Do not confuse quantity with persuasiveness

Last month we talked about how spamming can jeopardize credibility, drive away followers and diminish our messaging.

As social media strategists we strive to produce content that travels well and goes viral. We also know that a few compelling and inspiring posts have the potential of going a long way.

So, why is it that we fall in the trap of quantity over quality? While partially this can be attributed to vanity, we need to consider whether there is any method to the quantity madness.

In an early post, we talked about the importance of knowing our audience. On social media channels knowing your audience translates into not only posting relevant content, but also considering the time zone of your audience.

Most of us have global audiences and this means that we need to cater to a 24 hour cycle. Posting to cater for all time zones could potentially result in falling in the quantity over quality trap.

Finding the right balance between quantity and quality is an art and requires an in-depth knowledge of your audience. As a social media strategist, you need to have a clear idea as to what you wish to achieve and find the appropriate method and channel to do so.

One persuasive, informative, compelling and well composed tweet or post has the potential of traveling globally and across all time zones and bring value to conversation. At the same time quality content builds trust, influence and following.

There may be times that our message needs to be contextualized and/or personalized. Be as it may, one thing we need to remember is that quantity does not necessarily guarantee that we will be persuading our audience to embrace or act on our message. On the contrary, quantity – which can result in spamming – could potentially have the contrary result.

So, is there a silver bullet? I do not know, what I know is posting quality content at regular intervals increases your credibility and paves the way for your audience to see you as a trustworthy source of information. My mantra is: “Think before you write, before you post”.

Remember, you are your own best sounding board. Ask yourself:

  • would I act on this post or tweet?
  • would I silence/unfollow an account if I see a stream of “irrelevant” and “similar” content

One of the first things I learnt on my social media journey was the fact that I am not alone and I do not need to do everything myself. The social media world is one of the biggest networks if not the biggest network in the world.

Instead of falling in the quantity trap, use your network and influencers to amplify your message. By doing so, your message will gain credibility as it is being amplified by others and you can concentrate your next big  persuasive message.

The advent of the internet has allowed us to have access to an unprecedented amount of information. The challenge that we face is what are the trusted information sources and how can we occupy and be an integral part of that space as opposed to the April Fool’s Day space.

While we may not be posting out “fake news”, to create a niche for ourselves and gain the trust of our audience, we need to learn the art of “personalizing” content for our audience so that we reach them in the right format and at the right time.

Image credit:

Roxanna Samii

Chief Digital Strategy at UN Environment

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