Discouraged by limited success at gathering a critical mass-following on their blog, Twitter accounts, and Facebook page—which featured company announcements, pics of employees at community events, and customer recommendations—Fictitious Building Company decided it was time to shift the social media gears.
The business development team sat down one morning over coffee and bagels, unanimously deciding they needed to lead, not follow. They envisioned a dedicated forum for the green-building industry that would attract key clients, colleagues, and others who might refer work their way. The forum would establish their company as THE online destination for need-to-know green-building industry buzz—they’d be leaders in the field.
With high expectations, management devoted extraordinary resources to their vision—researching competition, detailed planning, and all that was required to build, launch and promote “It’s Always Greener Here.”
Nearly certain that the forum would grow on its own—organically; the company assigned their summer interns to maintain the site once it was launched. After the third month of existence the site laid fallow, as it failed to attract more than 50 participants. Management was deeply puzzled. Had they misunderstood the market? Was their SEO strategy flawed? Was it because their CEO rarely contributed? Maybe the user interface was wrong? Wrong colors, graphics, design, or layout? Did they lack sufficient promotion? The answer they learned was none of these.
We are all experiencing social fatigue—information overload. More specifically, we are fatigued by the mass quantities of irrelevant information dished out at lightning speed—dumped relentlessly into our in boxes, flooding our Twitter streams and cluttering our news feeds on Facebook, LinkedIn, Flipboard, and etcetera.
If you’re like me, the urge to scream – STOP! STOP IT NOW BEFORE I CALL THE COPS—or something to that effect, :-), has become overwhelming.
“Personally I am very fond of strawberries and cream, but I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer worms. So when I went fishing, I didn’t think about what I wanted. I thought about what they wanted. I didn’t bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, I dangled a worm or grasshopper in front of the fish and said: ‘Wouldn’t you like to have that?’
“Why not use the same common sense when fishing for people?”
–Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Simon & Schuster (1936)
Without exception, if you are not offering fresh, unique, and meaningful bait; i.e. content relevant to those you wish to connect with or influence, you risk making things worse, not better.
Although Ficticious Building Co front-loaded significant resources to their project, they failed to commit a dedicated, ongoing resource to seed the forum with unique and meaningful content that would bring people to the site on a regular basis.
Reality check: Your competition is “World War Z”
Quoting Mike Arauz, digital strategist and brand influencer:
“Your competition on the Internet is everything else on the Internet.”
As we approach the threshold for how much social media we can consume, it becomes even more critical for organizations to publish contextual content—content that considers not only specific topics, but also relationships. Perhaps more importantly, content publishers must consider the location and time when those relationships best exist. (A topic of its own.) And then feed them appropriately—honestly, transparently, and with vigor. This is not a task to be undertaken by the meek or the unfamiliar.
A Hard to ignore fact
Can “we” afford not to devote considerable resources to content development and expect to succeed? That is a question only you and your organization can answer. However, it may be of value to note that a 2013 study by Gartner* found that nearly 50 percent of social marketing teams believe creating and curating content is their top priority. One can only assume there is method to their madness. And then there is this…
As social media and content experts continue the quest to crack the code, they have discovered that:
The most valuable online experiences take place in the context of a network of connected people.
The most beneficial content you can deliver understands the values, behaviors, and shared vision of the people with whom you want to connect.
The most effective digital destinations enable ways to share, cooperate, and organize collective action that result in mutually beneficial relationships.
- Relevant, timely and accurate content is paramount.
- Having a dedicated resource to manage content is essential.
- The right content drives an organic community toward company-specific conversations.
- Content that is interesting and relevant, i.e., meets your audience at the crux of a need, also needs to be easy to find, consume, and digest.**
Where can I find help?
Want to crack the code, unlock your potential? Are the people you’re trying to reach craving relevant content in a rising sea of social fatigue? Not one to typically self-promote, my team at LawGravity really knows their stuff. Let’s explore the possibilities. The content specialists at LawGravity can lead or supplement your content needs. Learn more here….
*Gartner: 2013 Social Marketing Survey Finding: Content Creation Fuels Social Marketing, March 25, 2013
**Excerpted from: http://www.slideshare.net/mikearauz/design-for-networks