You’ve heard of content. You’ve heard of social media. But social content? Social content, which has the power to do two jobs at once if crafted properly, is content created specifically for social media. It’s a means of generating smart, effective content that continues to work for your business beyond the website.
You might say social content is web copy with social media baked in.
Has a cutesy ring to it doesn’t it? Truthfully, it’s anything but. Your audience is hungry for fast-digesting bits of content. Have you ever been reading an email or an article then get to the bottom only to realize you have no idea what you’ve just read? In our busy and mobile lives, we simply do not have time to try to decipher the messages presented to us. That’s where snackable content comes in. It’s enabling your audience to pull out the bits and pieces most useful and applicable to them and easily share them across many channels. Whether it’s an email, text or social media post, making your content consumable is the first step to creating social content.
Buzzfeed has been the reigning king in this domain for the last few years. Their approachable lists go viral on social media almost immediately after publishing.
Remember, snackable doesn’t always mean short. Long form pieces can be both snackable and extensive. Just take a look at the New York Times’ “Snow Fall” for a perfect example of how to get the best of both worlds.
Social content doesn’t always mean words on paper. In fact, your message may be best delivered as a visual asset. Visuals have evolved far beyond a run-of-the-mill stock photo. You need to think of visuals as message delivery vehicles rather than something you must include with a blog post. Think of visual assets as just that, assets. They don’t come free, but they are certain to provide a good return on investment (ROI). Keep in mind, most people don’t have time read a 1,000-word blog, but they likely will make time to scroll an infographic, quickly absorbing data points. The same logic applies to including a 45-second video with a singular message embedded. If you want to reach your audience in the quickest way possible, adapt to their busy lives and present your message via a visual asset.
Speak the Lingo
How well do you know your social audience? You may have stacks of market research at your fingertips, but do you know what they’re talking about right now in real time? Your audience’s interests change at a constant rate. They’re checking their phone, their tablet and their computer, and most of the time, simultaneously. What you learned about them months ago in your market research may be irrelevant by the time you post your first blog. Luckily, there are a number of free social listening tools to get at the heart of what your audience is looking for. SocialMention and Addict-o-matic offer up extensive overviews on active conversations concerning your keywords and competitors. And don’t forget to use Google Discussions to tap into forums where your audience may be asking questions. You can be the answer to their problem in real time.
So there you have it: three ingredients to the perfect recipe for social content. Remember, your end goal is to make this content prime for social sharing. Ask yourself the question, “If I saw this on [insert preferred social network here], would I click it?” If the answer is yes, you’re well on your way to crafting first-class social content.