Attention is the new oil. The average reach of pages’ content in users News Feed is 8 %. People’s News Feeds are more cluttered with noise than ever before – leaving brands in a competition for attention. The hunt for impressions have led to a wave of branded content without any actual value – neither for the brand nor the users. I’ve seen photos of cute animals doing funny things and posts encouraging me to “Like” if I’m looking forward to the upcoming weekend, from brands in both the food industry as well as the tech industry. Content without context are just messages without any homes. Without any connection to your brand. In this post, I present 3 key points to include when creating content for social media to ensure that your content will make sense for your community and your brand strategy.
1. Create patterns
Things are moving fast. You have to grab attention and at the same time make people understand the essence of your message. People will first understand your messages when they see a pattern – something that makes sense to their own life, and something that connects to the image of your brand. The most valuable content is when it manages to combine both. If your content does this, you’ll get peoples understanding – which is key for creating the very thing that makes people bond with your brand.
To ensure that you always drive conversations around relevant topics and in the right context, build a strong conversational calendar. Define a list of topics or themes that you can create conversation about based on your values, beliefs and target group. Connecting your brand and product to consumer passions points drives engagement.
What you talk about must make sense and be in thread with your brand identity. That’s the only way the brand remains authentic and provides its audience with clear intangibles to identify with.
2. Evoke emotions
Make your content entertaining, or cut it. Entertainment is to evoke people’s emotions. That has always been the purpose of advertisement and the same goes for your social content. Think of why you share the given piece of content – what would you like to convey and how should your community use it? You should know the purpose of your content before asking fans to take their time to listening to it.
“Creativity” will probably be the word of the year. As it’s getting easier to duplicate, people’s attention – which they will memorize – will be focused on the epic stuff – things that are hard to copy. Like a space jump for example. Or a moonwalking pony. I think we’ll see some big creative productions during this year, and I hope it will be in collaboration with community management initiatives that can maintain the attention those productions are gaining.
When planning and executing creative solutions, ensure that the strategy is in place and that you have a plan for distribution, evaluation and maintenance. Put efforts into editorial planning.
3. Show passion
People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. If you show passion for your business idea, you’ll inspire your community to the same. People probably joined your community in first place because they liked your product or service. Use the opportunity to enrich their knowledge about your brand and it’s values. What your brand reflects is what people want to identify themselves with. Does your brand have a social mission? Show it. The brands that care most wins.
A part of showing passion is also to acknowledge the people in your community. Those are the ones that fuel the attention and the organic growth of your community. Don’t underestimate the opportunity of sharing user-generated content as this works as peer-to-peer recommendations and giving transparency to your brand.
The interactions people do on Facebook – such as updates, comments and likes – tell who they are and what they believe in. People base their self-esteem on how the community sees them, which means that the community helps drive people’s identities. This is essential to take into consideration when you want people to engage with your brand. Think of what the interactions people make with your page or your content, tell about a person’s identity. Remember, people share your content with their friends because they want response. If content is created in a way it can be re-shared, you can help your users to show their friends what they believe in. In my post about Social Design, you can read more about the connections between communities, identities and conversations.
As any other advertisement you do, you want to affect people with the content you share. Getting them to understand and connect with your brand and its values, you create a stronger bond of loyalty with your target group.