The conversation surrounding social media strategy seems to center on the whys and hows of the various (and ever-changing) online communities.

How do I editorially manage the content in our social media channels? Why are we focusing on Facebook over Twitter? How many tweets should I post on weekends? Why are we involved in this social media mess in the first place?

While these are all critical issues, their answers will have modest impact on your success if you don’t get a solid grasp on the whats of social media.

What, exactly, do I mean by the “whats?” Content. Shareable, engaging, fresh content. The growth in social media (let’s call it SM for short) radiates from a deep human desire to connect, brag and share. But what are we talking about? Turns out a lot of it is OPC – other people’s content. In one survey, approximately 75% of SM-users report getting news and 40% sharing news via Facebook or Twitter. Infographics, blog posts and photographs are also popular. has more than 135,000 “likes” of its Facebook page, almost all driven by photos and videos of dogs in silly situations. Really.

The bottom line? Content—the proverbial online “king”—is also what drives SM. Done right, your content can become your audience’s OPC. They’ll share your content to their friends and associates who, in turn, will share it with others. When your content becomes your audience’s OPC, it’s like rocket fuel, not just for your SM presence, but also your business.

A quick example. Idaho largest title and escrow company, Pioneer Title Company, came to Rizen looking for help building a social media strategy. But let’s face it: most of us don’t have a burning desire to connect deeply with our title company—on social media or otherwise. Even worse, title companies traditionally have nothing engaging or fresh worth having a conversation about.

Our conclusion? Pioneer Title didn’t have a social media problem. They had a something-worth-talking-about problem. We set out to change that. Working with the very impressive people at Pioneer Title, Rizen developed the PTC Index, a sort of Dow Jones-style measurement tool for Treasure Valley real estate. The index tracks nine variables, normalizes them, and provides a single, trackable number that provides a snapshot of the vibrancy of the real estate market. Now that information is shared by Pioneer Title and its audience across multiple social media channels and beyond (it’s discussed in client meetings, on a regular segment on the television news, and in consumer publications, among other places).

In short, the PTC Index is something worth talking about.

So what whats should you be utilizing? It depends. Every industry, brand personality and SM toolbox will call for something different. But whatever it is, it must be:

  • Shareable: Keep it bite-sized and to the point to attract attention and make it easy to distribute without a detailed explanation.
  • Engaging: Your greatest enemy is obscurity. If your content is not engaging, the battle is over before you’ve gotten started.
  • Fresh: Your content shouldn’t be available everywhere. It should be new. Or at least new to your audience or seen in a new way.

If your content accomplishes those three things, you will have created something worth talking about. And more importantly, your content is on its way to becoming the OPC that fuels social media.

-by Jeff Reynolds, Principal at Rizen Creative

Category: Board Blog

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