Make your social media messages relevant

Many companies that foray into social media yield nothing more than wasted time and effort. Before you establish a company Twitter account or start a Facebook page, step back and think about what messages will be relevant to your stakeholders or potential customers. If your brand and your communications aren’t useful or interesting to them, you might as well be tweeting into a black hole.

Start by understanding the conversations that are already happening around your brand. Then craft messages accordingly. Before sending anything out, ask yourself: What value does this message carry for our customers? What action are we hoping to inspire? If you don’t have a sharp answer to each of these questions, it’s time to return to the drawing board.  Make sure what you say is relevant to people. You do this by listening to conversations that are already taking place online and offline, about your brands and about other brands or affiliated areas.

I like what Brian Solis says in this article about playing the role of an anthropologist.  What cultural components do you observe in social media exchanges? What do you see the participants valuing in these exchanges? Until you understand what kinds of conversations are taking place, who is in them, and what they value, it will be hard for you to attain this first critical step of producing relevant, shareable social objects.

Consumers willfully follow the brands they support and admire. Every time you tweet, post a comment or engage with your audience online, you are either maintaining, breaking or strengthening relationships. Before creating or distributing any social media campaign, here are some good questions to ask yourself:

What value am I introducing into the mix?

  • What makes this object worthy of attention?
  • What action do I want to inspire?”
  • How does this contribute to our standing within each community?
  • How can I make this shareable?

The key is to ensure your social media efforts have relevance, resonance and significance.  If your messages are relevant to audiences, they will be ‘sticky’ and resonate with them on an emotional level. This will help you attain significance amongst your target market and help build your organization’s presence online. Maria Loscerbo

Adapted from “Social Media’s Critical Path: Relevance to Resonance to Significance” by Brian Solis and Harvard Business Review Mgmt tip, Aug 27 2010.