By Josephine Eilersen
B2B content is often left to die on corporate social media pages. Posted. Job done. Move on. With this approach, social media needs a resuscitation and a few ‘likes’ will not revitalize it. There is a clear relation between the disease and content. So, we have to find a cure to create engagement and excitement.
There is something that keeps puzzling me in regards to company pages that suffers from low engagement. Generally, it is expected that followers automatically ‘picks up’ content by them selves, share it and reach out as a result of posting. Content is left on the wall waiting to go viral.
We all put time and effort into creating content that we think is interesting. As I write this, I not only hope, and expect, you to read it to the end - I also want you to engage with the article by making it your own with an interesting teaser before sharing it with your network. The reality is content is often left alone on what seems to be inactive company pages, where not even employees or the content creator is active.
From a corporate perspective, the content ought to support our business KPIs, strengthen our brand and create awareness. My goal is not to go viral but to create engagement that in the end help sales convert new prospects. Goals that I expect any communicator with content responsibility have. But how is this possible when engagement is below 2%?
The fact is that viral posts a rare happenings - in particular in B2B. In general, most content needs be more emotional, have personality and pushed to come close to going viral.
Passive aggressive communication hurts your brand
We will look into push later and start with personality. Corporate communication is often about me, me, me - and should this be good branding? I don’t think so. Filling company social channels with narcissistic communication and accepting low engagement, company profiles are diminished to garbage walls where content is left alone. Harsh. Yes. But in reality, only few reads corporate content on social channels, fewer engage with it and no-one shares it.
When I meet with customers, they confirm that their LinkedIn company page’ engagement rate is below 2% and this is even though they have more than 100,000 followers and a majority of employees among them. As communicator and marketing responsible, it is, or should be, frustrating to see that ones followers, as your audience, remain passive. Even more frustrating to see low engagement when the majority of employees are following the company too.
Seriously, why is this acceptable? The most common excuse for low engagement is algorithms and a constant limitation of reach. This means that your content is only visible to the minority of your followers, unless you promote it. So, we blame the algorithms for low engagement. Yes algorithms are hard to beat but as I see it, there are currently two answers to this limitation: increase budgets and pay promotions, or find alternative ways to increase engagement. I prefer the latter.
Have a party
The actual content is often not the problem and I am convinced that you are one of many brilliant content producers and storytellers. The root cause for low engagement is the medium: company social pages. Social media is by people for people and it takes two to tango.
If we want to start a party, we need a crowd and so far company pages are an open invitation, accepted by fewer than few. You can be the party starter and your colleagues are the guests with an extended invitation to invite their network. They are invited because they are the ones who represent the brand, have the desired professional expertise and the ability to un-brand the brand. When involving colleagues in your communication, you will automatically create a push; Instead of leaving content performance up to chance, you are much more in control of whom you target.
Besides having a party with your colleagues and beyond, advocacy improves the content performance and are 24 times more likely to be shared, according to LinkedIn and MSL. This means that when content perform better, so do you.
Lovable and shareable
One of the biggest concerns for advocacy is content production. But no stress; you are doing it already. Do not toss the content plan that you have for the next months or year because this is a good starting point. When content is ready to be shared, ask those colleagues that would find it relevant to share.
One brilliant story can be used differently explained in details in a long story for the blog and LinkedIn, video interview or tutorials for Facebook, key learnings in an infographic on twitter and ‘on site’ pictures for instagram. One story, one messages that takes on many different formats that makes your advocacy approach holistic.
Support your message with 3 party content. Key finding, reports or presentations that endorse your views and can create a holistic approach are good sources for content. Make it you own, publish on your channels to control the inbound traffic.
We also have different format style of preference and it reflects on our personal brand. It is therefore also important how it is presented. For instance, thumbnails in your blog and web content pre-determins which picture(s) your senders can choose from. Advocacy is not only about amplifying reach, it is a way to differentiate and create value for your audience. Gain an active audience with active senders.
The cure for corporate content is creating engagement, the medicament is personal activation through employee advocacy. Wanting to increase engagement, request a personal employee advocacy introduction and Sociuu demo.
Contact Josephine Eilersen