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What happened to my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn feeds? Instead of text-based updates from work colleagues/associates, friends and family, my pages are filled with images, videos, screen captures, e-cards and quotes.
Not that my social-media circle is generating all of this content on its own. Instead, people are posting what other businesses, people or fan pages have already posted. We’ve entered a new age of digital sharing. This brings up a couple of good questions: Is this the first step toward free-flowing dialogue with abundant exchange of ideas and thoughts? Or is this the new spam – something more well-intended than the old version, but sometimes a bit annoying just the same?
There is no simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer here. On the professional side, sharing is good for your career intelligence – including updates on industry trends, best practices and perspectives. This encourages an open forum for discussion, and also creates opportunities to pass along well-done marketing content you’ve invested in. It makes it easier to identify new people, groups and organizations that align with your interests. It’s especially effective since these recommendations are coming from your friends and colleagues.
However, you may also be getting a ton of content that doesn’t appeal to you. How many times do you need to see a clever e-card, quote, article or photo shared? If you’re like me, you get bored of those posts after a while and block the people that are the biggest culprits of reposting irrelevant information incessantly.
So what does this mean?
At the end of the day, it’s nothing new. If anything, it highlights a fundamental tenet of communications that we preach at our high-tech PR agency: You have to be interesting.
If you’re not putting forth insightful information, data, analysis, statistics or opinions, you’ll get lost in the “noise” out there. Your client’s message will get ignored and potentially deleted from your audience’s stream of consciousness.
Conversely, if you issue or post compelling content that’s concise and sharable, your findings will get passed on to other users repeatedly to reach a larger audience. This audience will likely align with your client’s message/perspective and even be willing to engage in valuable conversations and activities.
It’s all about “picking your spots” carefully and with a measured sense of intelligence. In today’s digital environment, the one truly effective way to expand your footprint is through astute – and sharable insights – that drive interaction in your community.
Joyson Cherian is an account director at W2 Communications