How to Combat Social Media Content Shock


When I first read the term “content shock”, I thought of the word that once followed shock — jock. History will likely remember Howard Stern as the King of Radio Shock Jocks, one of many controversial broadcasters who would deliberately provoke or offend their audience in a variety of ways. As with other forms of aging media, radio is quickly losing ground to the internet and there’s a new surprise online, content shock.

This term was coined by social media expert Mark Schaefer in a namesake article when he stated, “The emerging marketing epoch defined when exponentially increasing volumes of content intersect our limited human capacity to consume it.”

An astonishing twenty seven million pieces of content are shared daily and even the search term “content marketing” is up 400% since 2011. Early critics were once calling content marketing just another trend or a passing fad, but it is difficult to ignore given these types of figures. So how can we establish a social media marketing strategy that will be seen in this huge, constantly expanding arena?

The New Optimizer

Remember when SEO was all the rage? Although it has been around for quite a while now, the new kid on the internet block is SMO, or Social Media Optimization. You could say that SEO and SMO are like cousins since Google’s recent Hummingbird algorithm places new focus on social activity for use in SEO.

Not that links, meta tags and keywords no longer play a role in SEO, but you shouldn’t be surprised that the search engine giant has placed more emphasis on their +1 feature on their own Google+ social scene. They are also giving more weight to their competitor’s Facebook likes, LinkedIn shares, Pinterest pins and Twitter tweets.

Moving forward, it is vital that marketing strategists ensure their content is shareable, likeable, pin-able, tweet-able, and all around more socially friendly.


Encourage Engagement

I’m sure you’ve already been told a thousand times that images get far more attention than mere text alone, but what are other ways to capture and engage our audience?

  • Make your heading more eye-grabbing with bolder print
  • Use infographics to condense complex data making it more visually appealing
  • Write in a conversational tone that connects with your target audience
  • Say “you” and “we” more often than “me” or “I”

To further engage your social sharing, don’t just expect feedback, ask for it. Pose a question, ask for opinions or take a vote. This encourages further participation beyond a simple “like” or +1 and will ultimately gain more sharing with additional followers.

A Good Influence

Remember when your parents wouldn’t let you be friends with that one kid or hang out with that certain group because they would be a bad influence on you? Now we can take social media lessons from the good influencers out there instead.

Similar to the beginning of this article, associating yourself with an expert or respected person in your field, is not giving in, it’s getting in. Imagine hooking up with someone who has hundreds of thousands of followers and they link to your content in one of their posts. You can watch your readership expand a thousand percent or more overnight.

These are just a few ways that you can get noticed and avoid content shock. You can be seen and heard using social media networking when using the right methods.

Dave Landry Jr. is an online business journalist, finance counselor, and entrepreneur. When he’s not sharing his research on social media marketing trends, he enjoys covering the importance of business communications, the process of globalization, and developing technology in the VoIP industry. 

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