By Matthew Klein

June 16th, 2015

The Social Shake-up just wrapped up. We’ve already covered some of the most interesting ideas that came out of the conference.

Some of the most intriguing panels looked at topics that our team here at Falcon Social has been thinking about a lot—the importance of communities (Online Community is Bigger and Badder Than Ever),  (The Porsche Story: Using Content & Technololgy to Build Passion for an Iconic Brand) and how all of this is happening across a broader mix of channels (From Pinterest and Instagram to Meerkat and Periscope: How to Engage Your Core Audience).

Falcon Social has mulled over these topics before from a few different angles. And it was great to hear what the digital leaders who spoke at the Shake-Up had to say on them. Here are a few more thoughts on the sometimes-complicated relationship between what we just decided to call the three C’s: content, community, and channels.

Adapting for community and channel—a multiplier effect

More and more brands are realizing the importance of better understanding their communities—their interests, their demographics, what they’re compelled to share most often—in order to create content that is better suited to them. They’re also getting better at learning the ins and outs of different networks, and how people, including their fans, use and share on them.

What brings the biggest success in terms of content marketing and social media—and which brands are still having some difficulty achieving—is getting a higher-level view of all of these things and optimizing them all at once.

Being able to do this means having a deep knowledge of the audience you’re trying to reach, and using that knowledge to craft outstanding content around the things they care about, that resonate with them on a personal level. And it means knowing what channels the group you want to reach is on, how people use them, their idiosyncrasies, and what kind of content gets shared there.

This is difficult to do, but for those who manage it, there is essentially a multiplier effect for how effective and engaging content will be.

How to get it right

An example that works well here would be (appropriately enough since they presented at the Social Shake-Up) AT&T. They’ve recently run a few campaigns targeted towards a millennial audience that have gotten really strong results across a range of channels.

The campaigns included @SummerBreak, a multichannel content campaign starring YouTube influencers like Ricky Dillon and Kian Lawley; The Mobile Movement, which was done in partnership with Vice, and which lives on Youtube and Tumblr; and It Can Wait—a campaign that aimed to prevent texting while driving.

They created content that took into consideration their audience, looking at their lives and building the campaigns around a topic that resonated on a personal level—their cell phones.

They went even further by working with content providers that truly spoke to their target—in this case, Vice.

And the campaigns unfolded across different channels, specifically adapted for maximum impact on many of them. The Mobile Movement Tumblr is very targeted towards the users of that network, full of GIFs and memes. It Can Wait aimed to reach the broadest possible audience, and set up for sharing on Facebook and Twitter. The Snapchat campaign showcased a group of teens in their last months of summer before college and it gained them over 44,000 followers, starting from nothing, in two months.

They had enough success with Snapchat that they will be creating an original content series exclusively on the network, a first for a brand.

Higher standards for content across channels

This is a high bar, to be sure, but, well, it’s not easy to get noticed in an environment that continues to get busier and busier with content. By knowing your community, really understanding the channels they are on, and creating content that’s optimized for both, your campaigns can have a greater impact and help build a stronger community, wherever you are.

We’d love to hear your thoughts about what brands can do to reach their communities across channels. Get in touch with us @FalconSocial or share your ideas in the comments!

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