Thursday, 16 June 2016

Keeping Up Appearances (But I'll Take Value First, Everytime)

You won't struggle to find an article telling you how to create the perfect Facebook post. Or, how to optimise your content for its ever evolving algorithm. Creating posts titled '10 AWESOME ways to make your social images POP' is a reliable staple for many a marketing blogger. Good on them. Unfortunately, it's almost entirely superfluous.

One thing I have learned in my time producing, scheduling and optimising social media posts is that fans/followers care about one single thing: value. Whether that 'value' is humour, information or a product, they don't care how it is presented to them. Nor does presentation matter much to Facebook's algorithm (that word actually makes it sound way more scientific than required). If a user likes, comments on, or shares a post; that will take precedence over a nice image.

Case in point, I spent the better part of a year piously teaching colleagues how to create the 'perfect' looking Facebook post. It had to be slick as to make sure our overall brand didn't look amateur online. Posts should be short. They shouldn't have a visible hyperlink. Images should be 1200x628. Title and description copy should be enticing. Ultimately though, all of that is my own preference. I personally take pride in creating Facebook and Twitter posts but it took a while to understand that our customers simply don't care. 

One of our local (i.e. someone not based in Glasgow and outwith the marketing team) Facebook page editors posted a link to a recruitment drive at Edinburgh airport in November '14. It was a fairly bog standard cut and paste job description with a dull image of an airport.

This post reached over 85,000 people, had a long list of comments with friends tagging friends and in the end was shared nearly 100 times.

In context, posts from our national Facebook page are lucky to reach 5% of that on a normal basis. The case in Edinburgh wasn't a one off either.

The reason? Value. Our local page editor knows their customer and what they want. They gave it to them. Free of the fancy packaging but filled with value because the post had the recruitment email address, details on how to recruit and a phone number for more information.

I think marketing teams can definitely learn from colleagues outside of their own bubble. Too often, marketers simply don't give a thought to what the customer wants more than what they think the customers needs.