Much of the talk among brands today is around “scaling content.” Following on the heels of Big Data and Social Media automation comes the discussion of how to scale content.
Brands already collect data from social media sources on their consumers through in-platform analytics and external software solutions (which abound in dizzying quantity and function.) Interns and managers and CMOs crunch numbers and create charts in colorful PowerPoint presentations pinpointing consumer data – ranging from “powerful insight” to downright silly.
Increasingly that data is used to “engage” with moms through pre-planned posts and tweets using social media management software. Mostly they are designed to allow one marketer to handle this one task for multiple brands. (While I have been known to use them in a pinch, they mostly remind me of the systems call centers use to allow one customer service rep to handle subscriptions for multiple publishers – deep understanding of the brand not required.)
Now content seems to be headed in the same direction. Content management systems use software to redirect one article to multiple sites, pushing out the brand message in infomercial fashion to publishing sites far and wide. This could be taking automation too far.
Sometimes the engineers take over. Sometimes we have a Steve Jobs who understands the importance of the consumer experience.
The Steve Jobs in this case is moms. For millennium (okay, at least since social science has been studied, we’ve observed the natural flow of information among moms as a powerful force.). Moms share more than football scores. Moms share information that engages with other moms at the emotional level – the Holy Grail for most brands. Moms create vast networks of other moms who share information vertically and horizontally with their friends and friends of friends of friends (I could make a nice PowerPoint slide, but you get the picture.)
Entrepreneurial moms have harnessed this power of networking to create intimate yet far reaching networks of female (and often male) consumers who care about the content they create and a personal voice recommending (or not) products and brands and services.
As a marketer trained to quantify everything that crosses my desk, making in-depth charts and graphs and analyzing ROI on everything from ad placement to lunch breaks, I’ve been startled to discover the sheer power of mom networks. Maybe it’s the loss of “soft skills” in the corporate world that has prevented us from noticing this, but automation doesn’t do much for increasing engagement.
It sounds good on paper, but scaling content by automating the process may increase likes or followers or impressions, but a deeper dive into engagement – measured by thoughtful comments and mentions, return visits and true interaction with the brand shows deepening relationships with brand influencers beats automation hands down. To truly in engage with moms, drop the software and pick up the phone, or text or email to connect with the moms who influence other moms. Engage with them on a personal level and you’ll engage with your brand’s consumers too.