Let’s assume you have ‘the basics’ in place – a content marketing plan, regular flow of messaging going out on the main social media channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
But in these times when information itself is an increasingly available and free resource, and everyone is creating more content – how can you stand out? How can you amplify the content you generate and make it reach further and resonate more deeply?
Here are eight tips;-
1). Find and occupy a unique space
Yes, it’s a big ask – but if your content is the same as everyone else’s, then what value do you offer? You will naturally share some subjects with competing organisations so it’s important to find a more distinctive space in the minds of your members, and add value to it.
It’s worth finding out what are the ‘hygiene’ topics your members want to hear about ie the core content that will interest them, and then the subjects and angles that will make a difference – and add value - for them.
2). Focus on quality – to stand out
Some very influential organisations eg The Economist have learned that a ‘machine-gun’ approach to content does not deliver results. So focus more on unique, insightful content, preferably generated in-house – the kind of content that will lead to comments, spin-off ideas and really help your audience raise their own game.
And share the rationale internally – some colleagues may believe that more content needs to be going out, but it needs to fit to a degree filter of quality and relevance.
3). Find the Influencers – they can help you
As mainstream brands such as car manufacturers and fashion houses are discovering, a lot of messaging power lies in the hands of their biggest fans, and the role they play in influencing their followers. For example, one fashion house recently invited their top influencers to the front row of their Paris show.
So, find out who are the authoritative voices in your sector study what they communicate and share, and consider approaching a few and asking them how you can potentially work together for the common good. NB focus on the quality of their followers, not just the quantity. And be transparent about the relationship – some big social media stars have come in for justified criticism for not explaining that when they tweet about a certain product, they are being paid.
4). Be generous – people will respond positively to this
Make efforts to share the content of others in your sector, with the appropriate quality and relevance filters. Whilst the dark side of social media (trolls etc) get a bad press, we believe the positive side – the sharing, the support, elevating those who share your sector’s passions – is under-valued, and can help you gain followers and shares.
As a rule of thumb, spend your social media time as follows;-
- 40% promoting your organisation
- 30% answering questions from others
- 30% creating thought leading content to help your sector
5). Create controversy – to encourage engagement
People respond to strong opinions on subjects that are important to them, so take a stand – be bold, be passionate. Controversy tends to divide audiences, so if you’re sensitive to this, one option is to make a bold statement and then have a representative from both sides explain their position. This also has the added benefit of creating content that can extend over time eg your controversial statement one week, an opposing opinion the next, then a synthesis of audience feedback the week after.
6). Get visual – to stand out
We respond effectively to visual images (consider Instagram’s success) so where possible use imagery to enrich your content. If you have an internal design team / colleague, work with them to create bespoke imagery when resources allow. Imagery can range from in-house or stock photos to bespoke infographics.
And two final thoughts that you’re hopefully doing to some degree;-
7). Revisit your members’ social media landscape
Make sure you can answer questions such as;-
- What social media platforms do our members engage with?
- What content do they value on social media?
- What conclusions can we draw?
- Who are the thought leaders in our sector?
- If we are not in the top 3 with the number of followers – why not?
8). Measure it
Have the processes in place to track success, so that when any member of your management team asks, you have the evidence to support your efforts. Good luck