“Facebook presence” is not a marketing strategy

The expression “on Snapchat” is for the modern fifteen-to-twenty-year-olds as familiar as “on Facebook” is for Millennials — said Michal Gorecki, a Polish entrepreneur and social influencer. Don’t worry, I’m not going to write about “dawn of Facebook” — Mark Zuckerberg’s portal is doing pretty well, in June 2015 there were 968 million users who visited Facebook every day (that’s 17% increase from the previous year). What’s even more interesting, during the same month 844 million of those users were browsing Facebook using a mobile device (that’s 30% more than in previous year). And many of those users are also “on Snapchat”.

Do you know one thing most marketers don’t get about their customers? They throw them into baskets such as “mobile user” or “Facebook user”, “Snapchat user”, but the truth is, customers are using what’s most convenient to them at the moment. They juggle fluently between Snapchat videos, group conversations on WhatsApp — where they decide to grab a beer at a local bar and… put away their phones so nothing disturbs their “real” quality time among friends.

If you are thinking about your content marketing using channels, you will have a hard time catching up with these juggling consumers, you will fight hard to retain their attention. At the same time, take a look into a typical marketing or communication strategy. What will you find there? “We need Facebook presence, Instagram presence, YouTube strategy…” This leads nowhere.

What to do then? There is one thing constant for the “juggling” users. It does not matter whether he’s talking with his friends “on Snapchat”, “on Facebook” or at a local bar, he is telling them one and the same story. The one he’s currently fascinated with. He’s talking about Felix Baumgartner’s space jump, commenting on how Batman vs. Superman sucks (it really does!) or imagines what happens if Donald Trump wins the presidential race. Your consumer is not thinking with channels, he’s thinking with stories.

Keep in mind that two of the subject I mentioned above are brand-related (or even brand-created). Again: your consumer doesn’t care whether the story has a commercial background or not. He divides the stories into good and bad ones, engaging and boring, worthy of her time and those that don’t deserve a blink.

Good content marketing is about creating your own, engaging story. Then you’ll have people talking about it on whichever channel they find convenient at the moment. Problem is that — in the words of Buddy Scalera, senior director of content marketing at Medicine Company — “good stories don’t happen, they need to be crafted”. So you should drop your marketer’s hat and start thinking like a screenwriter. What kind of story will keep your audience engaged so much they decide to talk about it during the evening barbecue? Can you develop this story like a good TV show? Does it contain secrets, engages curiosity, enables you to learn something about yourself? If so, you’re on the right path to owning a story, no matter the channel.

Good luck!