Founded Blog, Founded on Technology | February 19, 2018

Truly shareable content: The future of social marketing

James Perea, Business Analyst:

Social media simply never stops evolving.

Change happens, through the form of algorithms, new interfaces and new laws. Social marketers look to understand the change, and to find a solution for their brand. Shortly after, the cogs turn again, the puzzle shifts, and we have to find a new solution.

The latest updates to Facebook’s algorithm (which will promote friends’ content and drastically reduce the amount of ads we see) is a prime example. As a result, social marketers are being asked a lot of questions:

What should our new strategy be? How will we make ourselves visible within this newly reduced “ad-space”? Will we be able afford to compete?

Of course, it’s very difficult to answer those questions with any certainty, because the waters are untested. One thing that social marketers do seem to agree on however, is that the time for spending budget on small, throwaway pieces of content is over.

Social marketers used to have the luxury of creating lots of low budget ads, testing them and tweaking them, and it would get results. Not anymore. This mass approach to advertising has clogged newsfeeds, for the past five years, with meaningless content. This is the very reason, Facebook claim, that this algorithm change is coming into effect.

Instead, the consensus appears to be that spending budget on fewer, “truly shareable” pieces of content is the way forward.

But what does truly shareable actually mean? Well, simply put, it means creating content that is designed to be shared, rather than designed to sell.

Take Paddy Power for example, who have developed their own characters to tell stories that their audience resonate with (and only end with a brand or offer message). Here’s an example where two of the characters try to organise a stag do.

You might not consider the simple camera angles, a couple of beers and a couple of actors to be high production value. However, if you think of the time that has gone into writing the script, to make it resonate with their target audience (compared to simply knocking out images with a throwaway message), you can see that there is actually a substantial investment in this as a single piece of content.

And because Paddy Power take the time to devise a script and content that is not product or offer led, but is instead reflective of their audience’s cultural values and humour, it becomes a “truly shareable” piece of content. Why? Because we all like to share things that project our own perceived personality. In contrast, why would we want to share a product or offer?

“True shareability” looks set to become the holy grail in the new Facebook age, as we know that Facebook is up-weighting content shared by friends. So, the smart brands are banking not only on competing within the newly reduced ad-space, but are thinking around how they can become truly shareable brands – to build and sustain their future social presence.

It’s worth keeping this in mind when considering your next social strategy. Just remember that it could all change again sooner than you think.