Monday, February 4, 2013

Content drives the conversation bus

Image Source:

It is a debate almost as old as the chicken and the egg argument. Which came first – the content or the conversation?

Content, according to Merriam-Webster, comprises the terms substance, gist, meaning, significance. Conversation is the exchange – verbal or written – of content. Without content, a conversation is nothing more than meaningless drivel coming out of one’s mouth - or keyboard – with no thought behind it and an inability to engage others.

In the world of social media, content, or should I say, good content, drives the conversation bus. It is more than just saying something. It is having something interesting to say and then engaging with others who respond to what you have shared. 

In a great article about conversation and content, Catherine Novak states

‘I had cornflakes for breakfast’ is not likely to generate any sort of conversation beyond ‘Me too,’ or ‘Yeah, so?’ But…’Oh shoot, the ferret I’m babysitting just jumped in my cornflakes!!’ conveys a bunch of conversation starters…it has action, emotion, and personal experience, and those are the key ingredients to starting a conversation.

What Novak describes with her second example of the ferret jumping in her cornflakes is a perfect example of content. It has action, emotion, substance, significance. The first sentence had no significant thought or emotion behind it. So, which is likely to garner more social interaction? Without good content, there is no – or next to little – conversation.

Why is good, solid content important in the world of social media? As Jeff Bullas states, “Creating the best possible experience for users comes down to the key element of quality content creation. That one activity alone will make a major difference in pushing your website and blog higher in search results” (2012).

Why Good Content is Key

Google continues to revamp its search engine formula in the pursuit of delivering the most accurate and relevant results to its users. What this means is that, according to Google, “Search is a complicated and evolving art and science, so rather than focusing on specific algorithmic tweaks, we encourage you to focus on delivering the best possible experience for users."
What this means, essentially, is that Google is weeding out sites with low-quality content in favor of sites with good, substantial, and significant content for its consumers. And, yes, Google is as concerned about creating quality content (i.e. relevant search results) for its consumers as Starbucks is about making a great latte.

This infographic provides a great visual of how SEO and quality content work together:
Image Source:

In the world of social media, great content is going to stand out from the rest. It is going to be found by Google and it is going to rank high in search engine results. More than just telling people what you had for breakfast, create compelling content that sparks engaging conversation. Do this, and you will have people clamoring for more – and isn’t that your goal?


No comments:

Post a Comment