Debra Taylor

Why King Content must Conquer the land of social media

Haven't been invited to join a new network lately? Nostalgically flicking through your book of log-ins you have known and loved? The social media expansion may be over, but as a channel it remains an exciting country for King Content to rule...

Have you noticed something this year? There have been no new major networks to join, no Google+, no Pinterest, no Instagram, only the quiet launch of Microsoft’s student-focused and experiemental So.Cl.

Is this the sound of social media silence?

The only good news is Justin Timberlake adding his weight to another MySpace re-launch – perhaps we can hope for a social media song to kick it off?

 Not only that, but all the news about Facebook seems bad; a disappointing IPO, users getting hacked off for being used and engagement waning.

Dare anyone say it, but is the social media explosion over? Is the need to invent yet another log-in that you know you will forget past us? And, if it is, what do we have to look forward to?

In his recent piece on the Content Marketing Institute, founder and guru Joe Pulizzi rather generously went through his own and his fellow content marketing champions’ failed predictions for the last few years – only to find quite a few of them weren’t a ‘fail’ at all.

“For 2010, David Meerman Scott predicted that, “The phrase “social media” will soon be considered obsolete as more and more organizations publish online content.” I’m giving David a thumbs-up on this bold prediction, simply because so many thought leaders mentioned at Content Marketing World 2012 that the term is getting stale,” Pulizzi wrote.

What he and his contributors has always understood, is that social media is a channel and, like magazines, television or radio, what will keep it fresh and alive and worth water-cooler time is what is put through it.

Now the talk is of ‘online content’, as it always should have been.

The infrastructure of social networking has pretty much been built – unless someone invents how to share olfactory experiences with your friends. Like any content channel, it has its limits because the content we humans can share is limited; the written word, voice, video, image.

What will keep any channel vibrant and thriving and worth readers and consumers engaging with it will be the cleverness and creativity behind the content that it delivers.

And that content will only ever be as clever and creative as the people who build it.

Another prediction gone right for Pulizzi’s team was Ann Handley from MarketingProfs predicting in 2009 that, “An increasing number of journalists find themselves out of work at traditional newspapers, which continue to struggle with sustaining their business.  Good news: The writers find a home as “content producers” and “content managers” on the corporate side, in companies of all shapes and sizes.”

“Ann was 100% correct,” Pulizzi says. “We continue to see this trend.”

Unfortunately, we aren’t seeing that trend in Australia, where brands frantically advertise for community managers and social media gurus for a magic bullet solution.

But it is time for the tail to stop wagging the dog. Social media has expanded and increased the channels and changed the nature of engagement, but without great content produced by people who are passionate about creating it, any channel gets weary.

Journalists and editors get weary too, but after every issue or story they start creating content all over again – some great, some mediocre but always with one focus in mind; who is reading it, not where.

Social media isn’t really dead – no more than magazines or radio or television is – but it is a growing kingdom where content can and should reign.


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Debra Taylor The Word Council Debra Taylor
Company: The Word Council
Position: Co Founder
Experienced digital and editorial director now focused ahead of the curve on content strategy, content marketing, social media marketing and enabling brands and B2B businesses to become publishers online Read Debra's full bio

Latest Articles by Debra

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