If you attend social media or content marketing events, you’ll likely hear advice along the lines of, “Create content that your audience wants.” It’s a rule of thumb that at face-value sounds simple, but in execution, can be complex.
“Content is intrinsically tied to its creator and will only be as strong as the creator’s network, relationships and brand is.” - Adam Dince
Recently, my good friend Jermaine and I managed to strike gold with content that our community can’t get enough of. Here’s what happened.
A few months ago, I was participating in a Twitter chat discussing social media topics. For those unfamiliar with Twitter chats, here’s a fantastic definition from Nicole M. Miller at Buffer.
“A Twitter chat is where a group of Twitter users meet at a pre-determined time to discuss a certain topic, using a designated hashtag (#) for each tweet contributed. A host or moderator will pose questions (designated with Q1, Q2…) to prompt responses from participants (using A1, A2…) and encourage interaction among the group. Chats typically last an hour.”
In this particular chat, the use of buzzwords and industry speak was farcical. A few of us organically broke off from the conversation and began spoofing some of the overused terms. We ended up tweeting and laughing far past the end of the chat. This became the catalyst for a brand new chat, #SpoofChat.
On March 25, 2015, Jermaine and I hosted the first ever #SpoofChat. A chat where we take our serious faces off and let loose for a while. Our community tag-lined the chat, “How you feel in other chats but are afraid to admit.” And while the chat was scheduled for 60 minutes, the conversation pushed passed the three-hour mark. The buzz around #SpoofChat was incredible. Jermaine and I knew that we’d discovered something special.
— Ana Emperatriz Font (@ana_font) April 2, 2015
Like other chats, #SpoofChat requires a lot of preparation to keep fresh and worth our community’s time. To maintain that high-level of quality, Jermaine and I agreed that a bi-weekly cadence was do-able, but our SpoofChatters wanted more.
— Kayla Chatkiewicz (@kaychatz) April 9, 2015
— Kristina Beard (@GermanInAlabama) April 9, 2015
So, Jermaine and I decided to give our friends what they asked for and rolled out #SpoofChat weekly. Check out some post-announcement reaction.
— Vince Skolny (@VinceSkolny) April 16, 2015
— Beverly Storrs (@bevstorrs) April 16, 2015
— Laiza (@lzixxaa) April 16, 2015
Throughout the process, I’ve learned so much about what my friend Jason Falls refers to as, “Holy smokes content.” I mean, I understood it in theory. But to actually create “holy smokes content” opens your eyes to the power awesome content has.
If your goal is to “Create content that your audience wants,” consider the following tips in no particular order:
- It’s not enough to listen, you’ve got to interact
- Spend time networking and building relationships in your online networks
- Don’t be afraid to share an opposing viewpoint
- Let your personality shine through your social interactions
- Take relationships off-line and deepen relationships
- Listen and look for “Ah-ha” moments to use as fuel for content
- Always look for opportunities to shed new light on a subject
- Don’t take yourself so seriously that your content becomes boring
- Avoid overusing buzzwords and common talking points in content and conversations
- While static content has its place, interactive content rules!
- Create a community of advocates that give power to your content
If you haven’t attended a Twitter chat and would like to, here are some of the best out there (by no means a complete list):
- #SpoofChat, Wednesdays, 9:00 p.m. CST
- #SEMrushChat, Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m. CST
- #JVMChat, every other Tuesday, 12:00 p.m. CST
- #MMChat, Mondays, 7:00 p.m. CST
- #IntegratedChat, Tuesdays, 7:00 p.m. CST
- #MCEOTalk, Wednesdays, 9:00 p.m. CST