10 reasons people don’t care about your content

Spewing blog posts, updates, and tweets without regard to your target audience or the channel you use will just waste your time and add to the online clutter.

Most brands are full of content creators.

Content creation was made easier thanks to the computers in our pockets connected to incredible networks such as Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

This means people want to start a blog or a Facebook page—they’ve seen the power of these channels and they want to “spread the word.”

So they start something, because doing so is easy.

Eventually, they call a digital strategist, because they realize that turning on a Facebook page doesn’t make them content creators.

I don’t tell them the things I’m about to tell you. I use much different language, but this is the gist of it. Here are the 10 reasons people don’t care:

1. The stories aren’t targeting the right people. When people say they want to spread the word, I ask: To whom? What people? People who just happen to find your content will leave, because they are not your intended audience.

2. The right people don’t care. When you’re spreading the word, the word has to be worth spreading. The message should resonate with the right people, or you’re wasting your time.

3. Someone said to post once a day, or once a week. Posting for the sake of it might make Google happy, but in the long run, it won’t make people happy. Once you lose people with bad content, it is hard to get them back.

4. If you’re posting on Facebook, the vast majority of the people who like the page don’t see it. A post goes to about 30 percent of your “likes.” Sometimes it goes to more: We once had a post reach to almost double the amount of people who “like” our page. It went viral. Did I mention that happened once? Yeah. Good times.

5. It has even less reach if you’re doing it on Twitter.

6. There is better content on most networks. Back to Facebook: Let’s say someone sees the post-there is a good chance it is surrounded by cute pictures or personal posts from friends. It is doomed to be visible but not seen. I like Facebook for certain things, but not for “spreading the word.” Incidentally, Facebook should be about “spreading the image.”

7. A focus on SEO and not people. SEO, or search engine optimization, means tailoring content so it can be found easily in search engines. Content isn’t found by search engines, it is found by people. It should be called search engine optimization for the people who want to see my content. SEOFTPWWTSMC is way too long, so it is SEO. Instead, think about what you want to say to the right people. Nail that part, and your SEO will be just fine.

8. Use more pictures than words. Not because people don’t read, because images and moving images look better on mobile technologies. People love pictures; moving pictures work even better.

9. We’re not The New York Times. I’m not a professional journalist, but I write for a university. My advice: Write short. Get to the point.

10. Stop trying to create new things. Stop trying to create a new Facebook page. A new Instagram account. Snapchat. The redesigned MySpace. Find content that tells your story, and use it. Just because we can take the picture or write the status update or tweet, it doesn’t mean we should.

Sometimes we should be quiet.

Good luck.

Matt Hames is a digital media and content strategist in higher education. A version of this article first appeared on LinkedIn.

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