Recently I was reading Dean Praetorius’ blog from February, “When It Comes to Social, Content Is King, Sharing Is Cool and Mobile Is the Future,” on The Huffington Post. Yes, I know I’ve been a little behind on my blogging lately! Hey, we’re busy over here.
For those of you who don’t know Dean, he is the director of trends and social media at The Huffington Post. He called out three main points about social media and where it’s going. He also made a point about how to measure the ROI of social media, but I’ll get to that in a second.
1. Content is King
The real estate market is one industry where this is true. Real estate agents not only need, but want to start their blogs or their Facebook Pages. They may not know where to start, but they know that they need good content! In a move that shows just how important good visual content has become, Facebook has just announced its newly revamped News Feed. “The new design of the Facebook News Feed presents bigger photos and links, including for advertisements, and lets users see specialized streams focused on topics like music and posts by close friends,” wrote the New York Times. Why did Facebook make the change? Because, according to Mark Zuckerberg, photos and other visual media make up 50% of social media content on the average News Feed. And what’s more, branded content from Pages represent between 25-30% of all News Feed updates. Time to rethink your content strategy (or develop one, to start)!
2. Sharing is Cool
Dean wrote: “The sharing of content leads to a wider audience and more potential readers.” Well, YESSSS. Of course. But let me take that a step further. Why do people share certain content and not others? People share things that help them or make them look like smart, funny, cool, in-the-know, etc. And what is the best kind of content to share? Again, back to Facebook’s new News Feed (not a typo). It’s all about visual content. Forty-four percent of people are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures, according to a 2012 study by ROI Research. And don’t forget infographics! They are more likely to get shared than text too. In fact, on Twitter, infographics were retweeted 832% more than non-infographic tweets. I’d say that’s a ringing endorsement for both visual content and infographics!
3. Mobile is the Future
In Dean’s post, he noted that “60 percent of Twitter’s traffic comes from a mobile device, providing a huge opportunity for consumers to carry advertising right into stores to influence their decisions.” Each month, my clients have also noticed a steady increase in the number of mobile users accessing their Facebook Pages and blogs. Mobile is not going away. Have you ever heard of responsive design? If you haven’t, it’s time to start asking questions.
4. Traditional Measurements Don’t Apply
Occasionally, I will come across a client who says, “OK, I get it. Social media is great. But will it lead to more sales, leads, contracts, etc.?” Good question. Wrong format. While there are many case studies that have proven increased sales and leads, metrics available that demonstrate ROI (I always say, “Return on Influence”), the traditional measurements (i.e. the ones that connect hard sales to an ad you ran in the L.A. Times, for example) just do not apply. To me, social media is a lot like PR. If someone is looking for those kinds of measurements, then it’s simply not going to add up. In my mind, it’s more about getting impressions, not getting sales in the traditional sense. It’s like branding as opposed to advertising.
Where do you think content marketing is going over the next year?