At a time when we’re all re-evaluating and pivoting our social media (and business in general) strategies, I wanted to revisit a common piece of advice given to content creators, “Make sure you’re creating valuable content.”
Which is, of course, great advice — valuable content is key to any strategy — but it’s also very… vague.
It’s our knee-jerk reaction in any form of marketing is to equate value to monetary gain.
However, the point of posting on social media is developing your voice and establishing the validity and reliability of your brand. It’s less about conversion and more about building trust, community, and brand loyalty that will then lead to long-term, tangible growth. It’s the modern-day word of mouth. Which is why you want to give them something of value to talk about.
We can make the somewhat nebulous concept of “valuable content” easier to grasp by looking at the definition of value itself: Value is “the importance, use or worthiness of something,”
So to determine if your content has value you simply need to ask: Is it important?
Is it useful? What is it worth? And those answers will always be determined by two things: your unique offering and your target audience.
I follow five (yes, 5), different life coaches, on Instagram. While this might reveal to you that I am, in fact, a work in progress, it also teaches us something about value. They can all comfortably coexist on social media because each coach offers a unique approach, with their own styles and areas of expertise. And each coach is actively aware of their community’s needs.
You can break this down for your own business by asking three questions:
- What is your WHY?: Determine the driving force, not just behind your business, but behind your presence on social media. Figure out those things that make you unique and relatable to the community
- What do you have to offer?: This is down to the product or services you have to offer. Why do you offer those things?
- Who is your audience?: Identify what matters most to the members of your community. What do they find useful or, better yet, when or for what reason would they look to you for your expertise?
Creating “valuable” content is unbelievably simple once you understand what you’re offering and who you’re offering it to.
Further Questions to Ask
Once you grasp those fundamentals, take it a little bit further. Here are questions I ask myself when planning content:
- What is important about it?
- Am I sharing something new?
- Am I giving a unique perspective based on expertise?
- Does it have social or cultural significance?
- Is it timely?
- How is it useful?
- Is it teaching something? (demo/how to)
- Is it making an emotional appeal?
- Does it uplift?
- Does it inspire?
- Is it #relatable?
A Special Note About Context
As we are seeing now, what is valuable can shift over time. This unprecedented situation across the globe is shifting things: we’re talking big social and cultural things — and these are all being reflected in our communities online.
For the small business shifting their strategies online to keep operating during lock-downs, the number one most important thing they can do is keep an eye on the beats and changes in their communities and in society at large. Good value only exists in the realm of good context.
In the end, determining value goes back to the core of social media itself. From MySpace to FaceBook, Instagram to TikTok, social media is where we go to connect. As a small business on social media, you’re not there to be advertising 100% of the time. You’re there to find or build a community to begin and nurture actionable relationships.
And if you ever find yourself stuck, don’t be afraid to reach out to your community and just ask, “What do you want to see from me?” And of course, you could always ask us for help, too 😉