I was chatting with a friend of mine about his frustrations around social media—he said too many people and businesses sound like squawking parrots—loud, annoying, and painful on the ears. The shrieking sound can make even the biggest bird enthusiast run for the nearest exit. And in the world of social media, it can leave people running for the unfollow button.
Would your audience liken your social media content to the sounds of the squawking parrot?
Here are some common symptoms of the infamous Squawking Parrot:
Lack of value
Over promotion or too sales-y
If your Facebook Business page looks more like a digital brochure—think SP. If the most common word on your LinkedIn profile is I—think SP. If your Instagram video content is a glorified sales pitch—think SP. So how do we avoid being the Squawking Parrot and, instead, be more like the Wise Owl?
Focus on the 3 E's:
Educate. How can you add value to my life? How can you be a resource to me while I am in research mode for your product or service?
Entertain. How can you make me smile, giggle, or belly laugh? There is so much negativity these days on social media—how can we bring levity and light?
Encourage. People hate to be sold, but they love to buy. How can you indirectly encourage me to take action? An example might be a video testimonial from a happy customer sharing their story about working with you.
Always. Add. Value.
What problems can you help solve?
What information can you pass along that will truly benefit others?
How can you put a smile on your followers' faces?
How can you inspire?
Is your content serving you or serving them?
Let’s keep these two beautiful birds atop our proverbial shoulders as a constant reminder to always be striving to serve our audience instead of serving ourselves.
Best Practice: Create a Content Calendar. A Wise Owl Always Has a Plan.
I recommend having a specific category for each day of the week. Monday might be Motivation Monday, and that is the day you encourage your tribe with a powerful quote, image, or saying. Tuesday is Testimonial Tuesday, and that day is dedicated to sharing a success story from a happy client. Wednesday is WTF Wednesday! No, not that WTF, What To Film—that is the day you put on your favorite outfit and shoot a value-packed video for your audience. And so on and so on.
Having a content plan takes a lot of the guesswork out of what to post each week. Knowing what you need each week can help you to save content for future use. If you come across an amazing website filled with valuable facts from your industry, you can put them in a folder for future Fun Fact Fridays!
Pick four or five categories that make the most sense for your business, dedicating a day of the week to each of those categories. Once you have these categories in place—you can use your favorite social media management tool to schedule content a week or even a month in advance.
Creating compelling content is, by far, the most challenging part of digital marketing and social media. But done well, it can keep you top of mind with prospects for days, months, or even years until they are ready to buy. So look for ways to add value, be a resource, and bring joy to your network. Keep that Wise Owl firmly on your shoulder and leave the Squawking Parrot to the pirates!
About the Author:
Corey Perlman is a speaker, consultant, and nationally-recognized social media expert. His latest book, Social Media Overload!, ranked #1 on Amazon.com in every major business category.
Corey has spoken for General Motors, The PGA Tour, Sysco Foods, and more on driving business results through social media. His company, Impact Social, Inc., employs a team of highly skilled digital specialists that manage the social media accounts of over 40 businesses. When he is not working, Corey loves singing Jimmy Buffett lullabies to his young son and trying to overtake his adolescent daughter for the most Instagram followers.