When was the last time you opened the Instagram app to find the latest deals being offered by a brand? When was the last time you went to Twitter to check out the new products offered by local retailers? You don’t. And nobody else does either.

You have, however, gone to Facebook to check out how your cousin’s trip to New York went. You’ve logged onto Twitter a few times to see the latest tweet from your favorite (or least favorite) politician. And, you definitely clicked the little Instagram icon to view the latest on Will Smith’s Instagram story.

The truth is, when people open Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, they’re looking for an escape from whatever their current situation might be. Maybe they’re sitting in class bored out of their mind. Maybe they’re standing in line at Target. Perhaps they’re walking down the hall between meetings. The day has been long, so they might be looking to take their mind off the stresses of work and life. Social Media is an escape. It’s the most effective escape we’ve had since movie theaters or Candy Crush were invented.

So, why is it so hard for people to understand how to use Social Media to grow their biz? Might be hard to hear, but it’s actually quite simple; we’re all looking for a direct return on investment. If I’m gonna spend 20 minutes a day posting a couple times to Instagram or hire a millennial to post on our social media accounts, it’s got to make financial sense. We’re in a rush, and we need to justify investments and expenditures.

15 – 20 years ago, channels for content distribution were limited to ABC, NBC, CBS and your local newspaper. Now, there is so much trying to capture the attention of your ideal customer that you’ve got to find creative ways to break through and get seen, followed, and create interest. The pill you’ll have to swallow is that generating this attention doesn’t directly point to a customer buying your product. You’ll still have to earn the sale. Great content just gives you the intro.

So, what type of content should you be producing for your accounts?

Many “experts” will tell you that there are 3-4 types of content that work on social media. It’ll always be some variation of Engage, Educate, and Inspire. Or, maybe Inform, Educate, and Excite.

I’m here to tell you that only 1 tactic works on social media. To neglect this truth is to put wings on your dollars and watch them fly away.

To win on social media, you must Entertain. To attract more attention, which ultimately helps you sell more products, you must put on a show for your followers. That’s it.

That show could be your version of either TMZ or PBS, but whatever it is, it’s got to be a pleasing to tune into.

If you’re going to motivate your followers to trim 20 minutes off their processes, or shave or 20lbs off their waistline, it must be visually exciting or funny enough to stick around the whole 30-60 seconds. If you’re want to keep their attention while you show them how they could save 15% or more on car insurance, it’d better be full of action or slapstick gold. Heck, corny even works. Educational content doesn’t have to be provocative, but it does have to be super useful, straight to the point, and high energy – or give me goosebumps.

There are lots of ways for companies in any industry to find success using social media, but posting about special offers or product features will get lost.

Before posting anything, ask yourself ‘Why would my ideal customer want to follow this? What value are they getting?’

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