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Bad Content... or No Content at All?

Last week, I ran a poll on my Facebook page on whether you thought bad content was better than no content at all. I wasn't too surprised from the response - 26% believed bad content was better than producing no content at all. In the land where content is king, which is the right answer? In my opinion, NO content is better.

Firstly, let me say that one opinion is never a definite. There are plenty of solid social media presences that go against my opinion on this, so just keep in mind - it's all about YOU, your audience, your brand, your voice and your intentions.

Let's identify BAD content.

  • Irrelevant - If the content you're posting has nothing to do with your product, service, or brand, it shouldn't be posted. Every once in a while, throwing in a 'what's your favorite ice cream?' or 'what is your favorite holiday movie?' to provide some engagement is permissible, but try your best to work it into something brand related. For example, if your CEO loves Christmas movies, it makes sense to say "Our CEO is notorious for her love of Holiday movies! Tell us - which is your favorite?" - this ties it into the brand, making the content personal and relevant.

  • Too technical/over your reader's head - Remember, you should write to your readers at a 6th - 8th grade reading level, to make it palatable for your audience members. Even other experts want to read things that are simplified, not over-technical with details. Also, skip using any industry acronyms unless you're speaking specifically to industry professionals who would know what it means.

  • Link-Spamming - Just finding links to articles, blogs etc that are related to your industry and brand and constantly sharing those links provides very little value, and negatively impacts your appearance as an industry leader. Keep this to once a week at a maximum, ideally 2-3 times a month. Even better - consider adding a blog to help with your SEO and your credibility status. Better yet? Get ahead of the game and start vlogging.

  • Full of spelling/grammatical errors - Spelling and grammatical errors happen, and don't need to be a huge deal. But take the time to review and fix as much as you can, particularly spelling and heavy run-on sentences. Remember: you want your content to be easy to read and palatable to your audience. You may lose them if it's too hard to read due to spelling or excessive grammatical errors.

  • Closed-ended - If your content is constantly just spouting information at people with no need for them to interact with you, leave their opinion, or answer a question, you should work on the balance. Engagement is hugely important for many reasons, and you have to know how to initiate it to succeed.

Running BAD content puts you at risk for losing your audience in a few ways:

  • They may hide your content - this goes against you in the algorithms, and tells the platform that they want to see less of your content overall.

  • They unlike or unfollow - you lose followers because they can't make sense of the content and don't see the value in following.

  • They don't take you seriously - you can lose your credibility as an industry leader.

The truth is I'd rather you put up LESS content overall than provide the content under the BAD list above. Again - there is no one-size-fits-all approach to social media, and you have to know what makes sense to your audience, but that's part of the fun in creating a strategy. Narrow down what is important to you and your audience and clarify what content you can provide them to help build their trust, set you up as an industry leader, give a professional appearance, and keep you up with (or ideally - ahead of) the trends so that you continue to stay relevant for years to come.

Three words to sum up: Quality over quantity.

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