context-is-kingI recently attended Gary Vaynerchuk's (aka Gary Vee) keynote at Columbia University where he talked about his new book "Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook". The premise being give, give, give on social media and you'll receive that "right hook" in return once a relationship is established. There’s a reason why I listen when Gary talks about social media strategy: the successes he’s had with his personal social media channels and his company Wine Library warrant serious attention. But what makes me a fan the most is Gary’s extremely addictive passion for making social media engagement work in a business setting.

What he talks about in his book is the value of a story. Whether you are a small or large brand, telling a story (original content) in a way that’s native to the social platform you are using (context) is “giving” to your audience. Sharing information through storytelling builds your brand equity, customer loyalty and increases your chances of engagement. Tell it in the right way on social media and your content will have a chance at virality.

There’s a lot of talk about how content is king, but as more and more companies take action and create custom content, how do you make yours stand out on social media?

Here are three ways to put context into practice tomorrow:

1) Create a social media channel plan

Your company needs to outline the reason why you’re putting effort into a specific channel and what you want from it in return. Understanding how your voice will sound on one channel versus another will clarify content creation, frequency, execution, and distribution.

Creating a plan will also help you figure out what it means to speak in a platform’s native language. Outline each social channel you will be using and figure out your voice, goals and tactics for execution. Don’t rule out the value of text and visuals on each platform - tweets with images tend to get shared more and articles pinned on Pinterest can have high click through rates.

2) Integrate what's trending into your content

Everyone wants to know what’s happening right now. Find a way to incorporate current events, news, and trending topics with what you’re talking about so that you can participate in the conversation. This way your tweets, posts, pins and everything in-between will seem relevant, useful and shareable. The key here is relevance. If you include a trending hashtag in a message that has little to do with the topic, it won’t go anywhere.

Where do you find trending information? Take a look at each channel’s trending section, which is most likely personalized to the geographic location you’ve specified, based on pages you’ve liked, or people you’ve interacted with. If you know a major event is going to happen in your industry, find out what the hashtag and handles you need to use to participate in the conversation beforehand.

3) Don’t just talk about yourself

There’s a trick in the way that you promote your own content without having your message sound like a sales pitch every time. Think about what a customer or follower would like to know more about and how your company can help them. In Gary’s boxing analogy, providing valuable information is the “jab.”

One of the best ways to share information is on a company blog. Recycle this content across all of your social channels to get the most out of it. Get a third party influencer involved so your content will get shared across his/her networks too. Find creative ways to show visual content including images and videos for quick consumption.

What are some ways that your company has made context king?

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Originally published Mar 17, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated January 18 2023


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