Sadly, in 2017 the social networks are crowded, noisy and full of people who only want to sell, sell, sell. Standing out and providing valuable information to your target audience is more of a challenge than ever before. It’s time to stand out and rise above the noise on social media and here are my suggestions on how you might achieve this.
Content that stands out
It’s easy for me to sit here and write that your content needs to stand out – that’s pretty obvious, so what type of content is going to make you stand out. Storytelling and creating high-quality videos or photos to tell the story is one way of achieving this.
No longer can you achieve success on social media by simply posting text and leaving a link to an article you’ve written on your website. Instead, create short, interactive content that is going to get your audience engaging with you.
Create short video content
You’re a B&B in Yorkshire, and all of your food is bought from local markets. Create a short video of you buying products from the market, speak with the stallholders, and ask them to be involved in return for some promotion.
Once you’ve captured the people you buy the products from, create a short video of you making breakfast with the produce. If you specialise in vegan breakfasts then create content around this.
Timing is important
When I say timing I don’t necessarily mean choosing the right time of the day when you publish new content on the social networks (although that is important). Look back at your content plan (you have one of those, right?) and think about the content that you can create through the year.
Let’s pretend that you are a small museum in York.
Create a short video telling a Ghost story while walking around the popular ghost spots in the city at night. This would be a great topic for a video and photos as Halloween approaches and would work well on social media.
Short, concise videos work best on social media as people do not have the attention span to sit down to a 10-minute video.
Don’t self promote all day long
Don’t forget to just promote your own business, but share content published by other businesses within your niche. So, if you are a small, independent hotel, share good quality content published by local tourist attractions, restaurants and bars.
This will mean that you are adding additional value to those following you and slowly, you become an expert on the local area, which helps you build PR as radio, TV, and newspapers ask you for your advice.
Mix up your content
Within a day, it’s suggested that you only publish 30% of content which is promoting your business, the rest is quality content that people are going to find interesting. Make sure your posts stand out, use images and videos where you can – as I said, writing just text posts no longer work on social media because of the amount of noise.
Be engaging with your audience – ask them questions, set up challenges that they can all get involved in. When publishing my Leeds city guide, I would regularly set challenges on Twitter, like posting a photo and ask the audience to tell me where it is – I’d make the challenges difficult and not too easy, this way, people were surprised when they didn’t know the location.
Another good idea is to create a campaign that gets your audience involved – in Leeds, I launched the ‘Look Up Leeds’ campaign which promoted everything that’s above ground level, rather than focusing on the typical tourist attractions – other city tourist boards took this idea on including London and it led to media attention.
Make sure you use a hashtag where you and your audience can watch the results and create your own noise that drowns out your competition.
Ask your audience to share
Like creating campaigns and challenges to generate your own noise, make sure that you create an environment of sharing, so that your target audience share your content for you. Try and acknowledge your audience when they share your content, and tell them that you appreciate it, as this will want them to share your content more.
Creating a community feeling amongst your audience will help you get your message out there to the people that count.