Understanding the User in Social Media

The efforts in your social media channels should align with business goals; however, when strategist’s focus ONLY on business goals, the user can often be forgotten. As a strategist, it’s important to reflect on how the content strategy in each social channel can achieve your business goals AND also create positive experiences for the user within social channels. However, the user experience should be seamlessly integrated across all various channels, not just one Facebook page or Twitter account.

Paul Boag states in his blog, “The user experience does not occur within a single channel (such as a website or Facebook page). Users move between multiple channels and so all of these channels need to be designed as one consistent user experience.”

This relates back to creating a consistent experience through multiple touch points of the brand, including social accounts. In social channels, one area to increase user experience is to create fresh, quality content. To do this, it’s important to understand what the users want in what platforms. Quality content can come in various forms. A video that goes viral from a users cell phone can be quality content as it’s content unique that people want to see. Other types of quality content are from a team of experts and may be created specifically for that channel. Designers, writers and community managers take time, creativity and plan timelines to create quality content. Quality content doesn’t necessarily mean professional photo shoots or videos but it does mean optimizing the overall message to it’s highest potential.

I believe quality content drives engagement, reflects the brand message and connects with the user. This can be difficult to achieve and rewarding when it is achieved. I have seen the best quality content with designers, writers and community managers brought together to work on specific posts. When a community manager consistently distributes quality content across multiple channels, this will create a stronger user experience. This is an ongoing learning experience as you reflect on insights and measurement each month.

Facebook also has a phrase, “Social by Design” (Boag). This allows their team to put a focus on the interaction between users not just about the content generated for users. As content is important, it’s the interaction and relationship building that will move users from the awareness phase, to usage, preference and finally loyalty with the brand and or product.

For more on understanding user experience through social, Boag writes about how integrating social into your website can take a company to the next level, beyond the specific social channel.

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