Likes aren’t everything: Tips for brands on social media
Attracting and keeping people’s attention on social media are two completely different issues facing businesses today and need to be treated as such. Creating content that resonates and engages your audience has never been more important or more of a challenge.
Did you know that more content has been created in the last five years than the 5000 years prior to that? The internet contains over 136 trillion pages and there’s more to come; a lot more.
In today’s market, broadcast reach is diminishing – people are quite simply being very selective or switching off (or blocking) online advertising, leaving content as one of the few viable options left in the marketing mix.
There are only so many people and hours in the day. Audiences are continuing to fragment across the multitude of platforms – search channels and social media organic reach is dropping, while paid advertising figures are rising. Attracting ‘attention’ becomes more and more elusive.
It all comes right back to supply and demand – too much supply, limited demand and we have a marketing disaster on our hands. This disaster is called ‘content shock’ – a situation where most content that is created will just not generate enough engagement to justify the cost of producing it.
This oversupply is somewhat understandable – social media, in particular, became mainstream and offered an irresistible opportunity to use this free media channel in order to connect with new audiences. We have been able to engage in social listening like never before while monitoring and engaging in conversations – in real time. But here’s where it has become problematic…
Not all behaviours are equal
The way people behave on social media is not always the way they will behave on your website. In other words, while social media can offer us an inexpensive way to garner market insights – it is not a reliable source for data to drive content and strategy.
The content that people share, like and comment on social media does not correlate to what they engage with, respond to or see on your brand’s website.
Social Media cannot always be trusted
Often people’s behaviour on social media is subject to ‘response bias’ – this is when they will share or comment something that isn’t necessarily what they are really interested in. Why? Well, some topics are just less shareable – when was the last time you saw or posted or shared content about your washing up liquid, your dentist appointment or a political view that might go against the general consensus of your peers or social media connections?
Social sharing cannot always be trusted because it has more to do with creating and maintaining an idealised self rather than someone’s authentic self.
Much content shock can be attributed to the cycle of using social media as the main decision making tool to create content, and more content, and then waiting for a response to that content. It’s really then just noise rather than real business results.
Chasing conversations on social media leads to sameness and ultimately, to a lack of any real differentiation for brands. The key to marketing success is not knowing more – it’s knowing something that others don’t.
Intelligence is about understanding how your target audience is consuming your content. It is the best indicator of what is working and helping you to plan for the future.
Content intelligence will attempt to answer the basics such as:
What is working
What content to create
Who should create the content
Where and when to publish the content
The style of writing to use
And, how the content impacts upon the users
Let data and analytics be your guide
For the moment, your data and analytics is readily available and exclusive to you.
Google Analytics will tell you the real consumption behaviour – views, time and conversion – that is associated with each individual piece of content.
And, these site analytics are the most complete and statistically reliable data source regarding actual audience behaviour, so let them be your guide.
What does the future hold?
The future ability to scan text for readability, topics, sentiment, emotionality – to scan images for faces, places and objects and likewise to analyse video, unlocks enormous possibilities to discover successful content.
Content intelligence allows you to gauge the behaviours of your audience over the longer term and will reveal the narratives that are connecting with your audience and are attributed to driving desired outcomes.
While the creation of quality content will never be fully automated, the content creation process will be significantly enhanced with the ability to read audience data.
Shifting the focus away from what’s happening on social media and focusing instead on the preferences, behaviours and patterns of your audience on how they engage with specific content, provides the best signals for what to do next.
Why does content intelligence even matter, and why is it better than worrying about likes on social media? Because you grow your audience by listening to them rather than the noise created on social media.
If your brand needs help figuring out the right marketing needs for you and your target audience, contact us your brand agency Liquid Creativity and we’ll help your business navigate the digital marketplace.
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