Using a Social FAQ to Kick Start Content Marketing

If you conquered four words, you’d have a better social media program than 90% of all companies. If you just utilized “thank you” and “I’m sorry” appropriately and often, you’d be in pretty good shape.

But getting to true sociability requires more than just replying to direct inquiry. You have to use content marketing to create information and stories that inform your customers and prospects.

This is especially true for companies that are inherently unsexy and don’t have a lot of existing social chatter about them. Remember that the less chatter there is about you, the more you need to create your own conversational opportunities.

You’re More Interesting Than You Think

When you have the initial conversation about content marketing, the “we don’t have anything interesting to say” argument often appears. But interesting is in the eye of the content consumer. Because the processes and realities of a company are routine and rote to its employees, they are fundamentally the worst arbiters of what’s interesting and what’s banal.

Build a Social FAQ

The best way to remove subjective bias and get started with content marketing is to create a social FAQ. Determine the questions that are asked about your company or category most often, and answer those questions in a multitude of formats.

holiday_world_logo.jpg A terrific example of this approach is Holiday World & Splashing Safari, a family-owned amusement park located in Santa Claus, Indiana. Holiday World is just 90 minutes from my home in Bloomington, Indiana and we spent a great family day there last summer.

HolidogIt’s called Holiday World because the Koch family has themed each area of the park after a different holiday. There’s Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, 4th of July, etc. The official mascot is Holidog, who is much cooler than a certain rodent ambassador about which you’ve no doubt heard.

In addition to being an exceptionally well run operation, Holiday World (and the attached Splashing Safari water park) are masters of the social FAQ. They have an innate understanding of what their customers want to know, and they deliver answers in a multitude of formats and tonalities.

For each major ride at the park (The Voyage wooden roller coaster, for example), there is a dedicated Web page that includes videos showing the entire ride (answering the important “how scary is it?” question). They also include awards, a fan poll of favorite features, ride facts, a park map, and tips for enjoying the ride. Plus, quotes from the park’s owner.

The Voyage Holiday World Social FAQ
Now that’s how you do it.

If in the unlikely event you still have a question about The Voyage after reading that page, you can tweet HolidayWorld (where their real-time, human response is outstanding); use their iphone app; post a question to their Facebook page, or sometimes stumble upon some other cool content, like this video from owner Dan Koch talking about new developments.

(I love the deprecating annotations on the video)

Great job by the folks at Holiday World. What other good examples of social FAQs have you found?

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