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"May I have your attention, please?"

Written by Alfie Millar - Aug 15 2019
Scroll. Scroll. Stop. Scroll. Scroll. Stop. 

It’s a common pattern amongst social media users these days, completing their daily thumb exercises in-between pictures of friends, doggos, over-priced avo on toast and #couplegoals. But in 2019, how does a brand on social cut through the noise? What makes a thumb-hovering, click-through enabling, double-tap worthy piece of content? There’s no simple answer unfortunately, but we can certainly start with the basics. 

What are the top three things to think about when it comes to social content?

The first three seconds. 
Small, yes, but oh so mighty. Every second counts when it comes to social content. Why? Consumer attention span is incredibly low on social, so you need to either capture their attention straight away or, at the very least, impart your key message, idea or brand before they scroll on by. They may not have clicked-through, or even liked the post, but they’re thinking about it on the bus home. 

What’s your message? 
This is crucial. If you’re not sure on what your message is, there’s not much point! Clear, concise messaging is key when posting on social; never leave your audience asking questions.

Know your audience.
You’ve got their attention, great! But why should they care? If you’re not targeting the right people, you’re going to have a hard time selling your brand. From the get-go, you should have an idea of who you’re talking to and adapt your content accordingly. 

Compelling content is vital, not only in order to hit those business targets but to also successfully build your brand on social (you can read more of that here). In the digital age, you have to compete for attention, and to add insult to injury, social is the only form of advertising that’s optional. Whether you’re trying to avoid Sweaty McGee on the Central line or shouting at the telly for Amber to pick Greg instead of Michael on Love Island, you’re almost forced to encounter the myriad of advertising dished out on the daily. On social, however, it’s easily skippable, and therefore less likely to be watched by the user. 

Another reason why compelling content is crucial on social is the stigma around advertising as a whole. The ‘invasion of personal space’ is a common issue; we’re very conscious that adverts aren’t necessarily welcome and can be seen as interruptions, whether that’s on TV, on the motorway or on the feed. However, exciting work has the potential to break the mould and allow for these intrusions. Great content makes for great conversations, even if it’s just at work on a Monday morning. 
 
Most importantly, compelling creative makes you memorable; it’s easy to get lost in a sea of similar content. But if you’re focusing on those first three seconds, honing in on your key points and targeting the right people, you’ve got it in the bag.

We’re 7 years into the game, focusing solely on social, so what’s our approach to creating great social content? Essentially, it’s the Who, What, Why and How that drives our decisions during the creative process:

WHO are we talking to?
Who is our target audience and are we reflecting this in our content?

WHAT do they want to see?
Will this appeal to them and get them talking?

WHY should they care about the brand?
This is where we hone in on our key brand message.

HOW can we do things differently from everyone else?
Breaking the mould to stand out from the crowd. Research what other brands in the industry are doing and DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

Advertising on social has come on leaps and bounds within the last ten years, but what does the future look like for social content? There’s no question that brands and influencers are dominating the field, and it’s very likely that this will continue. With this comes the need to create real value in content. Great content shouldn’t be a one-off… creating content to establish meaningful relationships with your audience should be number one; always has been, always will be. 

To summarise; know your audience, be bold and make every second count. Those thumbs won’t know what’s hit ‘em.