View from riders cafe

Building social content into everything

Social content is quite literally everywhere. I went for a walk in the park and took photos of a dozen different things, I posted a couple on Instagram and shared a few directly with friends. I wasn’t the only one though. Almost everyone there was busy taking photos. How often do you find people taking photos of their food or a quirky looking drink when they’re at a restaurant? Sometimes you’ll actually need to wait before drinking because people are too busy or queued up to take photos of something on the table!

Everything has become a social media content opportunity. Which is why it surprises me when I visit a restaurant that doesn’t make it’s social media presence visible. Right now, I’m sitting at Riders Café and it’s beautiful. Everything from the view, the sound of the horses in the background to the smell is just fabulous. I’ve taken a few pictures (of course), but looking around the table, I have no idea if the café is even on Instagram or Twitter.

 

Table at Riders Cafe

 

Prompting your customers to share (if they’re happy) can go a long way. It’s no different to all the YouTube videos which have a “subscribe now” call out at the end. It doesn’t need to be as loud and bright as an online CTA. Something subtle that doesn’t detract from the rest of the ambiance, such as a well placed social media handle (@riderscafe) on a coaster would make it much easier for me to share my pics (and mention the café).

How are you incorporating social content opportunities into your business?

lexus call to action

Does your call to action make sense?

Every piece of content has a purpose, something you want your users to do. What makes them take the bait?  How do you get them to click on that buy, subscribe or share button? Do you have a call to action? Does it make any sense to your reader?

Sometimes it’s as simple as asking them to do so. Whilst every single communication doesn’t need to drive a sale, it needs to play it’s part in moving your customer through their journey. Even if that’s just keeping them happy & building evangelists.

A well placed call to action (CTA) will guide your customers through your content, and make it easy for them to buy. It also gives your content a specific purpose –making it easier for you to create, and makes it easy to measure. Did your prospective customer read this and then click-through, or just leave? Once you’ve got purpose, you’ll know what content is actually working for you.

Why is your customer here?

Take a quick look at your blog posts, the email’s you’re sending, and any physical collateral you’re sharing. Where does that content fit in your customers journey? What’s the best possible outcome for the customer at that stage? Does your content have a CTA asking the customer to take that step?

Pick any page on your site and check it against this simple framework:

Option 1 Option 2
Blog Post / Email Title
Customer Stage Discovery Consideration
Objective/Purpose of the content Demonstrate thought leadership & attract new subscribers Share best practices for existing readers & promote online content purchase
Best Possible Outcome Reader enters details and subscribes for future content Reader buys downloadable content
CTA for the page Highly visible “subscribe” box at the bottom of post Link to landing page (with tracking code so we can drip follow-up emails)

Importantly your CTA’s should be concise and convey purpose, which means generic buttons like “Click here” are a strict no-no. Take a look at the title of your page, and the objective of the post again. If you are writing about fast cars, and wanted someone to download a car-speed-cheat-sheet, the best possible CTA would include something about fast cars!

It’s why your reader came to the page, your CTA needs to deliver on your promise.

Everyone has phones

How do you drive social shares?

I spent last weekend on the Royal Caribbean ‘Mariner of the Seas’ cruise, and it was simply incredible. If you haven’t been on a cruise before, I’d certainly recommend this one as a good starting point. I really enjoyed the theatrical performances. It seemed as if there was constantly something going on, and that they had artists from every corner of the world.

Being so far away from land there was no mobile signal. They did have a chargeable WiFi service, but who really wants to be online when you’re enjoying a good holiday? Right? It’s a much better (customer) experience when you’re offline, distraction free and completely involved in what’s going on.

Only… what about all those mobile phones? All those great photo & video opportunities. All that social media potential? Most people were moving around with mobile phones. A few well placed hashtags & free access to just a few social media sites would mean an incredible amount of additional publicity.

A quick search on Instagram for marineroftheseas doesn’t reveal much, but I assure you people were busy taking photos & videos of everything from the food, to the rooms & performances. If you want your clients to share their experiences you’re going to need a few things:

  1. A clearly visible and relevant hashtag or name for them to mention
  2. Internet access
  3. An incentive, whilst optional *really* helps to drive more shares (think free massage for most interesting photo or discounted drinks if you post whilst at the bar)

So where do you try to drive social shares? Observe your customers, whatever they’re taking photos or videos of, that’s where you need find a way to drive shares. Don’t over complicate things, sharing should be simple and easy. Just presenting your hashtag or handle on coasters can be enough to get things moving in the right direction.