Let's Talk Content.

I saw a stat recently. It said that Irish businesses are the second biggest users of social in Europe. In fact, 64% of Irish firms with 10 or more employees are using Facebook/Twitter as part of their communications mix; the EU average is 39%.

So that’s good news, right? It means that Irish business are progressive and have woken up to the fact that social is, in fact, not just a passing fad. And you’d be forgiven for thinking that. But peel back the stat and look at the businesses that are using social and you find a dirty little secret: the content. Oh my God, the content.

Content Marketing is the big thing right now; creating little pieces of content images — videos and gifs etc — that you can share on social media that make people want to engage with you and maybe consider your product. And a lot of Irish businesses have caught the content train — which is great! But the problem is that everyone thinks they’re a content creator now.

Hint: just because you have a Go Pro, it doesn’t mean that you’re a content producer. You know how to use Imgflip.com to create memes? Yeah, that doesn’t mean you’re a content producer either.

In fact, if you look at the content out there an awful lot of it has very little relevance to the business these companies are in.

This from an individual store with a large retail chain. 

This from an individual store with a large retail chain. 

The point I’m trying to make is that if you are one of the 69% of those Irish firms (with 10 or more employees) and you’re posting content, you can’t just put the content up and move on; you’ve got to review the content. If you're posting and not looking at your stats and doing some sort of measurement then you don't know how your social channels are performing. You do this to see what works and what kind of content gets engagement from your client base. 

This from another retailer.

This from another retailer.

Done right, social has the power to drive sales or get people into your store, etc. Like anything that you’re investing time into, it's a business cost, and you shouldn't have a business cost that you can't justify. 

Content needs to be relevant. It’s not enough to go to Google Image Search to find a Happy Friday image, rip it down and post it with a pithy remark. Do it and see how low the engagement is when compared to the content you’re creating that is relevant to your business.

The whole point of using content is to engage with your customers and clients. So if, as a brand or business, you’re just measuring the number of followers you have then you’re doing it wrong. What you want is for people to see your content and think of your brand in a positive way when they’ve seen it. You also want for them to connect your brand to the area in which you operate. So if you’re talking about Netflix and you’re a large retailer, then the question you have to ask is “why are we talking about Netflix?” when it’s not something that we are involved in.

This one is from a beauty salon.

This one is from a beauty salon.

The bottom line is that I don’t think we should be patting ourselves on the back too much for having 64% of our SMEs using social. Because a lot of the content, well… it leaves much to be desired.