Hello Facebook.

If your followers aren’t saying anything it’s because what you’re saying is too close to the middle and too far away from the clouds and the dirt. That’s a nice way of saying, nobody gives a shit.

Which brings up a good bonus tip: Don’t play in the middle.

You need reactions. If you aren’t getting any, it means no one cares. Because people saw your content. But, you didn’t engage them. In social media marketing we measure comments, likes, shares, clicks, etc and total them up under one number: engagements. We measure this because it shows us that we compelled people to do something.

It’s your job to compel people and if you do the three things above consistently, you will.