I get it.
Social media is sometimes exhausting. Once you start, it's hard to simply stop. There's the constant pressure to create content-- and that content needs to be good. But what happens when your content just doesn't resonate? Or how about when you produce something you're really proud of, and nobody even sees it?
As the CEO of Likeable Media, a leading social media agency, I hear this stuff all the time. Leaders need to know that the effort they're putting in has a return, and the concept of waiting years for return, and "investing in community" without any concept of measurability is out the window.
After speaking to hundreds of C-Suite and social leaders on my podcast, All The Social Ladies, I've come up with a three step process to creating social media success. I've found that keeping things simple and digestible helps a lot-- because otherwise, you're caught in the trap of constant content creation without real rhyme or reason.
Step 1: Curate
Webster's defines curate as pulling together, sifting through, and selecting for presentation. Many in the social media space who describe curation use it to talk about repurposing user generated content. I have a little bit of a different take on it. While I love incorporation of user generated content, I also love using curation at a higher level-- which means using it to know what will resonate with your audience before you EVER create a thing.
Let's take me for example. As an agency owner, I want to appeal to people in the C-Suite. Decisionmakers who get that social media is important, but don't necessarily care about the how. They want to know what it can do-- and have simple concepts that they can grasp quickly and forward to people at their org in order to get it done.
So when I curate, I look at what the C-Suite is talking about/asking about online. I also look at which tracks are the most filled at conferences-- what interests them? I look at the language they use, and exactly what they retweet. C level executives are also pitched ALL day on social media. I look at what they hate as much as what they like.
I've just saved hours of sitting in a creative room thinking about what might resonate with C-level targets. Because now, I already know.
Step 2: Create
Now that I know what will work, I want to create something that will get high engagement and reach. I know that these people have very little time, but they're also very smart-- they have a thirst for knowledge.
So I pick my content type based on how THEY consume content-- primarily videos, articles, and infographics. The video and infographics are the most highly shared by my target, and the articles are the most fully consumed by my target. If you do the proper step before creation, you'll know exactly what type of content to produce, along with what you need to say and how.
Here is where I encourage you to think about value. What value would your target get from this piece of content? If you have to think about the answer, your content isn't good.
Step 3: Connect
There's nothing worse than creating something beautiful and effective, and nobody seeing it. But the reality is, as networks sink or swim, they're charged with building an ad platform that becomes the primary method of content distribution.
While I do believe that great content rises to the top, I also think that almost every piece of content needs a little jumpstart. And the primary benefit of the network platforms is the immense ability to target.
If I want to advertise to people in C level positions at the Fortune 500 companies on Facebook, I can do so easily. Same with Linkedin, Twitter, and soon Instagram. If my content is good, it takes off from there.
Aside from advertising, there are also influencers in each segment that resonate with intended targets. Having a plan to seed your content will boost it's organic reach quickly and effectively.
Want to learn more about the three step process and the action steps you can take to increase the ROI on your social media content? I'll be speaking at the Digital Marketing Innovation Summit, taking place in New York, March 10th and 11th. Use the code LIKEABLE to receive $200 off.
Note: This article appeared originally on INC.com. It has been reposted here with permission.