By: Kyle Minerley
Social Media Marketing Requires “Creativity.”According to dictionary.com, creativity is “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination.” So just do that! Seriously though, the largest obstacle to pass in regards to creativity is the misconception that it is innate. That somehow we are born as more or less creative than another. While it is true that some may struggle with creativity more than others, in the end it is a craft—and like all crafts the best way to improve is through practice and dedication. So what are my best tips for staying creative in the workplace, even when bouncing between 30+ voices, target audiences and agendas?
Kyle’s Five Best Tips for Staying Creative
- Explore. Take the time to observe your target demographic, and read their posts. Begin to learn where they’re from, who their friends are, who they follow (or don’t follow), what they choose to write about and why.
- Get Bored. Don’t distract yourself from the boredom. It seems like a simple thing but in the digital age, even when you think you’re bored you’re still allowing something - or someone - else to think for you while browsing online.
- Stop trying to separate work from leisure. While this goes against what most of us want to hear, inspiration for a social post can come from nearly anything. There’s plenty of times where I’m at home talking with my friends or browsing online where I stumble across an idea or a post and hurriedly scribble it down. You don’t have to expand upon it—that can wait till you’re at work. But at least write it down so you can draw on it later for inspiration again. And while at work...well…
- Have Fun. Play with the voice you want to use and imagine how it would react to certain social situations. Do an improv game with some coworkers. Even if the voice you need is for a formal business lawyer, it’s important to at least know how they would react to a silly situation—even if you would never actually turn that into a post.
- The Internet Is Your Best Friend. Imgur. Reddit. 4chan (careful about this one). These are the places where original content (“OC”) is most often found online, or at least quickly picked up first. Then, sometimes weeks later, you’ll see these posts surface on social media sites. If you enjoy just browsing these, even in your free time, and see a way to turn something on the top page into a useful post related to your company—do it.
Dedication Over InspirationThere’s no such thing as “burning out”. What it comes down to is dedication over inspiration. One of my favorite quotes about this is from the famous fantasy writer, Neil Gaimon:
“If you only write when you’re inspired you may be a fairly decent poet, but you’ll never be a novelist because you’re going to have to make your word count today and those words aren’t going to wait for you whether you’re inspired or not. You have to write when you’re not inspired. And you have to write the scenes that don’t inspire you. And the weird thing is that six months later, a year later, you’ll look back at them and you can’t remember which scenes you wrote when you were inspired and which scenes you just wrote because they had to be written next. The process of writing can be magical. Mostly it’s a process of putting one word after another.”
Put Some Heart Into ItIf you approach Social Media as “just a job” where you come in and sit down, search desperately for trending or interesting news and then leave, then so will your audience. People (your target demographic) don’t just use social media when they get home. Go to any office, college, or even small shop and look around for a few minutes, just enough time to catch someone sigh, open up a new tab and scroll around facebook for a few minutes before returning to work. So give that person a reason to engage with your post, smile, and enjoy their quick break (or learn something while on it)—they probably earned it. And so have you.