Villing & Company

Content and Context: The Social Media Royal Family

No matter how many of them I endure, I still loathe Midwestern winters. Last month when highs in South Bend barely broke double-digits, I went to a weather website to try to quantify the numbness in my toes. When the page loaded, I had to smile at the tile ad that appeared.

Next to the bad news of my local forecasted highs was a picture of an idyllic beach with a comforting warm sun, and the beckoning words: “Visit Myrtle Beach.” Talk about a soft sell. Kudos to the folks at the Myrtle Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau.

In social media circles it is often said, “Content is king.” The assumption is that if you’re producing great content, people should be tripping over themselves to be your fan or follower. But as the Myrtle Beach ad shows us, if content is king, then context must be his queen. The messages you put out on social media channels are only part of the equation. The timing, the tone, and the position of your audience are important pieces as well – maybe more important.

I’m not privy to the marketing plan of the Myrtle Beach CVB, but it’s clear mine is a zip code they target for their messages this time of year. Why? Because my context (trapped in the permacloud and frozen landscape of Indiana) is ripe for their content (messages of warm sandy beaches and abundant sunshine). Likewise, I’m not sure Myrtle Beach would have much luck marketing to folks in Florida or Hawaii. The context of Floridians’ or Hawaiians’ circumstances does not necessarily give Myrtle Beach a value proposition.

You could have the greatest product or idea or content (or weather) in the world, but if you’re not paying attention to where and how you’re being heard, it won’t matter.

How do you account for context? The first step is listening. Monitor your social media channels and look for ways to add value for the members of your audience. Look for people talking about problems your company can solve. What are their needs, history, or company culture? Offer to help, not to sell. It’s never an easy or a quick exercise, but it will provide a little sunshine on your efforts in social media and marketing in general.

Filed Under: Social Media, Content Marketing

Villing & Company

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