It used to be that the KISS principle related to an age-old acronym, meaning Keep it Simple, Stupid! Since its origin in 1960, there have been slight variations, of course, from "Keep it short and simple" to "Keep it super simple" or "Keep it simple and straightforward". All good. But in this day and age of content marketing, big data and shrinking attention span for ever-increasing amounts of shared information, the KISS principle is perhaps best summarized as: Keep it Significant and Shareable!
Too often, brands share posts, texts, pictures or videos forgetting a basic principle for consumers who usually like to tune in the same radio station: WIIFM. Or "What's in it for me?". A significant post is one that is deemed relevant by the target audience you are posting it to. Brands that are successful on social media will vary the type of content, in order to cater to a wider audience and mix it up to steer clear of redundant communications.
Thought-leader and acclaimed author Brian Solis refers to the perception gap, which is the gap between what marketers think social consumers want and what these folks really want and expect from brands. As can be seen above, marketers think social consumers want information, product insights or better customer service. What do social consumers really want? Deals, promotions and access to exclusive content. If you wish to be relevant, it really is quite simple: deliver what people want, consistently and on their social network of choice. Spam them, or even worse, send them dull, redundant messages... and they'll tune you out.
Content that's shareable, on the other hand, means there is little friction in order to easily share it with your friends, colleagues, spouse or extended family. The following infographic excerpt gives you 10 great tips on how to create highly shareable content:
Findings from Buddy Media in 2012 showed a few other tricks in order to have your content shared more frequently, including:
- Keep it short, stupid! That's right, posts of 80 characters or less get 23% more social interactions (comments, likes, shares) than the average
- A post featuring a photo will get 39% more interactions than a text-only on Facebook
- Asking a question in a post gets you 15% more interaction. And placing the question at the end of the post, rather than at the beginning, will yield twice the results!
- Asking fans to complete a sentence or fill in the blank gets 5.5 times more comments than the average post
- Using emoticons works! In fact, it increases interactions by 52% by helping humanizing the brand, giving it a tone and manner (unless you abuse it, of course).
- Last but not least: ask people to share! Every now and then, it's OK to ask your followers or fans to share a specific tweet or post, whether it's for a contest, special offer or great cause your brand is associated with.
One last good tip: post when your community is online! Unfortunately, many brands still post from Monday to Friday between working hours, but that's not necessarily when we're online, tweeting or facebooking, now is it? This Buddy Media graph says it best... (Circles represent when social consumers are active online, columns represent when brands post on Facebook)
Source: Buddy Media, "Strategies for Effective Wall Posts: A Timeline Analysis", Sept 2012.
Right, I shall leave it at that, if I want to practice what I preach, by keeping it short...
UPDATE: Brian Solis, referenced in this post, pointed me in the direction of his article published in 2010 on Harvard Business Review, speaking at greater length and depth of this phenomenon. Click here to access this article