Create value to succeed in social media

Why is value creation critical to the success of your social media channel?

Achieving regular engagement through your social media channel – whether it is via Facebook, Twitter or any one of the many social media options requires you to deliver some sort of perceived value to your fans or followers. This value is the effective reward gained by the fan/follower in exchange for giving up their time or engaging with you. Fail to deliver value and your fans and followers will leave.

Exchange: Value = Time

What determines value?

Perceived value is ultimately in the eye of the beholder and will depend on their individual interests. However here are 3 generic types of value you can produce; 1) Value existing in the form of information or insight. 2) Value as entertainment or enjoyment. 3) Value as social equity or kudos. This value is gained where an individual becomes the conduit for re-sharing material to friends or networks and thereby gains social credibility.

Understanding what is valued by your specific target audience is essential to developing and maintaining their long-term engagement.

Frequency of your communication

The acceptable frequency of posts, tweets and social media broadcasts would seem to be proportional to the perceived value of your content. The more value you deliver the higher the acceptable frequency of communication you can send before the receiver feels spammed.

Cost of creating value

Creating consistent content that is valued can be resource intensive and time consuming. People often underestimate just how much resourcing is required to create great social media content over an extended period of time. It’s relatively easy to create a small amount of good content based on your initial ideas or a creativity spurt. Once you run out of the initial material it then requires planning, resourcing and potential research to generate significant ongoing valuable content. As you step up the level of effort the ROI analysis of your time spent becomes very relevant.

If you are going to go to all the effort to create a lot of great content you really need to get some sort of tangible payback especially in a commercial context. How you make money can depend on your ability to effectively connect your content and community with your sales pipeline and transactional systems without reducing content credibility. Commercialisation of content is challenging even for the big names in media and content.