The battle for attention in social media feeds by brands has become fierce. Content creation and social publishing continue to grow, but consumers have no more hours in the day to consume the available content.
What once could be accomplished by stellar content development is no longer enough. Without distribution, even the best content is more likely than not to be lost in the clutter.
It’s time for marketers to rethink their social publishing strategies, as it’s no longer good enough to schedule content at times that seemingly work for others (e.g., “Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. ET”). Nor should it be good enough for you to eyeball and guess what messages should go to your audience at which times.
This is where technology can and should help. It isn’t really practical to manually keep track of the number of followers to your social properties in real-time, or to identify what types of content are creating engagement. But it’s very practical for software to do that–and to go even further by identifying the windows where your content is likely to perform the best.
Delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time will translate to the key metrics that marketers are often held to: engagement rates, referral traffic, time spent on site, and for direct response marketers, conversion through the purchase funnel.
But perhaps more important is that you’ll have the attention of your audience. They will be more inclined to pay attention to your content down the line, not less. Crafting an owned strategy that is focused on both good content and the right audience is key.
Of course even the best timing doesn’t change the fact that there is more content than there is time for users to consume it. Paid amplification (aka, advertising) is a time-honored way to garner attention, and while the mechanics of doing this on social networks are unique, the concept of course is not.
And if you’re not using paid media to support your content, you are likely reaching only a small fraction of your fans and followers. If you’ve invested time, energy, and money in creating quality content, then you are wasting the potential of that content.
Further, the content you publish to your owned channels generates a powerful “click signal” that can tells you what content is best resonating with your audience. The diagram below illustrates this point.
Paying to distribute content that has already proven its appeal to consumers is among the best advertising dollars a marketer can spend. Add the ability to target options to the already-proven performance, and you can routinely see performance of 5%, 6%, and even 7% click-through rates on paid campaigns.
In the environment of fierce competition for attention on social networks, brands must cut through the competition and clutter. Spending time and money on content development without also addressing its social distribution represents a huge missed opportunity.
Jim Anderson is the CEO of SocialFlow.