Much has been said about the "Buzzfeedification" of news and content. If you've been on any social media platform in the last few years, you have inevitably encountered examples of some of these types of juicy SEO and marketing articles;
"37 reasons why asparagus will save your life."
"The ONE reason nobody asked you to prom."
"This guy makes $500,000 a year using these three easy tricks!"
There are a number of phrases to describe this. "Lying", "misleading", "fraudulent", and above all, complete and utter *insert best swear word here*. But above all, articles like this are wonderful examples of clickbait. Or #clickbait. How about @clickbait? Whichever works better for your SEO, you decide. People see articles like this, and can't help but click - why wouldn't you want to know? It won't take long to find out, people might like you better, and as selfie-culture dictates, you're nothing without a few thousand social likes. This is concrete fact, the panacea of 21st century living. Argue with me, I dare you. You can't. You think you have a point, get ready to argue, have your Bernie Sanders finger in the air, and then nope, you realise I'm right. Not that you know it - because as further dictated by selfie-culture, your own opinion is the only one worth listening to.
This article's turning into something quite horrible, isn't it?
Fortunately, and one of the few things I'll say in defence of Buzzfeed style news, is that you can always change the subject half-way through. So instead, I'm not going to do 3 reasons why nobody likes you. Frankly, because that's horrible, and there's enough pressure from social media, TV and magazines to make us hate ourselves anyway. So let's use social media as a power for good, as it always should be.
Here's 3 reasons why people should love you on social media...
1) You post regular and fresh content
The phrase of "Content Is King" is certainly up there in my best marketing cliches, and with good reason. It's what you become known for, and it's what decides whether your opinion actually adds value to the community. Posting regular, fresh and engaging content is a genuine challenge, especially if not a lot of people ever see it. But at least this voice is yours. And as long as you're using it to add to the community, and involving your audience as best you can, it will always have value to someone - ultimately, building your position as an expert in your field.
2) You don't just talk about yourself
Seen something you liked on social media, and told them you liked it?
Shared someone else's content? Praised the work of a competitor? If not, why not? There are very few industries out there that have only one or two customers, and friendly competition is certainly the best kind.
So let's start the ball-rolling.
Narrow.io, your interface is lovely and reports brilliantly.
Archie.co, involving Soundcloud could be a stroke of genius.
SoGro.co, cool product and an even better name. We do prefer having the "w" on the end though, no hard feelings.
Of course, we think we bring something new and different of our own through our audience targeting and content sharing - but that doesn't mean we can't celebrate what's good in our industry. I'd encourage any and all others to do the same.
3) You communicate in different ways, equally as well
You might enjoy writing 5000 word novel-style blog posts. You might like a quick "how are you?" e-mail. A Facebook status. A tweet. Snapchat. Instagram photo (#nofilter, obvs!). The person who really succeeds, is the person who can communicate in all these ways and more. Unfortunately, your preferred channel will very rarely be the same as everybody elses, so diversify and prepare content that works on each platform. I know this will fit in with our blog. I hope it might do ok on medium. I think it has a half-chance on LinkedIn, could be ok on Twitter, but on Facebook it'll struggle. If I e-mailed it, people would tune out by now - but they might have our RSS feed, who knows!? The point is, to be honest with your own content, and adapt it for your audience.
So there you go. Short, sweet, and without the depressing feeling that comes when you only identified 39 of these 46 one-off Simpsons characters. Maybe there is a place for Buzzfeed style content - as long as it adds to the conversation, instead of leaving readers to grind there way mindlessly through it. In short, start conversations, not life guides.