A friend had me over for dinner the other night and we ended up discussing social media marketing, what it was and what made the random updates made by regular people any different to the marketing efforts by brands, companies, and others with a specific interest in compelling followers to take an action. The conversation tied directly to a discussion I had with a potential client on my personal paradigm for effective social media content.
The first step is to define what I mean by effective. Effective, in my opinion, means followers interact with the content. They ‘Like’ it, ‘Share’ it, ‘ReTweet’ it, ‘RePin’ it, or respond to it in some fashion. This can be debated and analyzed even further to determine the value of a Like over a Share, but that isn’t the purpose of this post. The little endorphin rush I get when I see someone engaged the content I put out is how I judge effectiveness. No rush, not effective. Rush, effective.
Engaging social media content consists of one of these three elements: it is informative, it is entertaining, and it is delightful. Any piece of social media combining all three is a surefire hit but difficult to create. Getting two of this in one piece is a success to be proud of.
An informative update is a basic fact relating to the brand or the world in general. It is like a news update.
An entertaining update is generally playful and interrupts the normal flow. Witty quotes and humorous pictures are entertaining updates.
A delightful update is something completely different. It can be pictures of kittens or something bizarre like pretty much anything the Twitter account @horse_ebooks sends out. That is an account devoted to bizarre fragments and those types of posts aren’t recommended for regular social media accounts. Delightful can also be schmaltz (quick definition of schmaltz: rendered chicken fat or excessive sentimentality).
Simple and straightforward, informative types of updates are focused and often shared if the information is useful to a broad audience.
Entertaining updates focus on making the readers laugh and if the readers finds it funny enough and in line with their humor, they will share it with others.
A delightful social media update does nothing to promote an agenda. It sells nothing, markets nothing, it is the cute kitten purring in your lap. It just is and it makes you feel good.
Edutainment – inform the reader through something entertaining. These kinds of posts will get shared if the readers find it fun and they like the information it is presenting.
These types of posts make the reader feel good or sentimental while giving them information. They will engage with it if it stirs their emotions a little and contains information they find useful or more to the point if it contains information they think someone else will find useful.
Pure whimsy – it is laughter, craziness, and just plain fun. These get shared easily, but usually does little to help your brand.
Informative – Entertaining – Delightful
This is the holy grail – inform the readers while entertaining them and making them feel good or sentimental. I don’t even think the above example truly counts as GrumpyCat really doesn’t make anyone feel so good. Maybe if it was KeyboardCat…