Moving Brands at the Speed of Social Media

Bull HornI recently read an article on The Huffington Post on how brands are thinking about the connection between content and social media. Whether you’re a packaged good manufacturer, a service industry or a healthcare system, you should approach the creation of content like an editorial department does. It’s all about connecting content with the right conversations at the right time.

Here are a few tips, courtesy of Huffington Post and Digiday Publishing:

1.Real-Time Pace
The Huffington Post creates between 1,600 and 2,000 articles per day, or one piece every 58 seconds. Most brands won’t ever get near that volume, but the more you can amp up your pace and output, the more you amplify your brand’s message.

2. Art + Science
Editors and writers at Huffington are constantly, quietly writing and editing and optimizing traffic. Brands need to marry the art of content creation with the science of using data and analytics to make sure content reaches the right audience.

3. Syndication Not Destination
The aim now is to bring content to people wherever they are. The internet is fragmented, and content needs to find the audience across destinations – most notably websites and social platforms. Like Gretzky’s puck, you have to push content out to where the people will be.

4. Social Content
Content is more valuable if it’s inherently connected to social media. Huffington Post sees 81 million social actions every month, with 800,000 Twitter referrals and 2 million Facebook referrals every day. The more sharing, the more finding. And that means more reading.

5. The Participation Generation
If you have a way to bring your community (as the Huff Post does) or your brand message to a video stream, you should. The more people who participate in the conversation the better.

6. Video
Video is challenging for brands with limited budgets. And it’s not “real time.” Yet Huff Post gets 41 million monthly video views, 14 million uniques and 18 minutes of engagement on the platform. Video has transformed brands like Red Bull, which has 1.8 million YouTube subscribers and a bit over half a billion views. Brands like this have in essence become media companies.

7. Beware of Social Roadblocks
It’s expensive in time, money and effort to create content for different formats and platforms. Mobile, for instance. If a brand puts content inside an app, it will be difficult to discover. Publishers like the Washington Post and The Guardian learned this lesson with their failed Facebook app products.

8. Global
According to Digiday, brands should tap into structures already created in foreign places. Huffington Post collaborates with Le Monde in France and El Pais in Spain, and that has produced strong results.

9. Technology Matters
Moving at the speed of Twitter means brands need help on the tech side. Brands can look for a partner willing to let them tap into a CMS platform and consequently help with content, tech and audience. It’s more about tying real-time data to action, and strong technology can help make that happen.

10. Iteration
In order for a brand to have a disruptive mindset, it needs to embrace the philosophy that ideas can come from anywhere in the organization. At Huffington Post, anyone from an intern to a new employee can spark creativity. You just have to have a culture that empowers it.



Hi. We’re Jennings. We’re in Durham, North Carolina and we live and breathe healthcare marketing.

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