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Artechulate Blog

Articulating *your* message using Social Technology...

Three Vs of Social Media Quality Control

d_fishing_wallpaper-28809Content curation is mission critical to any effective Social Media strategy and the more streamlined and sophisticated you can be about systemising it, the less time it will take as a process.  I've written before about effective tools for this - in both curation and capture of good content.  But the way that you hone your selection of content is also important. Depending on what your content is designed to achieve,  stimulate engagement with your audience, drive traffic to your website or trigger sales; it will be an ever shifting strategy in the way you not only produce your own content but in how you select the best third party, or Affinity Content, to inform, stimulate and engage your audience.  It is very much like fishing.  Like fishing, you use bait in hunting your quarry.  Anglers are forever shifting their strategy and adjusting their approach - hour by hour - in order to be successful and rarely is the first effort successful (well, certainly not in my case!).

There are so many factors to consider  when you fish.  You must be ever changing your bait, your hooks, your position and whether you use a float or weights to ensure your bait sits in the right place to catch your fish.  Content is very much like this, and here are three important criteria I have identified which you must constantly review to hone your content to perfection.

  • Value: are you adding value?  The important thing about content is that it must improve people's loves in some way, and it must be original or unique.  If you are sharing the same content as everyone else, how can you stand out from the crowd?  Furthermore, the content must in some way answer your customers questions - and their questions usually boil down to - in the broadest sense - "how can I do my job more effectively" (see my post: The Difference between Marketing Content and Content Marketing).  A good guide here is that: if you don't learn anything from a piece of content, its unlikely you've found worthwhile.
  • Validation: is it resonating? There's a lot of noise out there, are you standing out? Are you getting likes, favourites, re-pins etc?  A good process here is - at least at the beginning - to track your validation.  Either within your content calendar or in a separate report, log the likes, favourites,  shares and retweets each piece of content scores and use it as a guide as to the way in which your content strategy is received.  It is important - however - not to take this as a KPI of success.  Validation is not the end in itself, merely a guide.  As Mastercard's Adam Broitman says in this Digiday article, Likes are not a KPI, they are a "directional metric".
  • Volume: have you got this right? Too much, too little? Right for the channel? Think about cadence: I.e. rhythm - morning noon night? Time zone? Which day?  Just like fishing you need to be in the right part of the stream to get results.  Continuing the water analogy, see different channels like different bodies of water.  Twitter is a raging white-water torrent - no amount of content is too much; while LinkedIn and Facebook are more like broad rivers that move slowly meaning you can wear out your welcome mat very easily with posts any more than once a day.

A great way to check the success of your channels (although not your blog) is to use Klout.  While it isn't a perfect system for measurement,  when you are getting it right it will go up and if you getting it will most certainly go down.

With obsessive analysis at the beginning, pretty soon the right formula will emerge and you can focus on other areas, like stimulating engagement and streamlining the curation process.  Like fishing, it isn't only about catching fish but about catching the right fish and so there is always something to improve and work on.   Here are some other useful resources to help you track your success: