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[Download] How to Increase Social Media Engagement with Topic Maps

Who would you rather have coffee with?:

  • JIM – He endlessly drones on and on about the same topic — even after you’ve clearly stopped listening.  Apparently, it’s all he knows or cares about.
  • JULIE – She can carry on an intelligent conversation about a variety of topics.  She’s super well-rounded.

Tough choice, right?
But the truth is that most businesses are executing a very “JIM-like” social media strategy.  The topics they are willing (and able) to discuss on their social handles are very one-dimensional.
(RELATED: Developing a Social Media Strategy)
They are boring their followers to tears — and just like our friend Jim — they don’t notice that no one is listening.
Here’s how to become Julie…

Create Your Social Media Topic Map

rosetta-stoneRosetta Stone sells language learning software.
You would expect Rosetta Stone social channels to talk about nothing but language learning.  After all, that’s what they sell.
On the contrary, Rosetta Stone’s social media channels are filled with rich, JULIE-esque social media conversations about a great many topics.
It looks like this…
Example Social Media Topic Map
Rosetta Stone engages their social media following by creating and participating in conversations about such things as Travel…
Rosetta Stone Social Media Topic
Rosetta Stone Topic on Twitter
Learning theory…
and etymology…
Twitter Topic Idea for Rosetta Stone
Why?  Simply because, in addition to language learning, Rosetta Stone’s customers are interested in these topics.
But the topic of language learning is easily connected to topics that play well on social media like Travel, Food and Music.  Topics that are, dare I say, SEXY!
Let’s look at a Social Media Topic Map surrounding a product that is much less sexy: Tax Preparation.

You Just Aren’t Sexy

You and I both know — some topics are “social media sexy” and others — not so much.
In fact, according to Klout, the top 10 topics on Facebook and Twitter make up nearly 40% of the engagement…
Most Engaging Social Media
… and the remaining 60% are dominated by only slightly less sexy topics like Sports, Technology, Fashion and Politics.
So… what’s a business to do if they sell something frighteningly unsexy like human resources consulting, residential roofing or (the Holy Grail of unsexy) tax preparation.
The tax preparation company, H&R Block has a well-rounded Social Media Topic Map.
It looks like this…
H&R Block Social Media Topics
Rather than simply copy and paste sections of United States tax code (someone please shoot me in the face!) H&R Block engages in conversations surrounding Home Ownership…
Social Media Ideas for H&R Block
Saving for College…
Facebook Post Idea for H&R Block
Personal Finance…
Twitter Topic for a Tax Preparation Company
Business Finance…
Social Media Ideas for Tax Prep Company
and Employment…
Tax Preparation Firm Topics on Facebook
While the Social Media Topic Map process will increase engagement on ANY social media channel — this process is DOUBLY important for the unsexy among us.

The Surprising Benefit of the Well-Rounded Social Channel

The question that inevitably comes up when I talk about Social Media Topic Maps is…

“What if we don’t have the expertise to hold conversations about these topics?”

Well… I’m glad you asked!
A fantastic side effect of creating a Social Media Topic Map is that it forces you to start networking and sharing OPC — Other People’s Content on your social channels.
Digital Marketer sells training and certification courses around the topics of paid traffic, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, conversion rate optimization, etc.
We can talk about that stuff ’til we’re blue in the face.
But our customers and prospects are also interested in topics like Technology & Gadgets…
social-media-topic-maps22Marketing Conferences…
Digital Marketer Shares Content Marketing Institute Tweet
and Start Ups…social-media-topic-maps21
So… as a result — we curate a list of the best social media handles surrounding these topics and we share their content with our audience.
On Twitter, for example, we follow and retweet a number of handles to “round out” our social media topics…
Social Media Topic Short List
By sharing the social media updates of this curated list of expert brands and people we are not only JULIE-izing our social media (everyone wants to have coffee with Digital Marketer!)…
… but relationships and conversations inevitably develop with these individuals and brands…
The Social Media Topic Map seamlessly integrates one of the most powerful benefits of social media marketing (networking with influencers) into your day-to-day social media activity.
So… the question is…

Who are you on social media?  JULIE or JIM?

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Russ Henneberry

Russ Henneberry

Russ Henneberry is a digital marketer, speaker, and co-author of Digital Marketing for Dummies. Russ has helped hundreds of brands increase sales, leads, and retention including Crazy Egg,, and DigitalMarketer. Visit Russ's website or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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