Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Creating Compelling Social Media Content

Write it and they will come. Well, not really. Before attempting to create compelling content, you must think about how people will find it. Most Web site traffic comes through search engines, though, recommendations on social portals are playing an increasing role in attracting attention. Clearly identifying the nature of your content with a relevant title and using the right keywords in the piece are a good start at search engine optimization (i.e., getting ranked well in search engine results). 

Once Internet denizens find your blog post, article, Facebook page, etc., you need to work at getting them to invest the time to read the content. The easiest way to draw people in is to give away something for free within the post, such as product discounts, MP3s (songs), and so on. Okay, you are buying readership, but in this case the ends do justify the means!

Another approach is to provide useful tips, such as the "Best of...", Worst of...", "Top 10...", or "Five Questions People Forget to Ask..." Or offer a collection of valuable resources (like this blog? ;-) and perhaps the biggest hook, tell a story that stirs emotions (e.g., the small business that beat the odds, the product that deliveries amazing value, etc.).  

The following resources explore lots of other valuable tips and suggestions for generating compelling content:


  1. I thought your article on "How to Get In Tune with Your Readers Needs (and Produce Compelling Content)" had some very good tips. Media and blogging is a growing way to advertise business. One has to be creative and draw in attention to these types of media. No one wants to read something that is drab or watch something that is boring. Advertising is really a type of art form. You can draw stick figures or you can be a
    "Monet" if you know what I mean. Consumers prefer the latter because it is more stimulating to the senses.

    I agree with step one that you really have to know what your readers are looking for. If you own a business you will be marketing to a target market no doubt, so you need to learn more about your consumers to be able to reach out to them and offer them what they seek.

    An article can be painted up in many colors, but it must say something not just be thrown together without thought. Making sure you answer questions before they are even asked and staying on top of your business can help you thrive and support consumers so that they do not become distant and remain interested in what you have to offer. Thank you for sharing the article with us. It was written well and gave me info on what to think about when producing a future blog of my own. Pauline Johnson

  2. I thought your article on "Creating Compelling Social Media Content" was great. You had a lot of great ideas on how to set up a page. You are right that you do need to make your page interesting to draw in people. They aren't going to want to spend time at your page if it doesn't interest them.

    I have a Myspace and it's definitely true you do need to make your page interesting or people won't want to come and look at your stuff. You need to fill out all your categories and put up interesting pictures and then you might have some visiters. Merinda Madsen

  3. The ideas you've presented here are pretty good ones. I've some of these Ideas employed throughtout the web. I know something like free MP3s would grab my attention.

    I also aagree with your thoughts about sharing useful information or stories. Success stories really draw people and tiop 10s always are found to be interesting.

    Daniel Nelson

  4. Social Media is certainly a mainstream component of our everyday lives and making sure that one creates compelling content in the social media is paramount. Because these changes have created life in high speed, we have developed communication that will assist us and support our high speed lives. Because of the changes in our lives over the last couple decades we also have lost contact with one another when compared to yesteryear…we use to have a standard job, lived in the same house and the same neighborhood for years. Now, with warp speed lives, we move across the country, we change jobs and careers several times in our life time, and we lose connections with one another because of these lifestyle changes. The evolvement of Social media keeps us connected in our busy lives, it gives us the information we need and access to others .

    Nanette Lewis

  5. Pauline--you make an excellent point regarding the importance of knowing your target market, where they hang out (which social media portals) and what they are interested in. Only then can you create compelling content that sparking conversation and participation.

  6. The need for quality content will never be satisfied. I don’t know how those sites that offer nothing more than pages of links and uninformed blogs can survive apart from direct sponsorship for search engine placement. The sure ways for a company to increase customer loyalty is to include outstanding support in the form of content (with video) and throw out a view little freebies that actually have some content value, if only fun value, like widgets.

    It is surprising to me that more small companies, or even government agencies, don’t recognize the impact that this type of internal marketing can have on morale, internal loyalty, and production. I would really like to see this happen in my own agency. We are focused on developing external loyalty to ensure that we pass levies, but we don’t do as much to develop our “sales staff”, the deliverers of service to the community.

