Short, Subtle and Shareable: 3Ss to up your social media game

Jonah Peretti, founder, and CEO of BuzzFeed, once said, “creating content people love to share is the key to success.” 

Social media has become an integral part of our lives. From sharing life updates to sharing memes and to it for professional brand building and having a strong brand voice, millennials cannot live without it. There are newer platforms such as TikTok etc. emerging too. Brands are day by day experimenting to use it to reach out to their consumers and influencer marketing, digital marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing are becoming the new buzz words. 

From time to time, these social media platforms keep changing their algorithms. The recent change came when Instagram announced that it will hide ‘likes’ feature on the platform. There was a lot of discussion in the road this announcement will pave for the next wave in influencer marketing, which is for another day though. 

In this week’s column, I talk about what makes social media content worthy enough to be shared. Social media marketers get this ask day in and day out from their clients – that they need to create content that goes “viral”. Which is not an easy task at all. There is a question debated much – “is it possible to create viral content or do you create content and it goes viral if it is really good?” 

Having worked with brands demanding this and looking at some recent viral content, it made me think that what was it that was making this shareable, if not viral. Specifically, with the very relatable memes that people share with each other day in and day out, there were a few things that made the viral content stand out. So, I spoke to a few colleagues of mine working in the domain and came up with the following takeaways. 

  • Short

The attention span of the millennial audience on an average is 8-10 seconds (as per various resources). Surprising, or not? 

Well, if this is the case, then definitely the content to be worth sharing needs to be short, crisp and to the point. It needs to be relatable too – without that brevity will not work. Remember those Amul ads? There is a reason everyone looks forward to them. They are short, relatable and topical – all combine to form shareable content. 

  • Subtle

For the content to be worth sharing, it is important that that brand voice or brand identity isn’t forced into it. This is a point that many brand managers find difficult to absorb making jobs of social media marketers even difficult. Creativity is the key – as it is said, and social media is a playground to use creativity and experiment with what type of content actually works with the audience.

  • Shareable 

Well, this is the underlying point of all content on social media. The basic tenet of social media is for people to share – be it an anecdote from your personal life, an update in your professional journey or a moment that a brand wants to celebrate. The two points mentioned above make content shareable, and that content with the right strategy goes viral. There is no set template or technique to create viral content and there will be various case to case scenarios. However, emotions will play a significant role – be it humour, nostalgia, taking a stand, and most importantly, being human.  

Two brands that I really find doing an amazing job on social media are Zomato and Netflix. Why? Because 1) their content isn’t forced to you, it is subtle, and 2) it is relatable and shareable. A recent post by Zomato during Diwali was epic – where different types of sweets were personified and compared to a human personality. Really sweet! 😊 

With this, I would like to ask you all. What do you think helps create great content for social media? What are some of your favourite campaigns? Tweet @PR_Wali and share social media content that you admired and appreciated.  

Pratishtha Kaura
PR Professional
Coming from the millennial club of PR professionals, Pratishtha works at Archetype (formerly Text100). With over six years of experience in communications, she has been creatively storytelling for brands across consumer, education, arts &culture sectors. Listed in PR Moment 30 under 30, the annual list of top 30 PR professionals (2017), she strongly believes in driving PR for PR – one stakeholder at a time!

Inspired by the character of Jessica Pearson from Suits, she advocates for women’s equality at work and life and wants to write a book on the topic one day.
She can be reached at @PR_wali on Twitter.

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