A Scenic Tour of the Online World

For Content Marketers, It’s the Network in Social Network That Matters

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Recently, Van Cleef & Arpels, the high-end jeweler, announced the launch of a new Flipboard-based magazine. This is a fantastic example of understanding that the power of your brand, no matter how strong, may not be enough to overcome human nature.

It’s human nature to go where the action is and to go where we’ve gone before. It’s why families who might never eat at McDonalds at home will stop at the Golden Arches when driving cross-country to Grandma’s for the holidays. It may not be great – or even close – but it’s no risk. No surprises in the form of disgusting bathrooms.

I don’t expect that the bathrooms on your blog are anything less than pristine – and people aren’t avoiding your blog for that or any other reason. But they are already on Flipboard and they know they won’t be surprised in the form of bad content and wasted time.

Rather than fighting this reality by launching their own magazine, which certainly seems within their budget, Van Cleef & Arpels wisely chose to go where their audience already is gathering. And where it’s easier to reach new audience members.

The corollary to this is recognizing that even if your blog or email newsletter carry enough brand weight to generate an audience on its own, that audience will undoubtedly be much larger if you connect the content you generate “locally” with the more “global” audience you can achieve on an existing social network.

For many marketers, this throws the “let’s do social media” trope on its head. The goal shouldn’t be to “do” social media, but to use social media. It’s the content that holds the power. Social media’s network effect is how you amplify it.

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