Not like this is gonna come as a surprise or anything, but we’re at a point right now where 89% of businesses are creating content for social media.
It’s like those toothpaste commercials, where they say that 9 out of 10 dentists recommend a certain brand – can’t argue with those numbers, right?
The thing about that, though, is it means if you’re in that 89%, you’re part of the majority. The in crowd. You can blend in really easily.
And that means you DON’T get points just for trying!
89% of businesses creating content on social – that means more businesses than ever are vying for the attention of consumers, and it means that if you want to get and KEEP their attention, you have to work HARDER. (Social media’s popularity is kind of a double-edged sword that way.)
That’s why the “B” word is one of the worst things you can be on social media.
Wait, what? No, the OTHER “B” word! (C’mon, guys, this blog is rated PG.)
I’m talking about being BORING. See, the same report that tells us that 89% figure? It also tells us a few more super important things.
77% of people follow at LEAST one brand on social media (yay!)
56% of people have UN-followed a brand for posting salesy or boring content (yikes!)
Look, everyone knows that being too salesy on social media sucks. (Even Facebook knows it.) Being boring is just as dangerous.
You know what’s boring? Vanilla ice cream. Pretty much everyone can agree that it tastes fine and all, and if there weren’t many choices at the ice cream place, there’s a fair chance you might pick it. But if 89% of all the ice cream flavors in the world were ALSO available at the ice cream place, there’s probably a looooong list of other choices you’d make BEFORE the vanilla.
(Okay, I’ve gotta stop it with that metaphor before I get any hungrier.)
Still not convinced being boring is super risky? Consider this: 67% of people prefer to buy from a brand they follow on social media.
If you lose a follower because your updates are boring as dirt, that isn’t just another virtual thumbs-up you’re missing out on – you could actually be losing somebody’s business, too.
Kinda raises the stakes a little, don’t you think?
It’s not as simple as just following the ol’ 80/20 rule. That’s a GREAT place to start, but there’s so much more to life! Wanna keep more of the followers you gain on social? Here are a few tips.
1. Share OPC
You down with OPC? (Yeah, you know me.) OPC is my handy-dandy abbreviation of Other People’s Content. If you wanna be less boring on social, it isn’t just a matter of creating better content of your own – it’s a matter of sharing other content from around the web.
Because face it – no matter HOW interesting you are (and I bet you’re pretty darn interesting!), so are other people! After all, even YOU get your news from somewhere, don’t you?
Sharing things that you find online and that you think your audience will love is huuuugely important to avoiding being boring. Think of how much junk is floating around out there in Internet Land, and how much interesting stuff you’d never get to read if nobody recommended it to you.
That’s why one of the favorite buzzwords among social media types these days iscurating. Everyone likes to talk about the importance of curating quality content, and while the whole thing IS kind of buzzwordy, it’s not wrong – when you curate good stuff, your readers will see you as a resource of valuable information, and that makes them want to stick with you. Nothin’ boring about that.
2. Interact with your peeps
How many people do you think expect a brand to respond when they mention them on social media?
I’m not even talking about a direct question. I’m talking about somebody saying, like, “I sure do love eating @DiGiornoPizza #omnomnom.” How many people would expect that brand to respond?
70 percent? 90 percent?
99% of people would expect a response.
99 percent! That’s so high it almost sounds made-up, but I swear, it’s true.
One-sided conversations are boring. Involving your followers with direct, live interactions, though? WAY MORE INTERESTING. And you don’t have to wait for them to start a dialogue, either.
Ask questions of your followers. Solicit feedback and opinions (don’t you love when brands actually listen to what you think?). Make social media a place where you and your followers can develop a rapport.
Without that actual interaction, your brand’s social media presence isn’t that different from a magazine ad or a TV commercial – it’s just kinda there. And that’s boring.
This all goes hand-in-hand with my next big point:
3. Show some personality
Look, if you follow me on Twitter, it’s no secret: I’m not 100% profesh 100% of the time.
And the thing is, that’s okay! A brand that doesn’t show personality is bland. (A brland? I’ll come up with something more clever later.) Point is, don’t just be a company that wants to sell stuff – have a little heart n’ soul! Have a sense of humor! It won’t just help you keep your followers, either – it’ll make them want to actually share your content, which helps you grow.
Fair warning, though? 48% of people DO think that spelling and grammar is important on social, sooooo don’t forget to give all that personality a quick double-check before you hit the “post” button.
4. Follow who your followers follow
Wanna give your followers more of the stuff they like? Quit assuming you know what that stuff is!
Because yeah, you can make some great educated guesses about whether or not they might like a certain type of update or for you to share links to certain types of content, but how do you KNOW?
Use Facebook’s graph search function to see what your fans like.
For example, I can search to see what other pages fans of my Facebook page are fans of:
And that’s seriously just the tip of the iceberg. Jon Loomer wrote kind of the definitive guide to doing exactly what I’m suggesting, so seriously, check this post out and do what he says. (Note: Not all Facebook users currently have access to graph search. If you want to see who else your followers have Liked on Facebook, click here for instructions.)
Then, use your Twitter analytics page to learn more about your followers on there.
Remember when I showed you how to use Twitter analytics? You may recall that inside your analytics, there’s a tab called “Followers.” Click that, and Twitter will tell you all about your followers’ interests, along with the other profiles they most frequently follow in addition to yours:
That data is sitting and waiting for you, so go check it out! The better you know what gets (and keeps) your followers’ interests, the more you can provide them with that sort of content.
Not being too salesy on social media is easy enough already, and hopefully now, not being too boring should be just as simple! Just remember:
1. Share OPC
2. Interact as much as you can
3. Showcase your brand’s sparkling personality
4. Learn what your followers love
Do all that, and you can create the type of social content that keeps people listening for a loooooong time!
(So I’ve shared my love for the DiGiorno’s Twitter account before, but what brands do YOU love to follow on social media because they’re so UN-boring? Who’s killing it that you might not have expected? Let me know in the comments, so we can all check ‘em out!)