Content is not King. Context is King – An Interview with Monica Villa

“Content is not king. Context is king.” – Monica Villa

In a recent conversation with social media expert Monica Villa, she shared this: Context is King. Context is the key to a strong social media conversation and the way that you can begin to frame for your audiences everything that you share whether created by yourself or created by others. In this case, context means the conversation you are creating online.

Your online conversation is the conversation that you want to create and the conversation that you want to illicit. In short, it is the story that you want told about you and around you. It defines the message that people will think of when they think of your brand. When we think of Coke, we think of happiness. When we think of Nike, we think of being able to “just do it.” Their story is their context.

For me the context of this blog is to teach small businesses that social media is manageable. That’s the conversation I want to have that dictates the direction of the content I create here. My personal story I want to have with the world is to “Think Bigger” to get outside the small picture thinking that inundates our lives and to think bigger about what our own possibilities are.

To determine your context, ask yourself the following:

  • What is the story I want to tell the world?
  • What is the conversation I want to have with the world?
  • What is the conversation that I want the world to have with me?
  • What is the conversation that I want to listen to?

Then, once you’ve got that figure out, turn to your how. How you want to engage in this conversation determines the channels you launch on and the content you create. Content is not king. Context is.

Did I just hear your mind explode? I thought so.

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What is the ROI on Influencer Marketing?

When I talk about social media, I mean more than just the platforms of Facebook, Instagram, etc. I mean the entirety of the social media space in which those platforms exist. To me influencer marketing, i.e. engaging with those people who have influence in social media, is a pivotal aspect of a good social media strategy. Yet, this term is confusing and the concept of influencer marketing is loaded. In fact, more often than not people get a blank look in their eyes when asked to explain it. When they finally do explain it, it sounds exhaustive and time consuming, and then my students often ask: what is the ROI of influencer marketing?

A study put out last year claims that on average an every dollar spent on influencer marketing returns $6.58. That’s not bad; although, not quite as good as email marketing.

So, what do you need to have a good influencer marketing strategy? It’s simple: time, dedication, research and value.

  • Time: Influencer marketing is a long haul game and the relationships that you make now may not prove fruitful for a year or more.
  • Dedication: Influencer marketing requires lots of testing, re-testing and re-engaging with different groups of people until it pays off.
  • Research: You must continue to constantly resource and determine new types of influencers. A great tip from the Intel head of Influencer Relations is to look at traditional media to determine where social media influencers are being quoted, photographed or writing. A great social media influencer will have multiple channels of influence.
  • Value: To be good at influencer marketing, you must provide value to your audience. Some marketing experts see the term value and think: money. However, I believe real value in influencer marketing comes from providing non-monetary value so that you build deep relationships. Think of it this way: an employee only has loyalty to you while you are paying them. A friend has proven loyalty to you even if you are paying them. Great influencer marketing involves making great friends.

So, work to get your money out of it but also work to get your network out of it. Those influencers who you can convert will drive long term sales benefits into your value funnel.

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Automate Blog Posts to Publish To All Social Media Feeds

Have you ever said: I just want to automate my blog posts to my social feeds? I did.

At the Social Works Co, we’re all about reducing the time you need to spend on social media. Remember, its a tactic of your business, not your business. If you wanted to get into the social media game, you should start your own company, get a social media management job, or go teach somewhere (thanks University of Florida – I appreciate it!). However, if you’re here likely you want to automate your blog to publish to all your social media feeds without having to do too much work. I don’t blame you. I wanted to do that too and now I’m sharing here what I do and what I’ve learned from others with my three (sort of four) favorite social media tools for automating content.

Automate Blog Posts

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Sign up to use Edgar. Edgar republishes old content from your RSS feed, and a content library that you house onsite. This content library includes categories like “funny posts,” “tips” and “promotional.” If you wanted to, you could reallocate those categories against the Social Works(out) System and be able to simplify your content management into a very hands-off approach.
  • Sign up to use Board Booster: Board Booster helps you to loop Pinterest content. Remember Pinterest isn’t a social media tool — its really a search engine and one that drives massive amounts of traffic. You want to ensure you always have content posting there that will drive people back to your site.
  • Sign up for Rich Pins: Like the above point, Rich Pins make your content more pin-able. It looks more professional, smarter and has a better call to action for people to click through. It helps to keep your content at the top of searched categories. You can find a great post on enabling this here.
  • The last automation tip for users is to ensure you having the publicize setting connected with your social media accounts. The content will then automatically push to the selected pages when it goes live.

These tips should save you tens of hours a month and hundreds of hours a year reducing the hassle of posting, reposting and keeping content fresh. Phew – now more time to sit back, have a cup of wine and catch up on my favorite books.

The Social Works(out) System: Spend Less Time Making Social Media Content

We just shared our Social Works(out) System  – a social media tool that acts as a daily fitness plan for your social media accounts. It’s intended to help you create a simple social media marketing strategy specifically focused around your daily content creation. Basically, it gives you Facebook post ideas, tweet ideas, and more.

When we posted, we mentioned that there are three principles of effective social media post creation:

  1. Evangelize your broad community members and influencers
  2. Sell your products
  3. Drive conversation through beautiful engaging content that drives emotion.

And you see these show up in our posting recommendations daily.

Evangelize: That’s the umbrella category to use when looking at social sharing and community.

Sell: That’s the umbrella for the “sales” day.

Drive conversation: Is the umbrella category for “Engage,” “Beautiful Things,” and “Emotion.”

But, what do these words actually mean? Let’s break it down and if its easier, go to our Instagram account for our daily social media plan (the Social Works(out) Plan) brought to life with specific daily tips on exactly what to post. In essence, it’s a social media manager that you don’t have to hire.

  • Social sharing: On these days, we want you to share social media content that another person has created. This is a way to “thank” the community, to help evangelize their content and to position yourself within the community. You do this so that you will receive reciprocal treatment, which will grow your own following and thus your potential customer base to sell to.
  • Sales: On this day, you sell. Create a clear simple sales message and use it to drive purchase of your products.
  • Engage: On this day, the goal is to engage your audience with content that will stimulate them and encourage a response. Often this can be content about your industry. The more you encourage people to engage with you, the more your content will be shared and your brand will be remembered. You are creating deep neural relationships.
  • Beautiful Things: Simple. Post something beautiful. There is a constant desire to consumer and engage with beautiful things — its how Martha Stewart’s brand exists. In a world of chaos and uncertainty, calm beautiful visuals inspire engagement. Enhancing engagement, enhances connection which can increase and engage
  • Emotion: On this day, focus on the emotion you want your audience to feel when thinking about your brand. Then create content that elicits that emotion.  It doesn’t have to be about your product or industry specifically.  Like the others, this is about enhancing engagement.
  • Community: Like social sharing, this day focuses on your community but rather than share others, you are uplifting your customers, those in your social community, your employees or other people in the real world connected to your brand. Its a chance to put a human face on your brand and encourage human connections. You do this because human engagement is the basis of community growth and those who feel connected will help you to grow – channel growth means sales growth.

When you focus a day each week on the above, you are flexing all necessary muscles to grow your social media channels. Download the social media planning tool here: The Social Works(out) System.