Your Content – Are you Engaging or Self-Promoting?

I talk a lot about content and “customer engagement”, but I want to take a step back and really look at what defines engaging content. It’s tempting (and a lot easier) for companies to use the megaphone given to them by social media to just talk about themselves – their messages, their product development, their success – but all of that self-promotion will hurt you in the long run.

In a recent Twitter survey by HootSuite, they asked their Followers what annoyed them most about the online social activity of brands online. Overwhelmingly the answers came back…

“They only talk about themselves!”

“When they ‘Like’ their own posts.”

“Constantly posting automated, self-promotional content”

These brands are ensuring that the following they so carefully built up in Social Media is eventually going to tune them out. And getting them to tune back in is just as expensive and time-consuming as getting them the first time.

So what can you do to ensure that you DON’T get caught in the trap of posting just about your company? How do you start to focus on engaging content?

1) Create a Content Plan – the Content Plan helps you track not only WHAT you’re writing about, but WHO it’s for. Also, as you look at the scheduled content for the month you can easily see how often you “talk about yourself” versus “start a conversation”.

2) Know Your Buyer Personas (Customers) – When you’ve taken the time to develop in-depth Buyer Personas, you have the insight you need to create the Content needed to Attract, Convert and Delight.

3) Work to Serve – all too often we get caught up in the drive to “make money”. Money to pay vendors, money to pay our employees, money to pay ourselves. When we focus on this, every marketing move we make becomes a focus on “how much will this make for me”? Yes, making money is obviously key to building a successful business- you can’t succeed on “good intentions”. But – in a sea of competitors that are saying “what can we sell you?”, break through the noise with a message of “how can we serve you?”. When your company “works to serve”, you will find that creating engaging content will flow naturally.

Self-promotion should only account for about 10-20% of your content (special sales, new products), but if you want to build a long-term, engaging relationship with your prospects and customers online, you need to step away from “I” and “we” and focus on “you”. Because, in the long run, it’s not all about you