Putting the ‘so what’ into social media

By Andrew Davis
It’s safe to say that social media isn’t a fad anymore…and it hasn’t really been for the last 8 years. However, I still regularly encounter businesses that are struggling to find real purpose behind using it.

As they say “Being famous on Instagram is basically the same as being rich in Monopoly”

In May 2017, I delivered a short 90-minute talk about ‘Putting the So What into social media’ at Mainframe and focused on 4 main parts:

  • Where are we now with social media
  • Creating content
  • Distributing the content you have created
  • Getting people to take action

Where we are now with social media

I have worked in this digital space for almost 17 years now and I have come to the realisation that if you are using the internet for a professional reason, nothing has changed.

When I say nothing has changed, we still need:

  • Something to sell
  • Somewhere to sell it
  • Someone to sell to

This may seem a bit surprising as you are probably hearing things are changing all the time. What we do see change all the time is the technology and our behaviour, and these change on a daily basis.

An example of our behaviour changing is the vast decrease in our attention spans.

When it comes to technology changes, social media platforms are constantly changing but mobile changed everything. We are now pretty much a mobile first society.

However the most important factor for 2017 goes back to the reason why you are doing social media or what I like to call the ‘so what’ factor. Everybody is playing this game called social media but by not knowing your ‘so what’ factor, you will not know the rules of the game.

In the talk we looked at some areas that the businesses in the room focused on and we realised that we need to link these to business objectives.

Some of the areas we focused on were looking at using social media to get more sales and leads, understanding data, driving traffic to our website and building communities.

Creating content

After I explained where are we now in social media and the importance of defining the ‘so what’, we looked at another very important area, which is content.

Content is the blood of the internet and without content, we have no real social media strategy. The beauty of content now is that it comes in all shapes and forms and it is not a linear process. For example, I watch radio on YouTube….if that makes sense.

A lot of this section I was showing a number of free tools you can use to help create content. I also gave the people in the room a link to a blog post where I have over 345 free marketing tools to help you with creating content and more.

Distributing the content you have created

You can have the best content in the world but if nobody sees it, then so what!!!

Outside of advertising and going to a specific web address, there are only 3 ways in which people can find your content online. Here we looked at those ways, which are through searching, sharing and stumbling upon it (or finding content by accident).

When it comes to creating content you need to be asking yourself these three questions:

  • What keywords of people typing to find content relevant to mine?
  • Why would anybody share anything I create?
  • How does my content work with the algorithm of the site I am using

By doing that, you will know how people can find and distribute your content, which is where we need to be focusing on.

We then covered the art of a digital conversation, which is to do with listening, interpretation and responding and the best way to do all 3.

One way was looking at the boxing and fighting because everyone is fighting for attention, so we must know how to fight. There is a great book by Gary Vaynerchuk called ‘Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook’ and I explained the concept that the jabs in fighting is setting people up for your hooks.

Your jabs in online fighting is value based content created to help potential customers. Your hooks are pieces of content you want your customers to take action on.

Getting people to take action

If you cannot get people to take action once they have seen your content then you have a hobby. Getting people to take action is what separates personal use of social media and professional use. The action you want people to take goes back to what I mentioned at the start, which was your ‘so what factors’.

So there you have it. This was a quick summary of what we looked at in May but also how you can get the most out of social media.

If you are interested in finding out more then you can find me here:

  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Join my small group about Digital marketing for UK Entrepreneurs on Facebook
  • Check out my website (Thinking outside The Blog) where I have a free course on distribution

SPEAKER BIO

Andrew Davis is renowned for helping organisations transform their new business development and client relation’s activities.  As one of the UK’s most prolific and sought-after digital marketing trainers, keynote speakers and consultants, Andrew’s has applied his unique approach to clients in multiple sectors.

Andrew has trained and helped many prominent corporate names with their digital skills, including KPMG, Shelter, Ogilvy, Saatchi & Saatchi, Barnados, o2 and the UK Government’s Innovate UK. Andrew also sat on the Ofcom Advisory Committee for England between 2012 and 2016.

Andrews digital career spans over 16 years. After working as a chatroom moderator on Pop Idol and Liverpool Football Club, Andrew served as producer for the digital station BBC Radio 1Xtra. He then went on to be a Manager for Myspace.com, where he helped launch its UK Marketing and Content division before he started training and consulting.