Struggling on social media to reach and engage your audience? Could your content strategies and approaches be out-of-date?
This post will show you how to create content that attracts a devoted group to your business and common content strategy errors.
Relationship Development Using Social Penetration Theory
The majority of social media managers are expert strategists. They are aware of their objectives and when and where to post. However, carrying out that plan is more challenging.
What then are they lacking?
Connection is the solution. The best strategy to convert clients online is to communicate with people on social media, which was designed for this purpose. If you can't establish relationships with your followers and potential customers, all the automation, scheduling, and analytics tools in the world won't assist you.
How might emotional social content help you develop deeper connections with people?
Let's first consider how people develop partnerships in general.
Consider the last time you struck up a conversation with a stranger. Most likely, you began with a few standard, all-purpose subjects. If you had a history of illness or family strife, you wouldn't immediately disclose it to them.
However, if you continued to communicate with that individual and became closer to them, you would start to divulge more details. The two of you would get to know one another better as time went on, moving from general subjects to specific, intimate thoughts and feelings.
A psychological foundation supports the process of getting to know a new person. The concept is known as social penetration theory, and it holds true for both online and offline friendships.
The social penetration hypothesis outlines the various phases of forming a connection with someone.
We frequently divulge personal details about ourselves when trying to establish a connection with a new person. It's known as self-disclosure.
In self-disclosure, there are four phases. Each phase is a little more intimate than the one that came before.
Level One – Cliché. Your small talk is usually a little bit cliché unless you have outstanding conversational skills. Sports and the weather aren't really interesting—in fact, they're clichéd—but they do help you build a fundamental rapport.
Level Two – Facts. Your small talk is usually a little bit cliché unless you have outstanding conversational skills. Sports and the weather aren't really interesting—in fact, they're clichéd—but they do help you build a fundamental rapport.
·Level Three – Opinions. The sharing of thoughts is the next step in self-disclosure. This stage is crucial because it requires us to demonstrate our values and life experiences. Sharing thoughts is essential to determining whether you have much in common, whether you're conversing with a buddy or marketing to a buyer.
·Level Four – Feelings. Because talking about our emotions is the most personal level of communication, we often hold off on doing so. But the intimacy of the connection increases once you're ready to talk about emotions.
The Conversion Rate of Emotional Social Media Content
You could be thinking that this emphasis on relationships and emotions is excessive. How about product details? What about discounts and sales? What about positioning for brands?
The truth is that people rarely base their purchasing decisions on sound rationale. They choose based on their feelings.
As a result, you must use self-disclosure to establish genuine connections with individuals in order to sell on social media. Too many businesses only post generic copy and product descriptions on social media. In other words, they aren't forming relationships with their clients; they are only interested in small conversation.
Both B2C and B2B brands can attest to this. Do not forget that even though you are selling to a company, choices are still made by specific individuals within that company. And they experience emotions just like everyone else.
4 Types of Emotional Social Media Content and How to Use Them
We have now experienced the impact of sharing thoughts and emotions on social media. But that doesn't imply you should completely skip the small-talk phase!
Every individual who comes across your brand on social media will develop their own relationship with you. You will therefore require content that appeals to people on several levels.
Every form of content can be shared in a proper or improper manner. Let's examine each one in turn.
We all enjoy a good cliché, let's face it. There is a purpose for clichés! Everyone is familiar with them, they're simple to write, and occasionally you're just too busy to think of something fresh.
But the issue with clichés is that they breed more clichés.
Do not underestimate the importance of community building on social media. Conversations help to build it. Parroting phrases while you talk can end a conversation. There is nothing new to learn, nothing to argue with, and nothing that is truly felt to express.
Consider the following scenario: A florist uploads a lovely image of a seasonal flower along with the advice to "take time to smell the roses." It appears good. The phrase is adorable. However, what will people say in response?
The main line is that, with the proper graphics or tags, cliché posts can fill up your content calendar and even draw in a few users. But none of these posts will help you build a connection with your fans.
The next phase is here: fact-sharing.
Increased self- and brand-disclosure is a smart method to establish connections with others. It is crucial for conversions as well. People must understand what they are purchasing.
However, our objectives are a little bit different when we consider social penetration theory.
Reiterating the same information again ensures that everyone has heard it clearly while educating people about a product. However, you want to share new information while employing facts to establish a relationship.
