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The Accelerated Age Means Brands Don't Have the Time for "Organic Content"

June 1, 2015 at 1:11pm by Adam Ferraro

During the fall semester of 2005, university students were prompted to add classmates, new acquaintances and one-night stands as “friends” to Facebook. Throughout the years since then, the initial generation of Canadian Facebook natives have purged and added people to share their personal moments and narcissism with.

Brands were hip to the practice of being part of key moments and connecting with their core consumer in a personal space. This inevitably birthed the need for community management (sounds super personal and relationship oriented, right?) so that brands could cultivate what the industry deemed as meaningful interaction and deep engagement.

We as advertisers obviously perpetuated this myth because we were learning as we went. Social media was new and hard to rationalize and had to feel authentic, then timely, then timely and authentic, then “in the moment”, then ahead of the moment. BUT WTF HAPPENED TO STRATEGY?!

It was there. Forming. Planners and creatives and community managers (for some people now, that’s a single role) were cultivating best practices. A lot of amazing work was created and people were figuring out this whole social thing worked.

Then… Boom. The internet said, “eff you brands” and thus began the suppression of “organic content". Don't blame yourselves, Facebook started it. Which makes sense because they understand their users better than marketers do.

We’re learning now that a mix of thoughtful work, paid media and some solid influencers is actually what’s driving evergreen content most effectively. Let me take a moment to pitch you on a philosophy we at the house of john have. Let us know if you agree.

1. Just because you can be “on” 24/7, doesn’t mean you should.

2. Just because the bar for interesting social content is set so low amongst many categories doesn’t mean you should settle for the minimum.

3. Invest in a stellar brand positioning that allows you to have a great POV and speak with interesting and engaging content when the time is right. (That could be a couple times a week, or a few times every quarter)

At the end of the day your social content should still be effective in delivering results for your overall brand strategy. Don’t be afraid to invest in it and don’t expect something to go viral just because you asked for it. Prioritize what you want to say and what your consumers will care about and produce that. Don't give into the trap of being rushed and producing mediocre content for the sake of being timely.

Also RT everything I do on Twitter (@aderaro) because it gives me a sense of purpose in life to know that people read things I write.

Just kidding, you should follow @TorontoAdGuy because he runs this place.



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On the blog of john you’ll find short articles written by our people. It will include thoughts and opinions on advertising, brand strategy, planning, digital, social media, design, careers, pop culture and relevant trends.