Inspirations, deep thoughts, surprising insights, or random ideas on how social media intersects PR.
Schaefer wrote the final chapter of his book, The Content Code, with some words of wisdom about how to apply his strategies to the business world and how to be successful igniting content. There were two tips that he discussed that really stuck out to me. The first was devoting departments to just social media management and content ignition. The second was find a way to connect online and offline word of mouth.
Over the summer, I had a great opportunity to intern with a company in their public relations and marketing department. Interestingly, their team did not handle social media. Social media management was housed in their customer service department and consisted of one person. This company is rather large and has heavy presence in about 10-15 states in the northeast and mid-atlantic region. One person was responsible for social media for the whole company which meant that one person was responsible for reaching hundreds of thousands of people, if not more. This seemed crazy to me.
I believe it is a great idea to have a small team of workers dedicated to social media and a secondary team responsible for content ignition. However, I think that the company I worked for was missing out on great opportunity having only one person handling the entire shebang. It is good to have at least one other person to bounce ideas off of and to help communicate ideas, especially when you are posting online and need to be creative with content. It is proven through trial that companies improve content engagement by adding specific departments for these tasks. As Schaefer said in the book, CBL Properties increased their content engagement by over 250% year-over-year after designating a department for content ignition.
The second tip that stuck out to me was Schaefer’s advice on finding an innovative connection between online content and offline word of mouth communication. I think this occurs in simple forms now. For example, people may share an article or a quote on their social media page, but in the same day, share that quote face-to-face with a friend or bring up the news article that they saw. For example, the other day I was on Facebook and shared an article about Amp in Ybor burning down. Later that same day, I brought up the news story to friends I knew would be interested in the story while we were eating lunch.
The amazing thing about offline word-of-mouth content is that you know people hear you and they can give you immediate feedback. Its social courtesy to respond to someone when you are face-to-face. When people share content online, there is no guarantee that people will see it due to Content Shock; people are overloaded with content everyday and do not have time to look at every post. Also, they are not required to act on the content you share or respond to it in anyway because there is no accountability. Most of the time, there is no way to see who looked at the specific post and did not interact with it.
I strongly agree that igniting content offline is just as important as igniting content online. It has unique advantages and is under utilized, so there is a real opportunity for businesses to take on the challenge of filling this offline air space with content.