Engaging your audience online – 5 simple tips

Carolyn Miller, creative expert and ‘Gruen’ panelist, shares perspectives.

With so many experts and pseudo-experts taking to social & digital media to give people advice about how to make better choices, it can be hard to cut through the clutter and create a distinct point of view. However, there are some simple steps you can take in order to make sure your digital and social strategy hit the right notes:

  1. Know your audience. It sounds simple enough, but it’s important not to try to be all things to all people. Once you have an audience in mind, it is far simpler to make sure all your channels and content resonate. Gratuitous workout selfies may work brilliantly if your audience are #fitspo under 25’s, but they will simply grate against a working Mum in her 40’s who is more interested in healthy, quick recipes for a family dinner.
  2. Craft your brand. Consistency is key here – you should be active through multiple sites (website, facebook, youtube, Instagram etc), however your brand needs to have a distinct point of view and be ownable to you. Bloggers such as Sarah Wilson have created a strong following by being succinct about what they stand for – to the point that ‘I Quit Sugar’ now has a product line available in supermarkets.
  3. Plan relevant content. Having an editorial plan gives you structure for the long term, as well as allowing you flexibility in moments of inspiration. Seasonal influences will always exist, so take the time to draw up a month by month plan of what content you will produce, across what channels.
  4. Monitor your effectiveness. By keeping track of what works with your audience, you will improve your instincts for what may work again in the future. Gather feedback, take note of views and shares, and monitor audience sentiment. There are multiple programs available for keeping track of mentions, positive / negative interactions etc. Use them!
  5. Share compatible content. It is a misnomer to think that you have to generate all new content yourself. Show that you are involved in your industry and listening to other experts by sharing content you think your audience would find interesting or appealing. Of course, it is essential that all content is appropriately credited to the original source, however this can be a great way of connecting to your audience.

The final word on creating content, especially in social, is to give it some of your personality. There’s so much generic brand content in social media which defeats the purpose of why people are on social media in the first place – to connect with other people. So even if you do publish something which is slightly flawed, it does show you’re a human being. I would encourage people to let their personalities shine, along with their professional voice.

 

Carolyn Miller, creative expert and ‘Gruen’ panelistWho is Carolyn Miller?

Carolyn Miller is a highly regarded and well-known figure within the Australian creative industries. As a regular panelist on the ABC TV series, ‘Gruen’, she is a recognised authority on creative persuasion and has worked for global advertising agencies including Havas, DDB & STW Communications.

Carolyn Miller is Managing Director of The Honeycomb Effect and has nearly 20 years’ experience in the advertising and marketing industry. She has had considerable experience in the premium and luxury brand space, including working with Nespresso, Jaguar and Loreal. You may recognise her from her regular appearances on TV Shows ‘The Gruen Transfer’, The Today Show and Sunrise.