Social Content Strategy

How #RunningDry grew from a campaign to a movement

The #RunningDry campaign got over 1.6 billion organic media impressions, including coverage from ABC, Bloomberg, CNN, The Times of India, Washington Post, Fox News and hundreds of others around the world. Here’s how we helped Mina Guli get her water saving message out to the world, to ensure #everydropcounts

The Taste Gap

The Taste Gap

So many of us get into social media because we admire the work of creatives in the field, the brilliant memes, the awe inspiring videos, the perspective altering tweets. But there’s a gap when we start. What we produce doesn’t live up to our own expectations. Ira Glass’ insights on the creative process remind us to push through the frustrating beginnings of creative work, and keep working until what we produce reflects our good taste

Cultural Cartography: how Buzzfeed organises their content

Cultural Cartography: how Buzzfeed organises their content

This changes the relationship between media and data. Most media companies think of media as "mine." How many fans do I have? How many followers have I gained? How many views have I gotten? How many unique IDs do I have in my data warehouse? But that misses the true value of data, which is that it's yours. If we can capture in data what really matters to you, and if we can understand more the role that our work plays in your actual life, the better content we can create for you, and the better that we can reach you

What is social currency? why do you need it, and how you get more of it.


You know what's cool? Social Currency is cool. Social Currency is what you have when you participate in a hot topic and contribute valuable discussion points. It's what you have when you discover some juicy gossip before anyone else. Social currency is knowing something that others want to know. It's relevance that you can exchange for benefits ranging from money to esteem to friendship and more. 

The paradox of social currency is that the more you share it, the more you have it. The trick is: it's time sensitive. You need to share your currency when people are most likely to find it interesting, and that is increasingly as it happens.

To see social currency in action, go to Twitter and have a look at the trending news topics. On every topic people are sharing memes and insights to the discussion. What do they get from it? Social Currency. But it doesn't spread evenly, here the Matthew Effect applies: "to those who have shall be given more"

Fashion is also a form of social currency. A look is hot for a small time, and if you get onto the trend early you benefit the most from it. Fashion through the lens of a sociologist is basically a conversation - it's showing that you're plugged into the stream of coolness and style. 

According to Wikipedia, the concept of social currency derives from Pierre Bourdieu's social capital theory and relates to increasing one's sense of community, granting access to information and knowledge, helping to form one's identity, and providing status and recognition.

Social Currency is one of the primary reasons why content spreads online. Jonah Berger, who has spent a decade investigating what makes things go viral, says there are 6 principles of virality (STEPPS):

  1. Social currency – we share what makes us look good.
  2. Triggers – we share what’s at the top of our minds.
  3. Emotion – we share what we care about.
  4. Public – we imitate what we see people around us are doing.
  5. Practical value – we share things that have value to others.
  6. Stories – We share stories, not information.

How do you get more of it? 

Gathering social currency is not just about sources of information, it is about your own skills and ability to make sense of the information you get and share it with panache. As with most things social, you need to develop momentum - developing habits and systems to feed you fresh insight, developing trusted sources, and growing your following as you interpret the info you get.  

Some practical tips: 

- participate in live events and conferences where thought-leaders and pioneers are speaking and attending. 

- curate your news feeds for relevant insight

- participate in Twitter trending topics and see how much traction you can get with your commentary. 

Why targeting a small audience can help you reach a larger audience online

By trying to appeal to everyone, you will end up appealing to no-one. A key principle when developing a campaign is that you identify a core inner-circle of people who are likely to respond to it and care about it. This takes courage and conviction. It means that in your messaging, in your creative concept, and in your targeting that you will exclude most of your potential audience, at least initially.