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June 13, 2013

May 'Box Lunch: Producing and Distributing Social Content

June 13, 2013

Just a few weeks ago, SmallBox hosted its largest ‘Box Lunch to date! 

May’s “Lunch and Learn” session focused on social media and content production and distribution. Director of Marketing Dan Fahrner picked the brains of SmallBox specialists Tyler Bender, content strategist; Drew DeBoy, content producer; and Mayowa Tomori, photo and video producer. Here is a quick overview of the panel:

Content Strategy

How should organizations plan content that is “engagement worthy”?
The seemingly elusive key to engaging content is to know your audience. This doesn’t require scientific research. Simple surveys can work wonders – “How often do you visit x?” “Would you benefit from information about x on our website?” “What is your interest level in x?”

What is the right mix of content topics for my audience?
Knowledge gathered from the previously mentioned consumer conversations and surveys will help generate the appropriate content creation. The goal is to anticipate the audience’s questions, needs and interests.

From the audience:
What role does “authenticity” play in marketing to your audience? Where do you draw the line between “marketing” to an audience and being authentic? How do you know if you’re trying too hard?
So glad you asked! We believe in a thing called culture-powered marketing. See: here and here.

Content Production and Distribution

I’ve got a huge piece of content for social media – how do I maximize its impact?
If the nice, big piece of informative content doesn’t generate the desired impact organically through your platforms, invest in a little old-fashioned advertising (a la Facebook ads) and PR, digital or otherwise.

How does social media affect SEO?
Before social media, rankings were mostly determined by links pointing to a site.  Now, social conversation and content are two of the higher-ranking factors. Search engines read social activity as a signal, and use that signal to determine how valid and valuable your website/brand/organization is. To rank is to be immersed in relevant conversation and content.

From the audience:
We are one of those B2B niche businesses – how can we turn our current clients into followers of our social media platforms and blog?
Two quick solutions: opt-in emails and email signatures. First, create a custom email signature for all current employees that includes links to your various platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter).  All email communications are easily transformed into an invitation to follow. Also send out a simple opt-in email that introduces your various social profiles, and invites your contact list to follow you or your brand.

Integrating Photo and Video

How do I get started with photo and video on a budget?
Photos and video are sure ways to engage audiences, but that doesn’t mean HD cameras and lighting are required (though they are nice!). Don’t be afraid to use your smartphone to snap video, audio or pictures – most models now have excellent quality.

Repurpose old material by creating slideshows, Prezis, or audio clips to accompany already existing content. Once you get a feel for the engagement these elements can leverage with your audience, you can consider spending on professional work.

Photos and videos seem to get the most engagement on Facebook, how do I use this content across other platforms?
Cross posting content is definitely okay, but using different platforms is also an awesome way to show various perspectives of your company – Instagram works great as a personal, behind-the-scenes outlet for photos; while YouTube and LinkedIn can offer placement for authoritative tutorial videos or infographics.

Thanks to all who made May’s lunch and learn a great success! Our next ‘Box Lunch is dedicated to User Experience and Analytics, per Lydia Whitehead, director of design, and Jenny Anderson, search manager.  If you can’t make it to the Speak Easy on Thursday, June 22 follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #BoxLunch.


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