Tag Archives: social media programs

The New Era of Creative Storytelling (Part 2 of 2)

{Editor’s Note: This is the second of a two-part post focusing on what we’ve learned as social media marketers over the years and what our industry looks like moving forward}

Live journalAs you (hopefully) read in the first part of this post, social media marketing and user behavior have covered a LOT of ground in 15-ish years. First, being able to share written word on the Internet, then the ability to start your own personal web page with photos and music, on to easily being able to create and post content of all kinds online, interacting directly with brands and organizations, and eventually live streaming content that “disappears” after a few seconds. Creative storytelling has never been more complicated. Which brings us to today…

2018: The Modern Age

What is Happening?

Blog period3There’s a TON of noise. And individuals are (successfully) trying to find better ways to receive and organize the information they want. The social media algorithm pendulum has swung from content we wanted/selected, to what the platforms assume we want to see (the echo chamber effect), back toward the content we interact with most often (but definitely NOT chronological, because there’s no money in that). The interesting outcome of the “Hooli Effect” (mentioned in Part 1 of this post), is that individuals are using social platforms the way they want to use them, not necessarily how each platform would want you to use them.

Read more after the jump…

The Art & Science of Key Messages (part two)

(See Oct. 31 post for part one, which covered identifying target audiences)

Limit Key Messages to Three and Back Up with Proof Points

There’s no magic to three key messages other than it’s usually easier for people to remember items in threes. Coming up with three targeted, memorable messages will help everyone in the organization serve as ambassadors, delivering consistent messages each time they communicate on behalf of the organization. Developing proof points to accompany your messages will help bring your messages to life and make them stand out. This is where you can come up with a “kitchen sink” list of proof points for each message. Examples of proof points may include: awards and recognition, research, statistics, real-life examples, practical applications, etc.

Key messages Should Be One or Two Brief Sentences

Messages that are three or four sentences each will not be memorable or resonate with your target audiences. By writing your messages down, this will help you focus on making sure they’re brief, concise and understandable.

Practice Makes Perfect

Once you develop key messages, it’s critical to vet them. Practice your messages with people outside your company or organization. Deliver your messages to friends, family, neighbors and complete strangers, asking them to repeat back what they heard to ensure you’re accurately communicating your key messages. If your messages don’t easily flow from your tongue and the recipient is having trouble repeating them back, they may need more work.

Train Your Employees, Volunteers

The final step, and one that is often overlooked, is training your spokespeople, employees, volunteers and other ambassadors for your company or organization on how to effectively deliver key messages and proof points when speaking to target audiences. Media train your spokespeople and have them practice delivering key messages in mock interviews. Role playing in groups where employees can team up in twos and practice sharing the messages in different mock settings (cocktail party, business lunch, child’s soccer game) is another effective way to learn and become comfortable with the messages.

Uses for Key Messages

Your key messages and proof points should be incorporated into all internal and external communications efforts including media interviews, news releases, speaking opportunities, marketing materials, proposals, social media outreach, employee communications, website, etc. They should be reviewed and updated, especially your proof points, several times each year to ensure they remain relevant and timely.

GroundFloor Media recently worked with several nonprofit organizations, including Youth Opportunity Foundation, Colorado Youth at Risk and Rose Community Foundation, to help them develop key messages and proof points for their respective organizations.

~ Barb Jones

Tips for Juggling Social Media Content Creation

So you have a strategic social media plan—maybe you’ve even launched a Facebook page and created a Twitter account. This is an exciting and important step forward for many companies. However, now the question is, “how are we going to create enough content to keep it dynamic?” Below are four tips for keeping you sane, and your followers interested.

  1. Plan Ahead: Yes social media moves quickly, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sit down to plan out evergreen posts for the week, month or quarter ahead. Brainstorm topics with your team and chart out posts with links, statistics, open-ended questions and third-party references to educate your target audience about your product/services and industry as a whole.
  2. Have Ample Backup: People get sick and go on vacation. Those same rules apply to the person(s) overseeing your company’s social media properties. Therefore, it is critical that at least one other person in the organization is trained on how to log on, post content and respond to issues if they arise when the main point of contact for social media isn’t around. This backup person can be internal, or external if you are working with a public relations or marketing agency. You should also familiarize yourself with social media scheduling tools to schedule automated posts when needed – Hootsuite and CoTweet are just two examples of platforms that make it extremely easy to schedule content in advance.
  3. Switch it Up: Social media content does not only mean relying on the written word. At GroundFloor Media, some of our Facebook posts that receive the most attention are often pictures of team members doing something fun (like stalking the cupcake truck) or links to fun happenings around town (such as summer concerts at Red Rock Amphitheatre). Don’t be afraid to show your personality and keep it simple when appropriate! 
  4. Monitor and Adjust: There are plenty of free social media monitoring tools (Klout, Social Mention, and Facebook Insights) that make it easier to track the engagement levels of your company and its social media followers. Don’t be afraid to adjust your content creation strategy based on what patterns you start observing. Do Facebook pictures generate lots of comments from your fans? Allocate more resources to capturing fun and unexpected photos on behalf of your company throughout the week. Do your fans use Twitter to ask questions rather than Facebook? Consider using Twitter as more of a customer service platform than a place to push out evergreen content. Bottom line – keep tweaking your content strategy to meet the needs of your audiences.

What other suggestions do you have for making social media content creation manageable?