Highly Engaged Users: Content Fatigue

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The amount of social platforms available to businesses today is staggering. At times it can be hard to keep up — so Vine is out, but Snapchat is still a thing, right? Is anyone using Facebook Stories? — and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Trying to reach different groups of customers by using multiple platforms is a common strategy, but at what point is this unhelpful, or even off-putting, to a customer?

For example, consider a hypothetical scenario in which you follow your favorite local restaurant on:

  • Facebook

  • Instagram

  • Twitter

  • Email list

  • Text list

Following these channels keeps you up to date with what specials they are running and upcoming events in the restaurant, but it also means that your phone lights up with 3-5 notifications every time they reach out. Furthermore, each notification tends contains the same information, which may lead you to unsubscribe from one or more of these services in order to avoid repeating information.

The issue here is that businesses are attempting to relieve their platform fatigue by sending out the same information on every channel. This simplifies the process on their side, perhaps, but consumers are bored and bothered to receive the same information via multiple channels simultaneously.

So what is a business to do? Here are some solutions to keep social marketing content relevant and engaging:

  1. Stagger content across platforms. In our restaurant example, the business often posts the same content on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at the same time. If they had a list of content at the start of each week/month/quarter, then they could set these to post at different times on each platform. This way the user is reminded by multiple touches throughout the time period, instead of all at once. Note that this works for general information, such as upcoming events or calls for catering, but would not work for reminders about a daily special on that day. In this case, the restaurant would need to plan ahead: if the restaurant had a special to promote on Wednesday, a different special to promote on Thursday, and an event on Saturday, they could post about each of these on any day leading up to them, as long as they only posted about each item on one platform that day.

  2. Avoid posting similar content to multiple places. Receiving a text, an email, and a post on all social channels with repeating content can be frustrating for a consumer. Instead, businesses can easily choose one social platform and one direct platform to use for each piece of information they send out. Seeing the same information on one social channel and in one email, for example, would be far less overwhelming. The downside, however, is that businesses may miss users that only follow them on a single platform.

  3. Identify highly engaged users. Use list matching to discover which user are following you on multiple platforms. Also, have users self-select themselves as VIP consumers. Once segmented, this audience can become a group that receives early notifications, exclusive promotions, and can potentially become brand ambassadors.

Utilizing direct and social platforms can seem complex, but the solution isn’t to treat every platform the same — spamming consumers with the same information on every channel is a recipe for unfollows and unsubscribes. A little planning goes a long way, however, and being selective about when and where you post will keep content relevant and generate more user engagement.