It’s happening before our very eyes. The way we create content, find content, absorb content is all about the now. Sticky content is still important but if you are to drive people to that content you need to be actively engaged in social media and being actively engaged in social means being ready for the now stream – the real-time information that keeps timelines constantly refreshing across social media platforms.
Being ready for the now stream isn’t actually about monitoring social media 24/7, it’s about being organised and prepared in your content marketing. So here’s an easy to remember three step process to shake up your social media offering to get it ready for the now stream.
Before you can make changes you need to understand fully what it is you currently offer. Carry out an audit across all platforms. Check analytics. What posts have worked best in the past? How are you defining best? What platforms are already engaging? Is there a clear brand thread and voice evident across all platforms? Is there a brand uniformity? Are your messages tailored correctly for the platform they are published on?
This phase is all about planning for the future. Setting your ideals and where you want to head to and begin about re-purposing what you have to help you achieve that. First off establish a set of brand guidelines – including what has to be on what – like logos on every infographic, are URLs printed in full or shortened? The aim is to create uniformity so the simpler the better as you are working with limited characters and need the impact to be as visual as possible. As part of this you need to collect and store in a central location all your brand collateral. The easier it is for people to find the essentials, the easier it is for them to get into the habit of using it.
A further essential is the creation of your content calendar. This is essential for the now stream, planning ahead and preparing content relevant to a certain date, will get you in the right mindset. Although the now is all about being reactive, it is best served by being pro-active. Think about content that will inevitably be needed.
Finally, identify and gather up a team of experts who can help provide content. These can be external third parties but tee them up so that when something very relevant to what they know happens, you can get them to create something to wow your audience – social media loves an expert.
This is where you polish every thing and make it shine. It’s the real create and curate phase. Bring ideas together but create logical pathways to find similar articles in a specialist field. Flag similar stuff. Create signposts.
Make sure all the branding works and is tied in. Does it work across platforms? Are all platforms up to date with branding?
Remember different platforms have different audiences so need different content – the best content marketers know how to identify this but also use it, using slight variations on the same theme to keep a consistent message but tailored to the audience that will see it.
So think about the now stream as simply the same river you’ve always posted to but flowing a bit faster than it used to. It just means being a little more prepared and having the tools to hand for any problems you may face.