Content: Don’t Just Sell – Mix it UP

If you work daily in social media – you’re probably always thinking: “what should I talk about – and how – without constantly sounding like I am selling my product?”.

On your company’s Facebook or Twitter (or any other social media platform), what DO you talk about?  It’s a good idea to stay within your brand’s parameters, so that your audience gets what they came for.  Insider tips, free stuff, sneak peeks … try to make them feel like they are part of your club, a real VIP.

We often create a conversation with our Facebook fans just to hear what they’re thinking – sometimes specifically for market research.  We also know that having these conversations increases our Edgerank – the elusive power of maintaining your spot in your audience’s newsfeed.  Most importantly, it creates a conversation with our audience as well as creating conversations between our audience members (and sometimes a healthy debate!).

This blog post, which discusses a recent Forrester study, says only 15% of North Americans trust posts by brands on social media.  If you’re not posting to create a relationship with your audience and talk to them (instead of selling to them), you’re missing the boat.

It’s a struggle though – you have a great sale and you want to talk about it.  At Thrifty Foods, we don’t publish our flyer to Facebook, but we do post the occasional weekend sale.  We try and make our posts a conversation about food – with the odd post that is a direct message.  When we have new products – we want to talk about them!  We try and make it a mix (some weeks are tougher than others to mix it up).

There’s always a post that garners more engagement than we expect.  For example, we marked Anti-Bullying Day on February 27 by wearing our pinkshirtday.ca t-shirts, and posted photos from some stores and our head office on our Facebook page.  The photos were in the top 5 of engagement for the month!

Of course, it’s not always about the subject matter of the post – but the content and format too.   Generally speaking web links receive the least amount of interaction – photos and video the most.  The best way is trial and error – learn as you go.  Do you have any tips to share?

Sarah Roberts

Sarah Marlayne Roberts is a public relations and digital media strategist based in Victoria, BC. She has extensive marketing, social media, public relations, and special events experience from her work in television (CTV Television, Canadian Idol, Juno Awards, The Bachelor Canada) and with some of Canada’s most vibrant brands including The Edmonton Oilers, the legendary Hudson’s Bay Company and now, Thrifty Foods. Her focus at Thrifty Foods is on the company’s digital presence including the web and social channels, working to reflect the in-store experience online. In her spare (?!) time, Sarah also blogs about pop culture and other stuff you shouldn’t live without at STUFF by Sarah and works with small business clients on maximizing their online presence.

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