Aug 28, 2012

The Rise of Content Strategy—Trend #3: More Social! More!

Margot Merrill's picture
Margot Merrill
Director, Content & Brand Strategy

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Vimeo, LinkedIn, FourSquare, and the latest thing we’re working on here at Hot, and cannot talk about yet... There’s always something new.

Social media sites are amazing brand and customer engagement tools. Each of these sites or applications have specific things to offer customers. Some may be perfect for your organization; others are clearly not. Across the board, though, the myriad of different social sites means there are content implications for organizations:

  • There’s more content, and customer communication, to manage 
  • You can no longer “broadcast” your message. Live, fluid, and very public conversations with your audiences are taking place every minute
  • Conversations are happening in multiple places, not only on your domains
  • Different resources managing different social sites can lead to mixed messages and a cacophony of voices expressing your brand
  • Valuable customer comments and complaints can get lost in the fray
  • Inefficiencies, redundancies, and gaps in content and asset production are created

To serve customers in the social sphere, more quality time will be needed from your content and customer support resources. But budgets are tight. Organizations have to be strategic about where, and how, to focus their content resources. We believe an organization’s social media strategy should be considered an intrinsic part of an overarching content strategy. 

How can a Content Strategy Help with Social “Mania”?
We’ve been working with several clients to prioritize the social sites on which to focus, and to streamline their content creation processes. Here's what you can do within your organization:

  • Don’t try to do it all: prioritize social media sites based on target audiences’ needs and the competitive landscape
  • Map the ideal relationships between the social sites and your domains. How can Twitter or Pinterest feed your website, or vice versa? 
  • Share key messages and voice and tone tools with everyone contributing to an organization’s content. Make ‘em visual, fun, and engaging (See one of my favorite publicly available online voice and tone guides here.) 
  • Coach existing team members so they really understand the strategy and feel comfortable and inspired to “speak” in the organization’s voice
  • Curate. You don’t have to write it all. Once you’ve established communication themes, begin curating and sharing content from other sources that map to these themes 
  • Streamline your editorial workflow. Clarify roles, and empower a small team. Include social media assets with other content and image production cycles

These are just some examples of how a content strategy can help an organization accommodate the ever-shifting social landscape. 

By now you can hopefully see how due to more content, more devices, and more social sites, a new approach might be needed. So why is it so hard to suggest or implement a new content strategy for your organization? Next up: Trend #4: Silos Still Suck.

See Trend #1: More Content! More!
See Trend #2: More Devices! More!

***Updated 9/12/12***

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