Imagine that you are getting to know someone as you consider this. You're eager to discover more about their motivations. However, they always share the same childhood tale with you when you speak to them. Nothing is ever truly novel.
Would you genuinely believe that you were making progress?
The same applies to updating your social media followers with new facts. Show them something unique, such as a behind-the-scenes look at a new product concept or a team member they haven't yet met.
The majority of people in today's society are content to post their personal thoughts on social media about anything, including books, movies, politics, and restaurant recommendations.
The reluctance of brands to express viewpoints has increased. They fear polarizing their audience or stirring up conflict.
On the other hand, you're losing out on relationships if you never voice your opinions on your professional social media platforms. Your ideal consumer might use your values and opinions as cues to align with your brand. Additionally, research demonstrates that customers expect businesses to take more assertive positions on important issues. For the important Millennial and Gen Z demographics, this is especially true.
Even though we're frequently inclined to pursue expansion at any costs, you should definitely concentrate on connecting with the correct audience. even if a reduced audience is present in the short term as a result. Losing some followers is acceptable if the supporters of your brand are still loyal to it.
If you're still not persuaded, there are other ways to develop relationships by expressing your thoughts. They also carry varying degrees of risk.
Low risk: seek feedback. Asking individuals what they think will help you convince them to support your brand. You don't have to provide your own thoughts, but expressing viewpoints still strengthens your friendship. As an alternative, you can ask for feedback before adding your own viewpoint in the post's comments. By doing so, you can take part in the dialogue while letting others take the initiative.
Medium uncontested views pose a medium danger. Start with low stakes if you're just starting started with opining. Start a conversation about your favorite product, your personal tastes, or something similar. For instance, a snack brand might state that it prefers Brazil nuts to almonds. There will be a lot of dialogue and opinion sharing as a result, but nobody will take the subject seriously.
High risk bontroversial views are high risk. Social media gives businesses the opportunity to express more divisive viewpoints. But you must first thoroughly understand your audience before taking this course.
Big brands, which can access a wealth of consumer input and market data, are frequently safer with controversial viewpoints.
As an illustration, Patagonia, a manufacturer of outdoor apparel, declared in 2020 that it will stop running ads on Facebook due to the social media platform's lax policies regarding hate speech and inaccurate information. Not the least of which is the fact that Facebook is the largest social network available, made this an extremely risky decision. Patagonia, however, saw success from it since they were confident that their target market would agree with the statement.
Your audience has been attracted, brand information has been given, and views have been expressed. Through self-disclosure, your relationship with users of social media is developing and intensifying.
Time to express some emotions.
When we discuss feelings, we don't merely mean "happy" or "sad." Instead, consider all the feelings a person might have throughout the buying process: intrigue, eagerness, frustration, perplexity, contentment, impatience, and delight.
Both good and negative emotions can be used to strengthen bonds. Keep in mind that your goal is to communicate rather than instruct them on how to feel. As long as you do so in a relatable, meaningful manner, it is acceptable to discuss the drawbacks.
Social media is a terrific platform for researching emotional content as well as sharing it. Social networks are 24/7, open focus groups that are completely free. Keep an eye on how people react to your material and the emotions it evokes, and use that information into your plan.
How to Plan and Conduct Research for Your Social Media Content
There are many things to consider and maybe many things to include in your social media content plan. However, it's always worthwhile to do some research before posting, especially for content types that can be more challenging, like opinions and emotions.
What sort of research is required, then?
Societal Hearing Keep an eye on hashtags, tags, and other terms that are pertinent to your company. Check out what people are saying about your brand, products, and sector. You may manually set this up using cost-free tools like Google Alerts or by employing a social media monitoring program like Agorapulse or Sprinklr.
Voice Pitch. Finding out how your target audience communicates is something else you want to do in addition to hunting for content ideas. To strengthen bonds with your neighborhood, adopt their vocabularies. Even small elements like the use of emojis fall under this. For instance, Gen Z members are more likely to use the skull emoji to express laughter than Millennials, who frequently use the cry-laughing symbol.
Publishing. You can publish more relevant, relatable information when you comprehend how and what your customers are talking about. You'll engage in more conversations and develop closer relationships. Higher conversion rates and client loyalty will be the results, too.
Salty Red Dog Marketing, LLC is a marketing agency in Red Bank, NJ, Westport, CT, and everywhere in between. We service businesses with marketing strategies, digital marketing, social media, and consultations.
Phone: NJ: (732) 783-4822 // CT: (203) 429-9671