Tell me if any of these scenarios sound familiar:
- You are asked to lead the revamp of your corporate web site. It’s a big task. It involves collaborating with many stakeholders. It involves working with numerous vendors. Recoding. Revamping. Rewriting. And multiple rounds of revisions. All told, it takes you a YEAR to complete the project.
- You’re in charge of developing weekly social content for your company’s Facebook page. The process of developing a single post usually includes: working with creative to develop a visual (request + multiple rounds of revisions), writing copy (plus revisions and reviews), running the final version by various teams for approvals, proofing and posting. All told, it takes 4-5 hours per each piece of content you post.
- You’re in charge of managing the organization’s Instagram page. It’s a highly stylized page. Each post requires essentially a full-on photo-shoot and rounds of approvals and tweaks. Even items in the Story feed take up to 2-3 hours with approvals and edits added in.
These scenarios should sound familiar, as many of you are living these situations each and every day! And, I know you can feel the pain that goes along with these arduous processes. And, they are arduous (actually, that’s the nicest word I could use to describe it!).
The truth is: it’s taking us WAY too long to develop social and digital content in the modern digital era.
The value equation is way off. Consider the following:
- People are consuming more content than ever before online. According to Nielsen, the average American spends more than 11 hours per day consuming content. Now, not all of that is social and online content, but a pretty significant portion of it is. The rate of content consumption is higher than ever. Translation: People are consuming AND forgetting content faster than ever.
- The feed moves too fast to spend hours and hours refining content. See Jessica Smith’s tweet above. Yes, your social content is important. Yes, you want it to be accurate. And yes, you want it to be on brand and on message. But, keep in mind, if you’re posting content organically, you’re posting content that will be largely gone within a few hours. A FEW HOURS!
- Cost per piece of content is way too high. Consider the example above. If it takes at least 10 hours to produce one piece of content (that’s probably on the high end, but still), let’s try to assign a value to that. If we assume, a blended rate of $175 (that’s probably generous, by the way), you’re talking about $1,750 per piece of social content. If you produce 10 pieces of content per month (again, probably conservative), that’s a whopping $17,500 per month for content development. Would you pay a consultant that much? If you answer yes to that question, you’re not managing your content budget effectively! And P.S., hire me and I’ll get that number WAY down! 🙂
So, what can and should we do about this?
For starters, most brands would be wise to produce far less content. I’ve done a lot of social media audits over the last 5-7 years and one theme hasn’t changed: Brands are producing WAY too much content. For example, some higher ed brands I researched on behalf of one client were posting to Twitter a whopping 50+ times per month! Not surprisingly, they weren’t see much in the way of results for those 50 posts.
More importantly, we all need to ease up on the approval process–A LOT! Social content typically has a shelf life of a few hours–at most. I’m talking about the organic stuff. So, make sure there are no typos. Make sure it’s on brand. But, for the love of all that is holy, please do not have 26 people review your Facebook posts! You just don’t need to. Focus on accuracy. Focus on brand. Focus on creativity. But, also focus on SPEED!
Actually, I’m just going to stop right there. Because if half the brands just did those two things well, we’d be in a completely different place with social media marketing right now.
So get to it social media marketers!