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Unbundling Media: Why Microcontent Is the Future of Social Sharing

MONDAY, JUNE 3, 2013 6:54 PM GMT
There seems to be a strong inverse correlation between the use of social media and users' attention spans: as social media becomes more popular, people are less willing to spend a lot of time reading long form content. Therefore, one might conclude that the obvious answer to this dilemma is to shorten your content, otherwise known as "microcontent."

Microcontent can also be thought of as unbundled media, or content that can be broken down and shared as comments, tweets, microblog posts, etc. For example, a blog may highlight five statistics by allowing you to tweet each individual stat as a stand-alone piece of content.

While this method is great for reaching people with shorter attention spans, how can microcontent help expand the reach of your social media engagement strategy and referral program?

Microcontent allows you to be more targeted in how you tailor your content to a specific audience. As many social media strategists know, not every piece of content is relevant to a potential customer. Giving people the opportunity to read and share only what's relevant to them will bring about more engagement with your social media strategy and ultimately build a stronger referral program.

Think of it like an elevator pitch: You have 10 seconds to share about the value of your product and brand with a potential customer. By unbundling your media, you'll have as many 10-second snippets as you need to reach a number of different customer segments. And any brand ambassadors who are already engaged will be able to share a referral link alongside their tweets or posts, resulting in a one-two punch of brand awareness and referred customers.

So now that you understand the value of using microcontent, how can you leverage it as part of your social media strategy?

For one, you can create a small visual to accompany a blog post--perhaps a sharable graphic or microvideo. Up-and-coming services like Vine allow you to create a six-second video that's perfect for sharing. And when such a video is accompanied by a longer blog post, you'll get increased social engagement and the benefit of search engine optimization.

Sharable graphics work great for social media sites such as Tumblr and Pinterest, two networks that are huge sources of referrals for online brands. And smaller bits of content will give you more engagement opportunities on microblogging sites such as Twitter.

Online content may be shrinking in size, but opportunities to leverage social media for referred customers are definitely growing.

Is microcontent part of your social media marketing strategy?

This post originally appeared on the Ambassador blog

Valiant Lowitz

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