So Snapchat is getting an algorithm. You may have seen the rumblings.
It was an inevitable and the natural course for emerging social networks. Get popular, get publicity, brands jump on, more brands jump on, more people keep joining… and there is content clutter. Then, an algorithm arrives to optimize the personal feed. And monetization comes from brands paying to promote their content.
The immediate questions are:
But this isn’t about going into the analytics and user insights that could become available; the best content and stories — ones that garner completions and, maybe, screenshots and other actions — will win out. There’s another more important element to consider, too.
Relationships matter more than ever, now.
Social media and content consumption is so much more a choice these days. We don’t tolerate commercial interruptions or ads in exchange for the content we actually want. But every day there are consumers making choices. They’re selecting which Snapchat stories to view, the videos to watch (beyond the auto-play), and which apps to open.
When someone is waiting in line at Starbucks, chilling on the couch at home, or getting their last fix before bed, the people and the passions with whom they have the closest connection will win their time and attention. It’s tough to beat the personal relationships with friends, but brands (and in my field of work, teams) can become like trusted friends, too. Friends with awesome content!
That doesn’t mean your content can’t be better! But don’t create conversation and content around the big debate, if your community is more concerned with the big game. And do NOT sound like a robot when speaking. It seems so common sense, but many still do not put a human, personable voice into their communications with consumers. Look at yours objectively, and err on the side of human.
While ‘surprise and delight’ as a principle is good practice, there is an element of consistency that can be beneficial. If consumers know what to expect — cadence, duration, content presentation, and content quality; and even whether it’ll make them laugh or cry or think, this can all contribute to lasting relationships with consumers. It builds anticipation, an element of FOMO with something great, and the trust that it’s always worth the time.
Give different perspectives. Do guest takeovers. Be interactive with users and embrace UGC. Run a contest or bring in a different angle or part of the organization or the work day that you have never done before. Make users say Wow, laugh out loud, learn something incredibly helpful. That positive feedback loop will keep them coming back to your story, your app, your page, your account.
When you can tie in with other related communities, there is not only the benefit of reaching new users, but there is the opportunity to create good, compelling content, too. In the most basic form, think and act like a human and engage and respond with other brands. Partnerships are also possible. Find the right fit — of brands, of voice, of content quality, of audience — plan properly for each other’s objectives — have fun!
It’s no secret nowadays that two-way relationships are better than megaphones. What, you don’t like hanging out with the guy that gets in 99 words for every one you get in? They’ll come back to keep the conversation going, especially if it’s good and they know you’re listening, too.
You can have amazing content, real relationships and voice, and an engaging presence — but it’s all for naught if no one knows about it. Go after every communication channel full bore. Use website, email, social channels, and influencers to make sure everyone knows you’re using this new platform or app in a way that’s enticing and all should know about! Kind of comes full circle on this last point, eh?
It’s a powerful thing to have consumers and fans come to you. To click on your story and your app. It’s like when the girl you’re crushing on calls you, first. Or a friend reaches out to hang out, wanting and valuing your time. That is the kind of feeling and relationship to which we should all aspire with fans.