What is upsetting about most Facebook brand pages (in Indian social media landscape) is the sheer number of wall content that is either sourced from YouTube, ageing (not vintage) quotations that have faced the brunt of time, or silly proverbs that are as relevant as camel-riding on highway. What is contradictory is that most Facebook brand pages are managed by professional/creative agencies and what they fail to bring is the creative perspective to these social platforms. The modus operandi seems to be: ‘dig the web, cull the content, paste it on the wall, and do that on daily basis’. In that case, there’s only one winner: the sourced content that is going viral! So, my advice to brands on social media – Create content that can go viral! Be the passenger; not the transporter.
Having criticized the 3rd party content sharing policy at length, I also believe that some of it is necessary, only if it makes sense and is in sync with the theme and personality of the brand. However, it seems, most of the shared/sourced content is put up to keep the page ‘active’ and have the dreaded ‘Comments & Likes’ coming.
I believe that a brand short of creative outputs (yes, its difficult to have them on daily basis) must innovate to create engaging conversations:
a) Focus on fresh content: Create your own contact. Creatives, wallpapers, quotations (yes, what are copywriters for), polls, contests, applications
b) Assimilate content: Than simply doing a quick Copy + Paste, it might be better to create a visual/textual collage content to engage the target audience. If you are not hiring, a social media agency, get a content writing agency to do the job
c) Let the users/fans work: As an agency, you don’t have to do the hard work all the time. Okay, let me rephrase, as an agency you don’t have to do the fun work. Let the users fill in wall posts and incentivize them for that. Get ideas rolling.
Since most Facebook brand pages appear the same simply because of sourced content, a simple and fresh approach can be a major differentiator. Moving away from the clichéd and easy, brands can create unique communication strategies. A lot many good ideas unfortunately do not see light of the day because of brand’s skepticism towards digital. Some time back, I had proposed the concept of ‘webisodes’ to a well-known company. The concept was appreciated but due to budget constraints, it never took off. When the rules and clichés are broken, we will certainly see a new dawn of social media marketing, instead of social media sourcing.