The Power of Usefulness in Social Media

Power of Usefulness in Social Media

So you have all the social profiles on all the social networks and you are officially part of the gigantic pack of businesses on social media. That’s great but now what? How do you stand out? How do you engage your followers? How do you increase your reach? It’s really quite simple, be useful. This one key item is what so many people are missing when they are managing their social profiles, but it is a major part of what makes one social profile stronger than another. Keep in mind that this usefulness must be employed alongside all of the other best practices that most of us already know like using engaging imagery, keeping your profile regularly updated and active along with being on top of responding to your followers in a timely manner and providing easily digestible content.

So, what exactly is good, useful social content? It is visually eye-catching, it gives the visitor something they want (and even better didn’t even know they did) and it is easily shared. Here is a great example of useful social content taken from a post on a cosmetic and soap making supply business’ Facebook page, Elements Bath and Body:

Useful recipe on Facebook post

This post of a simple image provides the followers of this social page with a USEFUL eye-catching recipe. This particular post reached 2,726 people and had 24 shares as opposed to the usual on this particular profile of about 700 – 1000 people being reached per post. The difference with this post is it’s useful. The other posts on this profile tend to be visually eye-catching and the profile is well managed from a user engagement standpoint and does well overall but it’s these useful posts time and time again that blow the other posts out of the water. This content gave the pages followers something that they weren’t even asking for but would obviously find useful. The followers of this page are guaranteed to be interested in making cosmetics, that’s why they are following the page, so this recipe card is a natural, useful piece of content to produce. All businesses whether they be B2B or B2C can and should be posting useful social content and it’s really not at all hard to do. To find the right useful social posts for your business ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who are my followers?
  • What might my followers need help with?
  • How can I simply provide them with this information?
  • How can I make the post eye-catching?

When you are creating these useful posts be sure to not drain the well dry and post them all back to back or all at once, spread them out, stay engaged and maintain your usefulness for your followers for the long term. As you continue to post this useful, engaging content, you will be become more and more a trusted and shared resources which is always a good thing!


*** Hat tip to Duane Forrester for my choice of the word “usefulness”, he said it perfectly at State of Search Conference last November, “Content is not king, usefulness is king”.


4 thoughts on “The Power of Usefulness in Social Media

  1. I never looked at it that way. It is a positive way to begin. I never approached it with that goal in mind. My main problem now is that there are so many social media outlets out there. Coming up with content for all of them can be daunting. I think, for me at least, I will probably choose two or three outlets and focus on good content for those instead of trying to hit every one of them. What are your thoughts? Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. Hi Rick!
    I agree that it can be very daunting indeed! And in all truth, not all social networks fit each business equally. You will most definitely find that there will always be your go to’s that work better for your business than others. Not to say that you can’t do it all, it’s more that it can be difficult to do it all well 🙂 I absolutely suggest doing it right on a few platforms over doing it sloppy on the masses. There are many tools available like Hootsuite, Intellasphere or BuzzSumo (or even Twitterfeed which is a little simpler) that can help you with managing your social profiles but in the end it’s still a lot of work 🙂 I suggest putting your focus on well put together posts and engaging your followers as opposed to attempting to flood the social streams. Honestly followers tend to tune you out if you are constantly posting relatively useless or non engaging content.
    So long story short, be present (meaning have a profile that is at least active so that if someone looks for you they will find you) on all the social networks if you can and if it fits your product/business BUT absolutely put your effort into quality over quantity. So, if you can only do say Facebook, Twitter and Instagram really well (having appropriate image sizing, knowing your audience etc.)then do them! But you could also have these perfected posts auto posting to your other networks as well to at least keep them alive 🙂
    Hope that helps!

    1. I really appreciate the direction. I feel better about what direction I am going in with that advice. As a business owner wearing so many different hats can be a little overwhelming. Thanks for the guidance!!

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