CommonSense Blog

Social Foundations: Content Rules

By Brad Mays | Jun 06, 2011

In the last post, I talked about the importance of being able to have the entire brand discussion in social channels and how that builds a credible and authentic presence for the brand over time.  Integral to sustaining a presence online is ensuring you have something to say or share. And, at the center of any exchange online is a piece of content.  That content can take many forms:

  • A Facebook post asking the community a question
  • A Tweet that links to an infographic
  • A poll included within a blog post, and the blog post itself
  • A video posted to YouTube
  • A Facebook ad
  • A gallery of photos on Flickr
  • And others

Social media, blogs and content platforms like YouTube, SlideShare and Flickr have not only given consumers a voice and publishing platform, those same tools are available to brands to tell their story. Each piece of content, strung together, begin to form a brand’s presence online, in social media and in search.

Activity is no substitute for good strategy, however. In the end, each piece of content should add to the brand’s relevance and credibility.  While volume of content is important, that volume should be grounded in a strategy and informed by an understanding of the community and the context in which the brand and its content exist.  Here are a few principles to help guide content production to align with the greater purpose of advancing the brand.

Most content (whatever form or format it takes) should serve one or more of these goals:

  • Introduce – a new theme or concept
  • Inform – people about something new and exciting, or to be helpful
  • Inspire – others to think or act differently or to harness their creative passions
  • Incite – action, emotion or some forward-looking experience

Content with a purpose has a better chance of contributing to a brand’s goals online.  When telling the brand’s story, be interesting enough to grab attention and compelling enough to share – and, above all, have a strategic reason for the content to exist.