By Mike Stiles on Aug 29, 2014
Back in the day (whatever day that was), the race was to establish a presence on social and collect lots of fans & followers. Then everything became about social media engagement. To get it, your posts had to be visible. That’s when the social networks started caring…a lot…about monetizing.
Now, social has backed itself into being…TV advertising, but with added burdens. Social marketers now do what TV advertisers have always done; pay to get their content possibly seen. Whether the TV ad “worked” or got buzz depended on how entertaining, catchy, or compelling it was. So it is today with social brand content.
It’s not enough to be on. It’s not enough to be seen. Your content has to be awesome enough to inspire social’s added burden: the like, comment, and share. Nobody ever asked a viewer to go kiss their TV if they liked the ad they saw. But that’s what social asks.
Additional burden #2 is that social is a 24/7, two-way pipeline brands must fill with…something. The call for quality does not go down, while the call for quantity skyrockets. Caught in those crosshairs, several things may be conspiring to keep your social brand content boring and thus, not worthy of engagement.
1. You Can’t Keep Up With the Volume Needed
Content marketing wouldn’t be happening if content consumption weren’t going up. If you don’t fill that News Feed, others will be more than happy to and keep you shut out.
2. You Refuse to Shift Your Staffing Search
It’s the reason you can’t keep up with the volume needed. You’ve got marketers that can do the occasional deck and white paper. You’re not seeking prolific creators, entertainers and journalists.
3. You Continue to Try to Commoditize Today’s Most In-Demand Skills
If you do find those prolific content-generators, you want to lowball them. If “anyone can do it,” then you should probably start doing it yourself and really save some money.
4. You Aren’t Listening, or Watching, or Caring, or Asking
Any content creator knows the first thing you should do is know who your audience is. Tech listening and engagement tools remove the excuse to stay in the dark. Love what they love, care about what they care about, tune in to them, be one of them.
5. You Are Ignorant to the Content Competition Out There
I’m not talking about the content your competition is posting, I’m talking about the universe of viewing/listening options we all have at any given moment. You are entitled to nothing. You have to earn every scrap of attention your content gets.
6. You’re Still Banking on One-Offs Instead of “Shows”
What content can your social fans/followers rely on you to give them on a regular basis, without fail? Get them into a habit of consumption. They have no obligation to come around only when you’re ready to give them something.
7. You’re Playing to Internal Corporate Forces, Not the Real World
Does your C-suite know content? Do they know how to pull in, hold, delight, and impassion the public? Have they ever done it? If your content is aimed at pleasing them, you can be almost 100% guaranteed your social fans’ eyes are glazing over.
8. Your Company isn’t Shifting Resources to Content
If you’re fighting yesterday’s marketing war, that’s nostalgic. Maybe you could open a museum or something. Or hey, maybe people will stop wanting to watch things on their phones and brand content will just go away.
9. Your Brand Just Isn’t Cool. Like…at All
It’s not that people won’t share. AOL & Nielsen found 27 million pieces of content are shared daily. Ipsos says 70% of Internet users share content regularly. But when people share brand content, they’re publicly identifying with the brand and defining a part of themselves. You can’t afford not to have an overall cool image.
10. You Aren’t Doing Enough Newsworthy Things
Why would anyone share your content “just because”? If you’ve made legitimate news, people feel useful to their followers by sharing that news. If you’re not creating, innovating, launching, doing something…then it’s hard to make a ripple.
Forrester learned that on 6 of the 7 social networks, social brand content gets an engagement rate of under 0.1%. A Business Review Weekly piece talked to users about why they ignore brand content. One replied, “It’s an ad. . .and they never say anything funny or interesting.” You wrote the check, you got it seen, but for whatever reason, you found the quality of the content itself completely expendable. Yawn.