Building Strong Connections With Your Social Media Content
This article was co-created by Brooke Sellas and Michael Stelzner. For more about Brooke, scroll to Other Notes From This Episode at the end of this article.
The answer is connection. Social media was built for human connection and connecting with people is still the best way to convert customers online. All of the automation, scheduling, and analytics tools in the world won’t help you if you can’t build relationships with your followers and potential customers.
Think about the last time you met someone new and started chatting. You probably started with some common, general topics. You wouldn’t tell them straight away about your medical history or family drama.
But if you stayed in touch with that person and gradually became friends, you’d start to share more information. Over time, the two of you would learn more about each other—moving on from general topics to specific, personal feelings and opinions.
There’s a psychological framework behind that process of getting to know someone new. It’s called social penetration theory, and it applies to social media connections just as much as real-life friends.
- Level one: cliché. Unless you’re an exceptionally gifted conversationalist, your small talk is probably a little bit cliché. Topics like sports and weather aren’t very exciting—in fact, they’re cliché—but they help you to establish a basic rapport.
- Level two: facts. As we open up, we start to share more information about ourselves. In a conversation between friends, this might be facts about what you do for work or where you went to school. As part of branded content on social media, it might mean the story behind your business or specific product details.
- Level three: opinions. The next stage of self-disclosure is sharing opinions. This is an important phase because it means showing our values and experiences. Whether you’re talking to a friend or advertising to a customer, sharing opinions is key to finding out whether you have much in common.
- Level four: feelings. Our feelings are the most intimate level of conversation, which is why we don’t share them right away. But when you’re ready to discuss feelings, the relationship reaches a new level of closeness.
How Emotional Social Media Content Converts
Adopt the right mindset
Building connections is all about psychology. Your content needs to exhibit the characteristics that are going to make your audience have an amenable reaction to it. Provide them something that they will find valuable in their lives. Our audiences are smart. They know when companies are being insincere. Put yourself in their shoes. Would you feel a connection with your own marketing? – Andi Robinson, global digital content leader, Corteva Agriscience
Omnichannel journey mapping paired with a customer jobs-to-be-done approach helps you go both wide and deep around the solutions you’re offering. Go beyond what you think you want to publish to understand the surrounding customer context and how your content can solve their most emotionally intense questions. Consider journey mapping not to be a “bucketing” process where you look at your funnel but about an exercise of looking at customer questions over time, weighted for emotion. This will tell you how and where you can add the value that will support deeper engagement in your relationships. – Noz Urbina, omnichannel content strategist, Urbina Consulting
Social platforms have successfully broken down barriers between companies and their customers. Now, instead of calling a customer service line, many people turn to Facebook or Twitter to solve problems or find information.
Social media is a crucial part of your business marketing, but it doesn’t have to be stressful to manage. Take the first step, create a profile, and start engaging with your customers.
As it continues to weave itself into the daily patterns of our lives, more consumers will go to new and upcoming social platforms for purchasing decisions. Those who have a strong social media presence and branding will increase conversion rates, while those without active social media campaigns could lose potential customers. Which company do you want to be?
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