— This is the hot topic for today —
It really is all about value!
It might be an overused word but I think its importance is overlooked much of the time! As a blanket statement I want to challenge us to really think about what value we are adding in many areas of our lives. Think about it, from the work you do in your 9-5 job to the silent judgement of someone’s outfit as they walk past the coffee shop, there are many areas that we could provide more value in what we do and say. Today, however, I want to talk about value in social media and content creation.
Now don’t get me wrong I do love reading a good #OOTD post or perhaps a little inspiration for a killer vacation, but I know for a fact I am never as impressed with social media that provides little or no value compared to posts that do.
I read an article the other day stating that there are two types of people who read blogs: those who are busy and those who are bored.
Whether these people are perusing the web to pass the time or getting quick bites of information on the go, both groups of people really have their BS filters on HIGH voltage!
People nowadays are highly trained to pick out things that are full of fluff and not pay any attention to them. This is where your value factor comes into play.
As a content creator myself I try to ask the questions, “what value am I providing by doing this” or “what are my readers gaining from this”?
Readers are bombarded left, right and centre with media of all kinds. I want to make sure that if I am taking up metaphorical real estate in someone’s day then I am providing value.
Am I giving my readers a new place to experiment for a restaurant? Perhaps a new place to stay when traveling? Or maybe I am giving them tips and tricks for their next job interview. Whatever it might be I want to ensure that when someone finishes an article that they have a takeaway and feel as though they’ve learned something.
Having beautiful photos is not enough anymore but I do think different mediums call for different measures. Let’s use Instagram an an example. We have all have read posts on the issues or tactics, I myself have done a couple, but lets dive into this. Instagram is a 99.99% aesthetic game and that is okay! You need a beautiful image but I would challenge that a beautiful image with a useless caption is not a great as a beautiful image with an inspiring, funny, or meaningful caption.
Going more into the blogosphere this is where the meat of the value can really be delivered.
Think of blog posts with a fresh perspective. How about a fashion blogger; she has gorgeous photos and epic style. She could simply just post a bunch of similar looking photos of her outfit or….. she could walk the reader through the outfit and why she selected the pieces and how they work together. By providing a bit more substance the reader really CONNECTS with the blogger rather than simply being envious of her clothes.
The whole concept of connecting is what makes general followers become LOYAL followers! I could be wrong but at least for me as a reader of social media content, when I feel like the author or content creator is genuinely sharing tips, ticks or their thoughts on a topic in an honest way I feel involved and much more engaged. It sounds cheesy or cliché but absolute success of a social media influencer is when the reader feels as though they know the influencer and could be friends. . . Yes, I sound super stalker-ish right now, but it is true no? If a reader really identifies with the content creator they trust their opinion and value their advice. This now brings us BACK to value! If success is defined by the readers feeling connected and taking advice to heart then we as a social media community need to actually provide value, this is why people are taking time to read the blog in the first place!
side note on this topic – I am not saying EVERY single post needs to be 49720395702570 hours of research and heaps of trial and error. I am not saying that you cannot have any whimsical, fluffy posts. Not at all. I am simply saying that the culmination of work needs to add value and bring something to the table.
ask yourself these questions when you write a blog post (or for readers – switch these around to see if you are getting value from reading them)
1. If this was the first blog post that a new reader saw, would it be enough for them to come back?
2. On a scale of 1-10 how much of this post is for me and how much for my readers?
(I do think it needs to be a balanced approach. you need to stay true to yourself and the topics you want to write about. At the same time you need to give your readers what they want if you want them to keep coming back)
3. After reading this post has the reader learned something (skincare tip, interview skill, how to put together an outfit or why the fall accessory works in summer etc.)
I think by using these questions you can challenge yourself to grow and dive deeper into your connection with your audience, which will ultimately generate a more loyal and engaged community!
What do YOU think? Perhaps you are both a creature and consumer of content. Do you think VALUE is all of what it is cracked up to be? Do you think beautiful imagery is enough? On the flip side, tell me where you think this all plays into other areas of life. Do you think we should ask similar questions to ensure that we are providing value elsewhere? I would love to hear your thoughts and start a conversation about it. Leave a comment below or reach out on social media!