Is Content Really King When It Comes to Social Media?
Our expert this issue is Bryan Kramer, a Social Business Strategist and CEO of PureMatter, where he’s led his agency to consistent growth over the last 10 years, ranking as one of Silicon Valley’s fastest-growing private companies by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.
Community Q: Everyone says when it comes to social media “content is king”. Is that the only thing I need to worry about?
Bryan Kramer: In social media, content is important, but context is HUGE. If your content is not in the right context for both your specific social media platform and for the audience you want to engage, it’s a social gunshot—throwing a bunch of words in the air and hoping that, somehow, somewhere, they’ll land on a few people in a way that makes sense and captures their attention.
The more authentic you are, the more you will get out of your share. You must also be mindful of context when you share, always. Here are four rules to remember when it comes to context:
1) Think it through. Whether it’s a blog or a tweet, you need to visualize how what you share will play out, and whether it meets your objectives. Everything you share should be true to your brand—personal and company—to support your goals and have a purpose. This is where many social sharers have created their own demise, in tweeting something snarky or inappropriate, either from their own handle or a corporate handle by mistake. I hear almost weekly of someone getting fired for tweeting something inappropriate. This can be avoided by simply thinking it through.
2) Skip to the last page first. Know the ending as well as the beginning when you plan your strategy. This is the difference between creating something complicated and complex. Complex systems work because there’s a beginning and an end point. The trick is figuring the best way to connect the two points. Complicated systems have one or the other. You don’t want to lead your audience down a path that starts meandering aimlessly—they’ll likely not stick with you. You have to know what direction you’re heading in with your message. Don’t deviate. If you do, redefine the ending.
3) Slow down. How many times have you tweeted, posted, blogged, updated—just pushed a message out there so you can check it off your list? We live in a fast-paced world where if you move too quickly, you forget to put effort into the moment that could potentially be a creative and thoughtful experience. When you give yourself time to reflect on what you’re creating, you’ll enter your audience’s world—and then you’ll deliver a message that will resonate.
4) Get out of your head. It’s time to break out of the habit of thinking everyone knows what’s rattling around in your brain and look at what you’re sharing from an outsider’s point of view. Ask someone on your staff, a friend, a colleague, “Does this make sense to you?” before you post something. Get objective opinions. Be you, yes—be true to your thoughts and opinions—but express them in a way that people “get” you. Sometimes that means sharing your own context along with your message.