Content Strategy: Where Do You Share?
You choose your words carefully. You have to choose your medium carefully, too. There’s an art to this. The small nuances can make a big difference to whether or not your content connects.
If you are an educator, do you deliver your content in your learning management system (LMS)? Or, is that too restrictive? Do you use Google Docs, DropBox, YouTube, Flickr, or some other third party platform? Or tried-and-true photocopies?
There’s nothing wrong with any of these, but make no mistake—each is saying something specific about you. The delivery is as much a part of the content as the content itself. Is it the message you intend? Or, is it working against you?
Where does your audience want to hear from you? If you choose the wrong medium, your message may never be heard. Or worse, it may hit the wrong note.
In Chapter 6, “What Are you Creating?,” I recommended that your blog serve as the core of your content strategy. You need a central point for substantive content, especially if you intend it to reach beyond your own classroom. Once you have that in place, you can start inviting people to read what you’ve produced.
The obvious way to do this is through social channels. Again, choose carefully—each will say something about you. There are some generalizations about each that might help inform which platform you choose:
- Facebook: Closed network, multimedia social content. Goal = (re)connecting with people you already know.
- Twitter: Open network, text-based social content. Goal = new connections, real-time search.
- LinkedIn: Closed network, professional content, profiles, and portfolios. Goal = professional connections only.
- Google+: Semi-open network. Audience is characterized as young and tech-savvy. Goal = unified Web experience, boost search rankings.
- Tumblr: Open network, multimedia social content, predominantly visual. Goal = Twitter for images, video, and audio.
- YouTube: Open network, social or portfolio video content. Goal = share video.
- SoundCloud: Open network, social or portfolio content, audio only. Goal = share music and podcasts.
- Flickr: Open network, social or portfolio content, photographs only. Goal = share photos, albums, or portfolios.
- Pinterest: Audience is mostly women, curated visual content. Goal = connecting through collecting and curating.
This list is not meant to be exhaustive, by any means. And, there are plenty of folks who use each of these networks in a way that was not intended—getting great results. But, would you post pictures of your kids (or pets) on LinkedIn? Probably not. That’s what Facebook is for.
As an aside, I am grateful to have Facebook for this reason. If nothing else, Facebook provides another outlet for causes, chain letters, and vacation pictures. Those things used to land in your inbox. Today, it would seem like an aggressive act to send two dozen photos via e-mail. Now you, the user, choose what you want to see, and when. For better or worse, there is a lot more control in the hands of the user. Thank you, Mr. Zuckerberg. Earnestly.
Good Content deserves to be in the proper medium. It may require some experimentation to find out which outlet is the best for you. But again, make sure it’s where your audience congregates. There’s no point in trying to change the behavior of your audience. You are trying to build authority with your community, which takes energy. Don’t spend that energy fighting a battle you can’t win. Let your audience make that decision for you.
Michael Boezi is an Independent Advisor and Content Strategist, specializing in helping authors and publishers make the Shift to Digital. He is a longtime publishing veteran who has helped hundreds of authors realize their ideas, from concept to completion, over a variety of roles. Michael was Vice President of Content and Community at Flat World Knowledge, where he was responsible for all aspects of content acquisition and development, and built a catalog of 100+ peer-reviewed, openly licensed college textbooks across various subjects. He writes a blog about current issues and trends in the EdTech industry, which you can find at http://michaelboezi.com, along with a full portfolio and more detail on consulting services for content creators, content owners, entrepreneurs, and investors. Connect with him on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+.