making sense of social

Channels are important, but they should never be the starting point

We live in the age of the buzz word. One week it’s engagement this, the next it’s social currency that. And as much as I love a good buzzword, with a constant stream of new mots du jour it’s easy to forget what is really important when it comes to creativity. The idea, the piece of content, it’s all just STUFF. When all is said and done we are all content producers. We are all just making stuff.

Whether it is a social media campaign, a digital banner campaign, a series of TV adverts or print billboards, at the end of the day it is content. Content that conveys a particular idea. And when delivering these campaigns the idea should always come first.

An idea is channel agnostic. It’s a thought, a feeling, something that makes you stop, think, laugh, or cry. At the very beginning, before we think of channels or executions we need to think of the idea. What do we want people to think, feel and do when they see (or hear or experience) our idea? Why are we doing it? We need to base our creativity in strategic thinking, in finding ideas that a relevant and right, that are meaningful.

It’s only once we have these answers that we should think about what is the best medium to tell people our idea. Will the idea be best conveyed through an engagement piece encouraging user participation and content generation, or perhaps a highly targeted digital banner campaign?

There are obviously channels that are more appropriate for certain ideas: certain elements are going to be best conveyed through video, other will get more impact with a print campaign. A lot of thinking needs to go into getting the channels right, but this comes after we’ve got the idea.

Channels are important, but they should never be the starting point.


About the author

This post was written by Mike Phillips

Plannery type person with silly side projects. Not to be trusted.

Follow them on twitter: @imjustmike

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  1. None |

    Agreed. Channels must not be the starting point. However, when you think of all this Social Media rush, Marketers and Brand Managers are adopting the medium even though the medium may not be the best one to use for that particular idea.

    The hoo-haa on social media has forced them to join the medium without any considerate thought. In some cases, social media strategy is not led by the ideas but whether or not we should be on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Let’s share (ok, the last one was made up).

    All this leads to poor fan/follower experience and therefore poor engagement.


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