I was recently asked by a media outlet what I think is next in social. My answer: content fatigue.
Brands are trying desperately to push out content – a lot of content. And content is great, it really is. Blogs are a smart part of your content strategy, and it’s an exciting time compared to 15 years ago when most companies relied heavily on third party journalists to publish their key messages (and hope they came across accurately). To be able to post, share and spread our content in exactly the way we want, where we want and when we want is a great thing.
But lately some of the content overload has reminded me of being at a teenage dance, where kids who don’t quite know who they are yet bumble about awkwardly trying to be funny, cool, cute or smart. They wear too much makeup, have extreme hairstyles and wear clothing that they’re clearly uncomfortable in. They’re trying out everything because they’re still figuring out who they are.
Is your brand an awkward teenager still figuring things out, or do you know who you are? Are you a humorous company, so it makes sense to post cat memes? Or are you a serious B2B company for which informative and resourceful infographics make more sense? Is Vine really a network that will reach your audience, or are you just trying it out because it’s “hot” right now? Great, you’ve joined Instagram! How is it contributing to your bottom line success?
I stick to the advice I’ve been giving since brands started to catch on to the social media craze – don’t try to be everything to everyone. Don’t feel like you have to be on every single social network. Stop, calm down and look at your business goals. What are you really trying to accomplish? What other marketing channels are you using? What percent of those should be social? What really works for you, not just the brand next door? Who are you trying to reach and where do they spend their time online?
Too often, companies try to follow suite because “all the cool kids are doing it.” Facebook isn’t sensible for every brand. Twitter might not reach your customers. Some companies don’t have the right resources to use more than one social network, and do it well. Social isn’t a broadly applicable strategy – you’ve got to apply it like you would any other marketing initiative – is this [channel, campaign, update] right for us, what will it help us accomplish and how will we measure success?
No one can be everything to everyone. It’s more compelling to know who you are and be confident in that. Share content relevant to your area of expertise, and your credibility will stay intact while your awareness grows – among the right audience for your company. In the end, isn’t that what really matters – quality over quantity?