If “selling” is your main goal for social media, it’s time to make a change. I can think of at least 12 different social media goals you could choose from and not a single one of them is “sales”. I maintain if you work on some of these other goals, the sales will follow. But if you begin with a goal of sales, these other things will not naturally fall into place. If your goal on social media is to be the expert in your field/community/industry/company, then advertising you are the expert just won’t cut it. You have to prove you are the expert and you’ll need a content strategy to support that goal.
Content Strategy to Be the Expert
So just what kind of content does one need to provide in order to become known as an expert in her field? It sure won’t be an ad for a workshop (that comes later), or a post to sell a book. Here are some content strategy ideas that will help you in your goal be be known as the go-to guru in your field.
Stand for something
If you never speak out and share your own opinions, you’re just a sheep following the crowd. You have to be willing to state your opinions, stand behind them and fight for them. Think about the experts you look up to and what they stand for.
- Scott Stratten: against QR Code use and scheduling social media posts
- Gary Vee: hustle all the time, don’t do things you hate
- Rodney Habib: pets deserve to be treated as well as humans
- Anita Kirkbride: anyone CAN do their own social media, don’t auto-link Facebook and Twitter as a shortcut
Educate, don’t sell
- You know how to do what you’re selling;
- Your way of working;
- Your thought processes;
- Your method of explaining things.
These can all be very valuable pieces of the puzzle that make up your expert status. Before someone can call you an expert, you have to demonstrate to them that you are. If you can’t demonstrate that, you’re just telling people you’re an expert. Will they believe you?
So write blog posts that explain how to replace a toilet on your own, how to run a Facebook advertising campaign, or how to stage a house for the real estate market. If someone reads that and goes and does it themselves, they’re going to come to you the next time they need help with something like that. If they look at it and get overwhelmed at the thought of doing it, or they fail at it, they’ll likely come back to you for more help. Either way, you’re their expert!
Give them a taste
Freebies are a great way to showcase your expert knowledge. A great content strategy is to develop a freebie to give away on your website that will help show people what you can do for them. Freebies might be:
- Ebook tutorials
- Colouring Books (shameless plug, get my Social Media Colouring Book)
- Infographics on complex data or processes
- Free trials
- Mini-course via email or video
Share relevant content from other experts
No woman is an island. While it is important to share your own unique content on social media, it’s also important to share the love and the workload. Find other people in your industry whom you trust, and share their content, too. Unless you have a full-time content producer on staff, it’s not likely you can produce everything in-house by yourself. Sharing brings new eyes to great content and shows that you’re not the only one who thinks along the same lines. Find content to agree with and explain why you agree. Find content you disagree with and present the counter points.
With all of the tools available to us, it’s easy to collect and answer questions from our followers. Turn those questions and answers into content! Here are a few ways you can use answers to questions as content to support your goal:
- Facebook Live/Periscope/Blab–host an “ask me anything” session via live video streaming. Don’t forget to record the session and use the content on other networks.
- Write a blog post for each question you get. This is a great beginner SEO tactic, too.
- Create a slide deck and/or slide video of the most frequently asked questions to post on your LinkedIn profile.
- Make answering questions part of your regular posting…remind your followers to ask you questions on a specific day each week or month…and answer them!
- Reply to questions via video with Vine, Snapchat, or via audio only with Anchor!
How to sabotage your expert status
Once you’ve started creating content that supports your expert status, content that doesn’t support that goal can have a negative effect on it. Consider the following extreme examples:
- Funeral director who posts fluffy cat videos
- Social media consultant who only posts about wine
- A construction company that talks too much about sports
An off-brand, personal post once in a while is fine, maybe even encouraged. Here are 12 fun holidays you can celebrate to show your personality and shake up your content strategy! However, if you’re posting more wine and kitties than actual, useful content, you may be hurting your status, not building it. Not every single post must meet the standard of enhancing your expert status. If you choose to post something that doesn’t work towards this goal, ensure it works towards one of your other goals and doesn’t actively negate anything you’ve worked for.
One last thing
Here’s a great article I found about the topic of building your expert status online. Lots of great tips, some similar to what I’ve discussed, some new.