Tag Archive for: content writing

Social Media Managers: More Client Engagement = Better Content

Whether you represent an in-house or outsourced digital marketing shop, you’ve got your hands full. Social media demands constant vigilance.

How often have you found yourself responding to a tweeted customer complaint in the middle of the night? When was the last time you were able to just experience an event without having to report on it? How many lunches have you left cold and uneaten while publishing requested updates?

It seems impossible to engage with your clients about long-term strategy when on one extreme they can barely remember to tell you their store hours are changing, and on the other you can barely keep up with their post requests.

Go ahead and beat your head against the nearest wall if you feel me. Here are a few reasons why your client relationships may be less than ideal.

Problem #1: Your client is undereducated. You know social media marketing is a big job, and your client knows that just well enough to see the need to hire you. Once hired, your natural inclination is to shield your client from the day to day and just take care of everything. This trains your client to expect that minimal involvement with content creation is the norm.

Solution: You already have a time management system in place. Don’t be afraid to tell your client how it works and explain why consistent contact will improve your efficiency.

Problem #2: Your client is micromanaging. What your client thinks is engagement might really be interference. They’ve got very specific ideas of what they want you to be posting. You know all the reasons why social media users aren’t engaging with it. How do you move your client relationship from order-taking to collaboration?

Solution: As long as your client hasn’t explicitly restricted it, post some original content gratis. Show them success. Once you’ve got their attention, then ask them for input on how to better match the message to their voice.

Problem #3: Your energy is waning. Proactive client engagement is difficult when you’re stuck in a reactive cycle. You may think you can squeeze it in because you’re a proficient multi-tasker, but multi-tasking is a myth. Our conscious minds can’t focus on two things at once; we task-switch. This is draining when it involves pulling ourselves away from something we prefer to focus on.

Solution: Admit you’re maxed out and divide responsibilities between you and another team member. Choose proactive content development or responsive account management and assign the other to someone else.

All these problems boil down to your most precious resource: time. If you’ve grown enough that time is preventing you from taking these steps, you may need more people. If you specialize in customer acquisition and training, hire a freelancer (like me!) or reassign a team member to collaborate with clients and focus on message strategy.

Then take a break and have lunch, already.

Why We Write Meaningless Content

Digital marketing professionals will tell you almost unanimously that when it comes to blogging, do it frequently. Your competition is putting out content weekly, daily, multiple times per day, so hurry up! The pressure to put out content is overwhelming and can often lead to poor decisions.

To be more specific, it often means the ol’ content mill is mostly spitting out filler content.

I define “filler” as content that serves no other purpose than to maintain a content stream. It is the byproduct of a digital marketing environment that values activity over meaning. Search engines demand that we at least say something; it does reward us for proving the value of our content with engagement, but one genius, life-changing post is no substitute for consistent, frequent blabber.

In a word: crap.

Is that the way we want to live our professional lives? Do we really want to put words out into the world that have little or no meaning to us just to stimulate search engines?

Let me clarify what I’m not saying. I don’t think everything you (or I) blog about has to be a perfect gem. Sometimes crap spills through despite our best intentions, and that is okay. What matters is that we at least make an attempt to articulate what we believe, from core values, from the heart, from a genuine desire to communicate something we think will create connection, solve problems, give life.

In a word: authenticity.

We’re all under a lot of pressure to shout louder and more consistently than our competition via platforms that make it easy for everyone to make noise. Let’s slow down – heck, let’s even miss a week of posting if necessary – and ask ourselves if we’re still putting something of value into the world.

We’re all going to fail and put filler out there from time to time. Let’s just make sure that more often than not, when we fail, it’s in pursuit of something more than website traffic.