When I came across Social Media Examiner‘s call to write about the biggest challenge in social media, I immediately thought of the struggles of providing fresh content for a company that doesn’t necessarily provide a product or otherwise turn a profit through sales. More specifically, the challenge of a small business providing fresh content to get patrons to continually visit its Facebook page or interact via Twitter.
I recently read an article by Ken Serota on the topic of social media content for dentists. The opening of the article was geared toward answering the question “As a dentist, what should I post?” Though not a specialty practitioner such as a dentist, optometrist or something of the sorts, I can see how it might be easy to have “writers block” on providing fresh content across the various social media platforms. I think it’s safe to assume most dentists primarily use Facebook as their main social media platform due to its versatility in providing announcements, images, video, audio and more.
The article pointed out some simple ideas to provide daily content such as video responses to common questions and patient testimonials, open appointments and commenting on trends in the profession. While these are all very good ideas at keeping fresh content on a Facebook page for a dentist, I might argue that most of these ideas do not necessarily facilitate actual user engagement. It’s been said over and over again that social media is all about interaction and engagement. Thus, the biggest challenge I come across in social media is not only creating content, but actually creating a conversation.
Large brands such as Pepsi or Nike might not need to work quite as hard to initiate conversation and might even find that monitoring and contributing to the conservation is actually of greater concern. For the small business, however, creating content that opens the door to the online conversation is difficult. It is simply not enough to have a high rate of Facebook impressions. It is far more valuable to see a high percentage of interactions when looking at the insights of a Facebook page. However, the question remains: How can a small business create engaging content that opens up actual online conversations?
If you have a great idea on maintaining online conversations for a small business please comment below. I would love to hear your ideas!
UPDATE: Read my follow up “30 Ideas for Providing Fresh Content in #SocialMedia“