A few years ago, I nearly spit out my coffee while reading an article titled “The Most Important Thing in Social Media Is Content.” I thought to myself, “How is that not obvious? Why would we have to tell people that what they actually post on social media is important? Can you imagine reading an article with the headline ‘The Most Important Thing in Television Advertising Is Having a Great Commercial’?”
Now, three years later, the concept of content marketing is one of the hottest topics in social media. We talk about making good content and how businesses and brands must start creating quality social media content to succeed.
Here is the current situation:
- Every business (almost) is using social media
- Social networks are more cluttered because everyone is on them now
- Most businesses post mediocre content that doesn’t stand out against the Upworthy grabbing headlines, BuzzFeed posts, cute baby pictures, and latest weather crisis
- Even if businesses create great content, some social networks are filtering out business content in an effort to drive brands to pay-to-play
Some people blame evil social networks like Facebook for trashing organic reach and forcing businesses to pay to reach their audiences. Honestly, if your message isn’t worth paying Facebook’s very reasonable CPM rate to reach your audience, you probably shouldn’t waste time posting it.
The point is that really great content marketing means walking away from the schedules and content calendars and only posting really great stuff.
We’ve been trained as social media marketers and now content marketers to post a drumbeat of activity, very little of which is remarkable or interesting. It is good, but it isn’t great.
We talk about good content. Good content isn’t good enough anymore. With social media becoming more cluttered, your content must be great.
How Do You Create Great Content?
The challenge for social media marketers is hitting the expected frequency (posting to Facebook once a day, Twitter four times a day, etc.) while creating truly great content. Unless you have an unlimited budget, one of the two has to give.
Here is the math (if you have limited resources):
1 average blog post a day = 1 hour per post (5 hours if posting on weekdays)
1 great blog post a week = 4 hours total
You have a choice. Do you post average content every day, or one really great, well-thought-out content less often? (Or get more resources to post really great stuff every day.)
It is a simple quality vs. quantity discussion.
In a cluttered social media world, good isn’t good enough anymore. It has to be great if you want to break through, drive shares, and get noticed. I’d rather post one really awesome thing that both grows my business and adds value to my audience, than five things that basically get ignored.
You probably don’t want to totally trash the content calendar, but rethink your resources. What does it take for you to create truly remarkable content, and where are you still posting noise that is reaching a mostly empty room?