Did you know that every 20 minutes there are over 10 million Facebook comments posted?

That’s a lot of content. Actually, that’s a lot of noise.

Some people try to rise above the noise, but the only way to do that is to be louder. I don’t need louder, thank you, I need better!

Instead of rising above, break through the noise with valuable information and fun commentary. Your comments should be the proverbial needle in the haystack—which is always in the middle, not on the top.

Key to delivering valuable content—know your audience

Once you start posting on any social media network, you become a publisher.

You’re in competition with every other publisher on the Internet. Your posts need to be better than good, they need to be engaging and they need to be valuable.

How do you determine what’s valuable?

First, know your audience. Who are they? Define who you want to reach with as much detail as possible, down to where they live, what they eat, and even their favorite color! The more you understand your target market, the more you know what they think is valuable.

Next, go find them. Search different social media networks to see who’s there and what they’re talking about. Search for people by title or geography. Search conversations by keywords people use to discuss your topic, product, service, cause, or industry. Remember, they don’t use jargon! People talk about customers who “owe money” not “accounts receivable.”

Read what they’re saying—carefully. Their conversations hold the key to what they’re looking for—what has value to them.

Give your audience what they want—but keep it short

Now start talking, following, liking, connecting, pinning, etc. Things that revolve around what people want to know. Keep it short, even where you’re not limited to 140 characters.

Your initial content should come from your expertise. You know wonderful things and other people want to know them, too.

What do other people want to know?

People want to know best practices in your industry, the right way to use a product, the wrong way to use a product, quick maintenance tips, best questions to ask when choosing someone in your field, key factors to consider when comparing the competition, and the great things my donation dollars are doing.

This is information you already have and can easily share.

Additional content is found everywhere. You need to maintain your own expertise, so as you’re researching, reading and learning, find something you consider valuable and share it. Add your stamp of approval, or disapproval, as your voice is a major part of the value you offer. In the end, people will buy from you, not the author of the article you shared.

Lastly, make it engaging and interactive. End your posts with a question such as “What would you have done?” or “Do you agree?”

Also consider fill in the blank posts that make people think about your topic. Some suggestions include:

“August 15 is the due date for file tax extensions. To meet that deadline I have to __________.”

“Check out the great BBQ recipes on my website. But when it’s too hot to cook I usually eat ____________.”

“Nonprofit orgs take donations of all kinds, including time. I only volunteer when______________.”

Target your content to the people you want to reach, keep it short and to the point, offer information, and make it engaging with interactive questions and it will be full of value, and not a bunch of hay!

Have you been able to break through the Internet noise? Tell us how in the comments below!