How to share insights on social mediaJuly 31, 2020
By Jordan McDonald
55 comms Social Media Coordinator
Struggling for good content ideas for social media? It's a common issue. But there's one option sitting right in front of you: share useful information with your audience. Yes, this information often comes from somewhere else and isn’t unique, and there’s a good chance a portion of your audience have already seen that material. But there is a way to share information in a way that is unique to your business and helps establish you as a thought and opinion leader: share your original and helpful insights on the material. Learning how to create your insights with your content rather than simply relaying existing information is critical to standing out on social media today.
Say, for example, you run a social media account that focuses on the technology industry, and a new industry development has just been released which has flooded social media and blogs with the same announcement and information. What experience, knowledge and understanding can you apply to this information? How can you look at this from a different angle and build your own piece of content from this? Don’t be mistaken, looking at this differently doesn’t mean you need to ignore the critical details of the original information – include that. But tell your audience what YOU think, start offering your original thoughts and opinions. Here’s how to start doing that …
Connect the dots
A great way to create insights is to apply an experience from your past. Say I want to make a point that young employees really source the feeling of job security from consistent affirmation from their employer/boss. Instead of explaining how this is true through a bunch of statements, I could call on my own personal experiences with this topic and tell a story that supports my point. I’ve had three professional jobs as a young adult, one where I was left to fend for myself and another where I felt well supported. Both, however, surprised me when they ended sooner than I was ever anticipating and I couldn’t help but wish my employer had given me some indications that I wasn’t doing enough or that it was coming time for them to make a change. Now, in my third job, that consistent affirmation has made an enormous difference. My relationship with my employer feels less tiered, I feel like I know where I stand in the workplace, and the amount of worry and stress that takes off my mind as a young adult navigating the working world, is significant. Storytelling is important and that’s something we focus on a lot at 55comms – statements are boring, stories deliver insights.
Connect the people
I’d like to challenge that ‘thinking outside of the box’ is a realistic possibility. From our mid-teens, were essentially wired with a mental framework that persists throughout our lives, so therefore, ‘thinking outside of the box’ is more about ‘combining boxes’ (or combining mental frameworks), to build new ideas. Put short, go talk to people and build ideas together. A good way to understand this process is to consider when you arrive at some information you can’t create your own insight from. What I’d suggest next is go and talk to people about it – see what thoughts, opinions and ideas they can share and see if one of them might spark something within you. This process of bouncing ideas off one another more often leaves you with a head full of new possibilities and dots to connect. Connecting these dots is what becomes your insights.
Connect the experience
The human experience is something we all share, but share in entirely different ways. Our insights, therefore, are all entirely different. It’s really easy to explain as well, and we’ll use University as an example. A university is trying to work out whether or not they continue to offer their courses online once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, but they aren’t sure the amount of time and resources is being matched by the student output. Rather than draw a line through it, the university could invite students to share their study journey through COVID-19 and learn about hey they found adjusting to online-only in the first place. From there, they might find that most students realised they prefer this more flexible way of study – it allowed them to work a job to support their family, or to pay bills, or found they were more productive at home, or that their mental health improved. Connecting this experience with the original point mean it is now an incredibly valuable insight.
Connect the content
The news is full of interesting content and each morning you can pluck from it what inspires or interests you. A great exercise is to debate these news pieces and create some new insights. A popular topic in news at the moment is a lady in Victoria who was turned away at Bunnings because she refused to wear a face mask. It’s easy to debate this issue because people either agree or disagree, but if you dissect it some more, you’ll discover a few different angles – is there a health issue at play, where is she sourcing her information from to begin with, who is she surrounded by and do they support her choice, was Bunning’s ‘out of line’ to deny her entry and enforce the mask policy? All these questions can be debated and a lot of insight will come from those discussions.
To finish …
Social media content today is often very ‘safe’ in that it’s tips and tricks, or the on-sharing of an existing article written by someone else. What content today is lacking is originality and insight and that’s derived from personal experience and knowledge, as well as the curiosity and desire to want to explore these topics beyond the headline. I encourage everyone to go beyond the information you see in your feed, discover your own point of view and share that insight with your audience – they’ll thank you for it!