For marketers faced with the task of trying to amplify their message through social channels the challenge usually comes down to creating the right kind of content. The only way to create shareable media for your brand is to first understand what makes any content shareable in the first place.
The CEO of Buzzfeed framed this entire topic with what he calls the Facebook view of the world: “Media is a way to share your feelings and do something with your friends”. I’ve touched on what motivates us to share in a previous post, but I think that perspective on the “Facebook view of the world” is dead on.
Why We Share Content
People often share content as a means of being social. We don’t share something with our Facebook friends solely because we think they should see it, we expect to socialize around it. In real life the best conversation pieces are either funny, we can participate in, or relate to something all interested parties actually care about. Social conversations follow that same pattern.
However, creating content that is funny, or articulates a point of view on something people want to talk about isn’t enough. It has to be in a form that can be digested almost instantly without much energy. Images, even more so than video, are the most viral optimized mediums for social. It explains why infographics can be so impactful and why startups like Pinterest, and instagr.am are gaining so much momentum in such a short amount of time.
Need Some Inspiration?
Here are a couple examples of content that tells a story in a very social way.
This is great because it’s really social for two reasons: It’s funny and it can be used as a means of expressing myself. Great conversation starter. If you share this with your personal Facebook network, I guarantee you’ll spark some nice conversations
Who wouldn’t want to talk about this!?
Participating In A Meme
These are the crazy images you’ve seen fill up your newsfeed or mentioned in pop culture media. From planking to stocking, these memes get popular because they are easy to participate in.
Example of stocking photo:
Conveying How We WANT To Be Perceived
The key word in the phrase is “want” (I guess I could be more subtle and not capitalize the entire word… neh). What people are really interested in or spend their time viewing online is often very different from what they tend to share.
Once again, for something to really resonate through social it has to convey a clear, powerful message in a way that captures the audience and relays the message quickly. Here’s a great example of something that fits that criteria perfectly and rides the wave of emotion that has been amplified by the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement.
You’ll notice that image is actually screenshots of two online articles. However, people aren’t sharing the link at the same rate they are sharing this image. This content wouldn’t have a chance of resonating the way it has if it was simply a link with someone doing their own curation. Because it’s an image and our attention is guided through highlighted text, the message of injustice jumps out immediately. Comments such as “this is the 99%” or even a minimalistic “99%” framed the emotional impact the image makes to build advocacy for the OWS movement.
Guidance For Brands
Here’s a great video from Advertising Week that includes a presentation from the CEO of Buzzfeed on how to build social campaigns. It touches on a lot of the ideas I’ve discussed in the post above, but it’s a little long so here are the nuggets:
- Build shareable content that aligns with the “Facebook view of the world”
- Consider what social platforms your target audience is on tailor your content for it
- Create a meme that makes sense with your brand (check out what Shick has done with their “Razorbombing” meme
- Take risks with your message