by Juny Lee
May 15th, 2014

Due to the increasing use of smartphones and social media, the amount of content and messages exposed to mobile and online users has reached its peak. But, there are only so many hours in the day, and the amount of time users have to embrace it all is limited. This is the main reason why brand content struggles to draw attention from its target audience. The following are the main trends of social content that PR managers of a brand or corporation need to be aware of.

6 social content trends

First, news comes from all sorts of unpredicted areas these days, with the power of swaying consumer perception. Even journalists utilise comments, content, and the network of those influencers to collect news items and write articles.

Second, every story begins nowadays with research through social platforms. Content producers utilise search engines and social media to find sources for their content. Before writing brand related articles, reporters first check popular opinions online using search engines and social media and only as a second step, will they reach out to the PR bureau of a company.

Third, consumption of media is being personalised. Content filters like Google Alerts, Feedly, HanRss reader has made it more difficult for content to be exposed. The tendency for individuals to seek only the content that they want is being strengthened.

Fourth, comments are  now content: conversing through comments is one of the fundamental ways of consuming brand content. Stories of a brand brought up through comments make certain brand issues more dramatic, and often decide the direction of the spreading of such content.

Fifth, all content is now multimedia: even the most traditional forms of press who concentrated only on print are now using multimedia content like infographics, images, and movie clips. Recently, optimising content for mobile devices has also become an additional factor to consider.

Sixth, it is no longer a privilege of reporters to be influential or have the authority to produce content – the influence of news sites by offline media is becoming less significant. Content recommended by acquaintances from SNS are now more frequently consumed. Bloggers who are experts in specific fields are influencing consumers’ perceptions significantly.

Become a “media company”

The current digital news environment is driving a change in how brands approach content marketing. Brands do not have to rely on traditional media in order to share stories of their own. Brands themselves must communicate with targeted consumers via social media channels, share news through blogs and newsrooms, and set agendas that are optimised for search engines and social media.

Now is the time to transform your company into a media company by using digital PR as a complementary approach to existing PR activities. An effective strategy does not only involve producing innovative content, but the ability to to integrate smart devices and social media in an environment that is constantly changing. A company can only become a media company by establishing and practicing integrated communication strategies.

Juny Lee is vice-president, Korea, at Weber Shandwick

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