Post by @AmyJoMartin
When that cute, little blue twitter bird created the concept of 140 characters, we all (or at least I) took a sigh of relief. Yesssss. Quicker equals easier. More productive, right? Bring it. All. Day. Long.
Fast-forward several years and everything became quicker, faster, more immediate, and then things became slightly . . . well, obnoxious. Quicker and faster started becoming synonymous with annoying, reckless, less quality, and less value. New media became fast media, which turned into annoying media.
At the same time, the platforms took our lead. Whose lead, you ask? Ours. Yours. Mine. Everyone’s. We trained Mark Zuckerberg how to treat us: The consumer wants more information delivered faster, so why wouldn’t every company deliver that? That’s when the getaway space of social shifted from humanization to automation.
So that happened. And the social platform’s economic models benefited (enter social advertising and exhausting company valuations). What now? Consumers and brands realize that things are moving faster than they want and now the quality is missing. Yet there are a few players in the space (facebook, twitter, instagram by default of facebook, and a few other obvious ones) who in large part make decisions based on their stock price and the next board meeting — like most businesses do.
We, brands and consumers, are all experiencing social fatigue. Too many platforms, too little time in the day. This is not news. Yet at the same time, the average smartphone user checks their phone every 6.5 minutes according to Arrianna Huffington in her book, Thrive. (Good read, btw.)
How many times have you scrolled through your Facebook, Twitter or instagram feed with numb thumbs? You know, when you’re just scrolling to scroll out of boredom or due to a nervous habit? You’re not really absorbing what you’re seeing or reading.
Content immunity has become the norm and therefore brands must carefully think through what will grab the scrollers attention in order to deliver value. The goal is to figure out how initiate an intimate or meaningful connection in a nanosecond of an opportunity. We check our phones 150x a day, naturally our brains are wired to connect — but we’re not getting human connection because so many brands, and the people behind the brands, are practicing social robotics. 1. Develop content calendar in advance. 2. Set content to automatically publish. 3. Check for notifications a few times a day. 4. Work on next month’s content calendar.
At Digital Royalty, we’ve been guiding brands on how to navigate. As the pace accelerates and value declines, my advice is this:
- Sloooooow down. Re-evaluate. Value trumps cadence. Always.
- Play your own game. Test yourself. Test your audience. Step outside the Facebook edgy, ranking (sometimes unfair) walls for a moment and analyze your content and its performance. Focus not on posting often. Focus on posting more value.
- What would happen if you decreased the amount of content you post by 25%+ for a week and used the extra time you save creating content to instead listen and engage more? (“Stop, evaluate and listen” as Vanilla Ice would say.)
- When was the last time you evaluated your value balance buckets? It might be time to revisit and diversify your value offering.
I’m a longstanding proponent of this grand old social space but sometimes we need to chill the social out and remember how the game started — being human and connecting is really what wins the race.