Whether it be Facebook, Twitter or YouTube content is king. There are major discussions on the net about this topic and I wanted to give my two cents worth with some do's and a few don'ts. 

Your content must have the same style, flavour and colour.  Avid fans of your brand on Facebook can tell when there is another member of the company speaking on their behalf.  Your content needs to follow your brand strategy like a script and a movie.

On a personal note on the subject of Twitter; nothing puts me off more than receiving the same article of the day regurgitated and shoved down my throat not once, but 5 times from different tweeps.  Retweeting an article or a blog if your brand is mentioned is one thing, but retweeting for the hell of it makes you look desperate.  If you don't have anything to say, don't say anything at all. 

As was mentioned at the iStrategy conference by Microsoft Australia - Bruno Fiorentini, JR there are some companies that just shouldn't be in social media because of the business they are in. eg. Manufacturing specialized parts for washing machines or babies diapers.

Major global brands have a difficult time in connecting with the public on a personal level because they have lost the human aspect of what the company started out as.   The ability for consumers to connect a brand to the owners who built the company from scratch is not there in most cases.  So what do these companies do to build a platform for them to speak from?

In large corporations they can incentivize/buy the exposure for their brand globally by having second and third tier businesses talking about and selling their products on promotion on their behalf.  Another way is to out right pay for the naming rights to events which then creates a platform for the company to then create content to plug to consumers through the many channels. Naming rights and product placement are big business eg.  Countdown supermarket and New Zealand's Top Chef.

Campaigns are also hot at the moment with companies creating competitions across various channels to try and get consumers to engage with them.  

When I worked for Allied Domecq; the marketing division would have their annual road show through the country presenting the latest packaging and the new brands.  At the end of the "Bensen Block" Wine brand presentation we asked the marketing managers, "What is the story behind this brand?"  Our buyers and consumers want the story, they want to feel connected with the brand, they want to know that the brand has life.  As a result the following week when I posed the questions in an email there was no story given in reply to my question. 

Large companies have created social network sites that they sponsor to allow the public to communicate in what consumers see in some cases as their own network, even though the website was created and is being administered by the said sponsored company.  This is a great way for for companies to allow consumers to create the content in most cases for free for them.

In my opinion the same applies also for Facebook and YouTube in much the same way.  Facebook business pages may only speak to consumers in regards to campaigns/competitions or product questions, but can consumers make that connection between reality and the brand?  I say YES and NO!   Facebook is a personal social platform and for me whether it be a TV commercial, a tweet or a Facebook post, if there is no human connection behind these posts then they all ring hollow to me. 

What I think technology is doing is allowing consumers to have a voice and it allows them to communicate with the people behind a brand directly about their brand.  So who are they communicating with?  An outsourced company or a junior within the company that has been given the responsibility for managing the digital channels?  The person who created the rich content also needs to be the person who is the communicator, this is vital for continuity of the message.

YouTube is full of corporate videos with an employee stuck in front of a camera presenting the latest product.  In any given genre they lack integrity because there is no true connection.  Don't you think these types of promotions and media channels hurt brands? Are the public that naive that they accept what is presented to them and just believe?  Familiarity with a brand goes a long way for people buying a brand whether they really like it or not.  

Telling your company story, telling your philosophy, creating rich content carries more weight.  How can your company be an authority on something, on itself when the person no longer exists or isn't connected with the brand any more, without misleading or down right lying to consumers.

Use a mind map to come up with messages that you can use to create rich content.  As mentioned in a previous blog, your brand should have a style, a persona that represents you.  Your content you create should speak to this.  Any comments on this are most welcome.