A Facebook Post is Not a Billboard
Peter Panda

As brands become content providers on their owned media channels, they must evolve the way they communicate with their audiences. A Facebook post is not a billboard; a Tweet is not a radio spot; and a blog is not a commercial. The traditional channels only offered one-way communication, now brands have the opportunity to have a one-on-one dialogue with their audience, but many are not taking advantage.

What does your brand really do?

Fact: some brands are boring–not every brand can be Red Bull, but that doesn’t mean all brands can’t produce content that would provide value to their audience. To develop your content strategy reach past the surface of what your brand really does. For instance, a cable and internet provider sells entertainment; a pet food brand is the largest advocate for your favorite family member; and a beer brand is the perfect accompaniment to occasions you’ll never forget. As a brand, it’s important to capitalize on the larger offering your brand provides. That way, it’s not just a one-way sell of your newest beer, but a conversation about the first baseball game of the season.

It’s not all about you

Brands need to stop talking about themselves.Oreo Facebook Even the brands who get accolades (ahem, Oreo) talk about themselves way too much. In the biz, we typically like to compare this to a drunk girl at a party who constantly talks about herself. You know who wants to talk to that girl? No one. Same goes for your brand, no matter how “hot” you are, if you continue to only push out what you’re about, your audience will disengage. Open up the conversation to allow for more discussion than just your brand, you may be surprised about how your brand’s sentiment improves.

What’s in it for me, the “free stuff” principle

Scientific studies have shown that 105% of people like free stuff. To the human brain, “free” equates to value. And that’s the bottom line folks, value. Your content strategy should constantly revolve around what value you are providing your audience. Although it can, this doesn’t necessarily mean a coupon or giveaway, this can mean an awesome recipe, a stream of knowledge or advice, or even a forum for discussion. Identify what your audience will value, and make sure your content provides it.

But seriously, just give away free stuff.

Peter Panda

Pioneering social media panda bear Tagawa “Peter” Panda was born on a Chinese game reserve in 1969. He emigrated to the United States in 1987 speaking no English, with only the fur on his back and $97 stored in a Jansport fanny-pack wrapped around his waist.

In 2003 while searching for food on the campus of Washington University, he discovered a computer lab where he would ultimately teach himself web development, graphic design, and immerse himself into the growing digital media evolution that was erupting at the time.

With his trademark surly demeanor developed during beatings on his boat ride from China to the U.S., as well as having a penchant for eating vast quantities of bamboo, and enjoying Scotch and cigars, Peter is broadly recognized for coining the phrase “social media” in 2004. He joined Elasticity in late 2009 as the agency’s director of social media strategy and wildlife relations. Friend him on Facebook here.

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