It’s not Facebook, it’s not Twitter, it’s not Instagram. Your most important social media channel is YOU! That was the message at the May Social Media Breakfast Madison from Christopher Parr, who has turned his Pursuitist website into one of the world’s most respected sources for all things luxury, from cars to hotels to handbags.
Social media channels serve as vehicles to tell your story, Parr said, but it is YOU who tells the story and connects with your audience. It is YOU who builds trust and turns readers into customers.
“People connect with people, not brands,” Parr said in recommending that you make a point of highlighting your blogger personalities and use their experiences to humanize your brand.
But you will only connect with your audience if you know them, he said.
“What excites them? What are their aspirations? And how do they want to be identified? Create content that is highly contagious and sharable for that audience you know,” Parr said.
In doing that, he said, be a storyteller, be authentic, and be real. “Find that spark and make your marketing message connect with that audience.”
Parr emphasized that it is important that you don’t base your marketing success on properties you don’t own, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“No matter what social media channels you use, make sure you have a blog or website that is your ‘landing pad.’ There you can connect with your potential customers, engage with them and have a conversation. It’s always about driving them back to your site,” he said, adding: “While they’re on your site or blog, become a trusted and valuable resource to your customer or perspective customer. ... Engaging content is the hook: content that adds value to their days.”
The goal, Parr said, is to cut through the clutter with meaningful content, such as photos that inspire, enlightening interviews, and contests that generate excitement.
“Ignite your audience,” he said. “Static corporate websites are dead. We need to innovate and disrupt. Create content that your customers actually want to consume.”
Parr talked about his site, Pursuitist, which is “a curated list of good things in life.”
Pursuitist’s eight to 10 writers are professional guest contributors who share their favorite luxuries and write reviews of everything from cars to hotels to handbags. They each have their own beat, or topic, and they are usually part of the stories they write. The site also interviews thought leaders, such as chefs and wine experts, and covers fashion, arts and entertainment. Advertisers have included BMW, Ritz-Carlton, Gucci, Rolls Royce.
Parr said Facebook has been his main social media channel with 738,000 fans. Twitter, he said, is fantastic for on-the-go storytelling such as posting a quick photo and description of wherever he is. Although Parr does not actively share content on LinkedIn, his readers do, and that helps increase his exposure.
The website is built on WordPress, and stories are automatically pushed to Google+ and Tumbler, and Parr manually shares them on Facebook and Twitter, with rich media including images and video.
Parr offered these tips for corporate content creators:
- Publish content that is worthy of your customers’ attention.
- Pay to play. (Advertise on Facebook.)
- Encourage customers and employees to share your posts.
- Build communities from other social networks and create a forum on your own site.
He said organizations should ask themselves these questions:
- What’s the business objective of your blog?
- What’s the name and URL of your blog?
- What are the categories?
- What’s your voice? Are there many voices?
- Who’s your audience? Is there more than one?
- What type of content will excite or inform your audience(s)?
And, finally, he offered these Chief Content Officer Take-Aways:
- Engage your community with questions.
- Share amazing photos.
- Create content that can be easily consumed on mobile devices.
- Keep it human. Don’t be a bland corporation.
- The best posts or videos come from the frequently asked questions people have.
- Interviews make great content.
- Share original, behind-the-scenes photos of you and your team.
- Create interesting, brief product and service demos with videos.
- Testimonials are great, especially if you can highlight the hero, your customer, and not your product.
- Point out the great people in your community with videos and interviews.
- Deliver instruction and teach someone how to do something. Create a “how to” series.
- Keep publishing, keep creating great content. Don’t give up.