In 1996 Bill Gates made the famous declaration, “Content is king.” While that statement is still relevant today, it needs a small addition: “If content is king, then context is queen.” Since the dawn of consumerism, people and brands have been creating content. Today, we are able to use social media as a vehicle to share this content, but with this new form of media comes a great deal of content overload. Now it is more important than ever that marketers reach their audience at a point of need—including the right time, right place, and right message. Now, the queen (context) frames the way the game is played. Context has become an essential part of the equation because when effective, it drives the right results from the right people.
Content exists in context, its natural environment. Each social media platform has created its own context—each is different and has unique nuances that draw people to it. David Nour, author of the blog Relationship Economics compares the differences of social media platforms to a trade show. “You can exhibit there, set up a booth and pass out marketing materials; you can attend the show and sit through content sessions; or you can speak or moderate a panel at the event.” He continues on, furthering his point that you would not use the same content for each part of the trade show—you would be crazy to do that. Any smart company would look at where they could bring the best value to each pragmatic context. Unfortunately, that is not the way many brands approach social media.
It is an all too common occurrence to see cookie-cutter content that is used across every platform on social media. Just like you wouldn’t use the same keynote speech as you would when casually talking to people at your trade show booth, brands need to understand the platforms they are on, look into the nuances, and think about what content is worth sharing in each context.
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