Andrew Davis – a best-selling author and the founder of Monumental Shift, the world’s first talent agency for marketing thought leaders – asserted that social media content success has little to do with where you distribute content, and everything to do with when you distribute content on each channel.
He suggests that, rather than “vomiting your content on every possible channel”, smart marketers should leverage the strategic concept of social momentum to master social content distribution – one channel at a time.
As Andrew sees it, you will be more effective overall if you focus on small actions that make your content’s performance more predictable, consistent, and sustainable.
He also believes that you shouldn’t consider expanding your offerings to a new platform until your content’s growth has slowed on your primary channel.
Essentially, by tracking the dynamics of your audience’s content consumption and using this data to guide your distribution strategy, you will be better able to find the point at which you can create less content, yet achieve better business results.
Building Blocks of Social Momentum
Social momentum is based on two interrelated blocks: social proof and the loyalty loop.
Social proof: People will assume the actions they see others taking to ensure that they are exhibiting the correct behavior for a given situation.
Loyalty loop: Loyalty is a cyclical process that leverages an existing audience to identify the right point to expand your audience in a new direction, or through a new effort.
There are three phases to the loop:
Grow: Your audience grows as more people receive the social proof of the value of your content.
Plateau: Your content reaches its peak saturation point with the audience on that given channel.
Slow: Your growth rate on the channel begins to decline, at which point it’s time to offer the audience something new with which to engage.
The more you can do to increase the level of social proof for your content by driving increased views, shares, comments, influencer attention – the greater the potential that all your content efforts will benefit from your higher social profile, gain traction, and help you achieve your desired results.
Social Momentum Process at Work
Start making social momentum works for you by gaining an understanding of what content is moving the needle with your audience. From there, it’s a matter of taking some small, yet powerful actions that can help you sustain and increase that impact over time.
As mentioned, the social momentum process has less to do with where you are distributing your content as it does with when you start to expand your distribution. Move too fast and you risk diluting your audience before you’ve captured their loyalty.
Wait too long, though, and you risk follower fatigue that might dull their interest in any newer content offerings you produce.
Let’s say, you’ve established your primary delivery channel and have a plan for capitalizing on any momentum your content achieves. How do you know when it’s the right time to take your distribution to the next level?
Four Secrets to Use Social Momentum to Achieve Success
1. Leverage your content’s half-life, one channel at a time.
Half-life is the time it takes for an audience’s interest in your content to fall to half of its peak value.
In other words, when your content hits the “slow” phase of the loyalty loop, it is time to push it to the next level – to add a new channel or expand your use of the channel.
2. Harness the waterfall effect.
The phenomenon that all mainstream media stories can be traced upstream to smaller, more accessible sources is a predictable pattern. If you build a relationship with your influencer’s influencers, you may uncover hidden opportunities to increase your content’s audience.
3. Remove friction for the content consumer.
Social media content often loses momentum when marketers plan their efforts around driving short-sighted metrics like click-through rates. Instead, think about content consumption from your audience’s perspective, focusing on ways to make it easier – and more worthwhile – for them to engage with your business and derive value.
For example, if the content you post on your social channels is merely a headline and a link to your website or blog, the user has to jump through a lot of hoops (clicking, scrolling, opening multiple windows or apps etc.) just to figure out what you are publishing and whether it’s something they want.
Instead of disrupting their experience and giving them barriers to cross, consider how you can use the particular characteristics of your chosen social channel to your best advantage.
Help your consumers build a relationship with the content itself over time, then get out of their way and let their passion create the social momentum you need.
4. Buy ads.
With social channels increasingly adjusting their news feed algorithms to favor the most popular content creators, paid promotion has become more of a necessity – particularly for smaller brands that want to ensure that their content is getting in front of the right consumers.
Supporting your social media content with even a modest budget can increase its social momentum significantly, enabling you to create less content, yet see bigger results.
Content marketers often assume that they need to continually chase their next “high” in terms of their content’s performance to achieve long-term success. However, the more you focus on producing increasingly unrealistic gains, the less you will be able to build the kind of reliable, sustainable growth that successful businesses depend on.
In Andrew’s words, it’s time for marketers to break this endless cycle of addiction and start building the social momentum their content needs to achieve its maximum potential.