Getting started with social media content is like making waffles for the first time ever and screwing them up.
Now that we’re stuck at home because of COVID-19, my husband Gustavo and I realized we needed more exciting at-home breakfast foods. So we bought a waffle maker and a box of Kodiak Cakes waffle mix.
On my first attempt, my waffles came out soggy.
In a frustrated state, I flipped through the flimsy grayish instruction manual. But I’d followed the instructions PERFECTLY! Instead of four waffles, I got three soggy irregularly shaped waffles. Mix was even oozing out the sides of the machine.
Bad machine, shit instructions...right?
It’s easy and lazy to blame the tools and the instructions rather than assume ownership.
So I rolled my sleeves up on my weekend waffle days and tried again.
I tried using less milk, more time cooking, playing with a measuring cup to test the perfect amount of batter to pour, using my oven to keep the waffles warm, different serving ware that wouldn't collect moisture...
Until finally I finally got them to fluffy perfection. Instead of three waffles I got four. Gustavo ate so many soggy waffles.
When I finally figured out the right way to use the tools available to me, it hit me. Making waffles is like figuring out content for your target audience.
Who the hell thinks this when making waffles though? When you're a full-time social strategist and content creator, everything somehow ties back into content 🤣
Like the waffle maker and mix instructions, expert advice is not always one-size-fits-all. Advice is like Google Maps. It'll help you find your way home at first. But eventually you learn to find your way on your own. Maybe you even discover shortcuts to avoid traffic jams because you're now a local.
With content it's the same concept.
The Gary Vaynerchucks of the world will help you navigate your first 5 to 100-something steps. But the key to finding your social media content recipe that works for your target audience's cravings is a product of experimentation and repetition.
Your next attempts at content might be like my soggy waffles.
But if you don't communicate, serve, and adapt to your audience you will never figure out how to deliver better content to them.
Ways to Figure This Out:
- Read the comments sections of competitors to see what questions people are asking. Take notes and observe the descriptive language they use.
- Give your time or sample of your service away for free to help them in exchange for a few moments of their time to understand their trouble areas and guide them. The learning experience for both of you is priceless.
- Go into groups and forums (Facebook groups, Reddit, any forums) and see what people are asking around what you do.
Dare to dive in and eventually deviate to adapt and discover something that works better. The inner jitters sometimes never go away. You coexist with them. Or maybe that's just my anxiety. Point is, just post it.
Most people don't have a strategy problem (yet) because they've barely scratched the surface of what it means to truly begin creating social media content. It's a mental hurdle stopping them from creating and sharing. It's that little voice that tells you something is off in a minor detail your audience doesn't really give a fuck about.
In my experience, poor engagement is never the fault of the platform or the algorithm. It's the user. That's a good thing. It means you have the power to turn things around if you're willing to be patient, agile, empathetic to you audience, and consistent.
High-performing social media content is a byproduct of imperfect content.
Everybody wants to start with the perfect waffle and they never will. I don't mean to sound discouraging but this is the truth. And sometimes – if you have what it takes – you need to hear the unsugarcoated truth to take off the blindfold and see things for what they are. So yeah, not many dare to make more waffles and serve them to their audience to learn how to make better ones. This is why they stay stuck in a loop of unattainable perfection.
Chase gradual progression instead.
If you enjoyed this blog, this article bel0w will help you build on this lesson.