Once the best way for a small business to reach customers was through newspaper ads, flyers and radio ads. Today, on top of traditional methods, businesses are offered the opportunity to reach customers through the Internet as well, both through digital advertising and through brand building methods such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs.
The opportunities offered through the Internet are truly endless. We are frequently reminded of the businesses that have been able to take a few dollars and a lot of creativity and turn it into a major win for their company by interacting with their customers in a fun, informative and authentic way.
We point to those examples and feel that social media and content creation should be easy. That if we just spent a little time every day writing updates and answering questions we could be just as successful.
Writing updates and answering customer questions online are good things. If you do it consistently and well, it likely will have an effect on your business. But the reason there are so many businesses that start and quickly give up – is because of something that people rarely tell you – and that is that content creation is hard.
Thinking of Ideas is Hard
The best sort of content – be it for your Facebook Page, newsletter or Twitter Feed – is content that is useful for your audience and shows them why they might need your product or service. It is a delicate balance to write a post that is BOTH useful and relates back to your business.
For example, it’s easy to write about the benefits of a service or product you’d particularly like to sell, but it is rare that your customers will care to spend their free time reading something so promotional. So you need to think of a way you can relate that service or product to something your intended audience is interested in. Perhaps you can talk about in an amusing way, or show customers how it relates to something going on in the news or give readers the skill to do something at home that they would usually hire a professional for.
Figuring out how to be funny, interesting or useful requires us to shift our thinking from what we want, to what our customers want, and that is hard.
Interacting with People is Hard
When you’re just beginning your social media accounts you wish someone – anyone – would interact with you online. And then you get your first interaction and it is from someone who is unhappy with your business, or it is completely unrelated to what you do, or it is offensive.
Social media works best if you can fire authentic responses back and forth with people, but most of the time, these back and forths won’t lead to a direct sale. Many businesses don’t have the time to constantly monitor their accounts – though they know they should be – and social media is a constant strain at the back of their mind. A black hole for their time. When you open yourself up to publically interact with people online, not everyone is going to interact with you in the way you would like, and that is hard.
Keeping it Up is Hard
So what should you be saying on your social media accounts? Lets say you use Twitter, Facebook and a blog. It varies but many people say you should post on Facebook nearly every day, post on Twitter every few hours and write on your blog weekly. It can be hard to find the time to keep up a constant flow of interesting, useful or funny content, especially when you don’t see immediate sales results from your efforts.
How we can Help
At Dooley Communications we know content creation is hard and we also know it can lead to great success for your brand or your business. If you need help, either in starting your social media accounts for the first time, figuring out a strategy, or you need someone to actually write the content for you – give us a call. We won’t tell you content creation is easy, but we will help you figure out how it can be manageable for you.