    Jon Sprague

  7. Your blog discusses the social and media portions of discussion. The first aspect social is what your initial primary focus is on and word of mouth is the best advertisement for new social networking sites. If you have something that people want to see you only need to create it and let free advertising work for you the catch is if your message is not in high demand and you still want to attract people you have to do something that will take their attention and draw it.
    Once you drawn them in you can market anything you want for instance. Most people who would choose to communicate through a social networking sit might want to play games or access businesses specials like when their favorite pizza place is having a great deal. I think that the most important factor is keeping the new trend alive with fresh ideas.
    Jesse Crabbe

  8. Jon and Jesse--thank you for your respective comments on my post. Content is indeed the engine that drives social media.


  9. Nothing is more frustrating than using a search engine to find one thing and it gives you websites to fifty others. Sometimes I get lucky and a few of the top rated pages are what I need. I’m an interior design student so I’m constantly researching materials and specifications on the internet and I constantly try to improve how I word my search to improve my results. I agree that clearly identifying the content of your web site will increase their site’s traffic. I have found that when searching for materials, websites that have the full name of the product I need in the site’s title are the first to come up.
    I also agree with Jon Sprague’s comment where he states that it’s hard to understand how the site with just links to other pages can stay in business. This is a constant problem with searching any topic and it seems they pop up with everything you type. Unless I’m typing in the exact name of what I’m looking for, I usually end up skipping the first couple of pages because it’s likely to be one. I think it’s a great idea to include a “useful phrase” because I am more likely to click on it. I had never really thought about it before I read you blog but I have to say it’s true. A “top ten” or “best of/worst of” title makes me think that the site will have substance, and if it’s a topic I’m interested in I’m likely to click on it.

    Courtney Dohnal

  10. Your article really does explain the key things to having good traffic flow to a blog. I realized that after reading these points, they matched up exactly to the reasons why I read any blogs. That is proven success right there.
    I have been drawn to the "top ten tips" or things alike and especially the "give aways". If I ever start a blog I will be sure to follow these tips. Thanks!
    Alex Garras

  11. Insightful information on how to create social media content! I am finding more and more of my favorite businesses on social media markets, and I have seen them place special ads on there, and they have totally drawn me in! I think it's a spectacular idea!
    I've seen ads like "Mention this add, and receive 25% off your next purchase". I've also noticed businesses that post questions, and whoever answers the question first and correctly wins something! This is such a great idea and draws tons of people in!
    Heather Hendrickson

  12. Heather--glad you found the post useful. Cross-promotions that lead people from TV to the social Web are becoming quite common place.

  13. The information provided was very helpful, and relevant. I have a facebook account and have noticed some businesses that I frequent setting up pages on there where they also do special promotions. One of them is purple cafe for instance. They have given away free glass of wine or appetizers to person who answers a question correctly etc. What an excellent way to advertise!
    In this economy everyone is watching their bottom line. networking sites like facebook, twitter, myspace are all changing the face of the way we do business. They are all FREE and offer unlimited advertising. I agree with your points of "hooking" your reader, with some sort of freebie, or a story that plays to human emotion. These are staple tactics used in most advertising, but especially important with social media/networking, ensuring that your content as a business, is equivalent or a step above your competitions.
    Nice read. Thank you!
    Angel Fox

  14. Angel--you are most welcome! You right about social media being a low cost way to promote your business.

  15. So, when trying to create captivating content to keep readers interested and actively searching for your website, blog page, etc. how do you keep from creating the same content that you can find in 1,000 other places? The suggested lists of best, worst, top ___, they're not rare, that's no secret but they are always useful. I guess that the varying opinions is something to keep people interested but still how do you not post the same content.

    Also, how do you give out free products or exclusive deals without purchasing the items yourself. Is that something that you would have to work out with a company? Would it be smart to promote within your promotions? Say you work out a deal with a music media company that if they give you free product to give to your followers, that you will also promote their company and give free advertisement through your website. Is this something worth doing?

    Moriah Slider