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29 November 2017

Are you posting content that your audience cares about?

If there’s one thing that Twitter taught us, it is to keep our communication brief. That’s a helpful tip, considering people’s attention spans are shorter than ever.

Smartphone notifications and crowded newsfeeds drag us away into rabbit holes from which we may never find our way out.

In today’s competitive spaces, you must create content that will be not only be visually-arresting, but also relevant to the user. (Note the difference between what is relevant to the user, and what your organisation wants your users to see.) If not, your message will be lost in the noise and chaos that is people’s social media feeds.

Before thinking of what content to post, stop to consider: why would a user click on something you as a brand have posted rather than on something one of their friends has posted? What added value are you giving the user who spends time engaging with your content? And once they have made the effort to engage with your brand, what experience are you delivering?

A useful starting point is to not assume that the user accessing your content has the luxury of a big screen. It helps to imagine your followers as commuters, perhaps on the train back home after a day at work. Maybe standing up, scrolling through their social newsfeeds on their phone.

Is this commuter going to click a link to access the annual report you just posted, download the bulky PDF, and zoom in to look at the small figures? Not even the most dedicated supporter will do that. Probably your board of directors wouldn’t bother either.

Instead, pick what figures you want to highlight and create content around these figures. People are distracted. They want snackable information that they can digest rapidly and share easily.

When thinking about what content to post, consider the performance of previous posts. What did your audience engage with, and what did they scroll right past? Do more of the former, and reduce the latter as much as you can.

Looking at Macmillan’s analytics, we know our audience finds information on awareness months/weeks/days very helpful. They get shared widely, people comment and ask questions, and every month awareness posts consistently are the best-performing ones.

We know what our audience wants, and we make sure to have content that serves their interest.

Sure, wading through metrics is not everyone’s cup of tea, and Excel is not everyone’s best friend. But if you ignore the performance of past work, you risk repeating the same mistakes and never understanding what your audience is after.

Bernard Muscat
Senior Social Media Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support

Don’t miss Bernard’s session at our Communications Conference on 25th January 2018! Book your place here: https://chcymru.org.uk/en/events/view/2018-communications-conference