TUESDAY 16 OCT 2018 12:17 PM


A nominee for the 2018 Digital Impact Awards, Mosquito Digital focuses on optimising social media content to make a real impact. Anthony Diver shares his thoughts

We all do it. The lucky ones have certainly done it and stopped before it became an all-consuming part of their new digital life. But for the rest of us, scrolling infinitely on social feeds, lapping up what a complete stranger has eaten for their tea, how a vague acquaintance or friend (twice-removed) has just had the best time of their lives…and you're not invited. Drooling over the charmed life of a celeb, only to find a mass omnichannel marketing strategy has just scored more KPI points with your ‘like and follow.’ The desire to know what's going on, the curiosity, the dopamine and serotonin oozing as your brain is filled with (mostly) inane content, filling an infinite void of the voyeuristic, curious and downright nosey in all of us.

Conversely, we’re finding ourselves in a loop of wanting more and wanting the general public to spot you and consume your digital life. Until the social feed grows, you’ll have the same problem as everyone else; a cluttered feed of dribble we feed on day in and day out. With every swipe, your brain devotes nanoseconds to each post as you scroll, until something catches your eye.

When a message needs reach, there is a default, two-pronged attack. A slog of content is created in the hope a miraculous algorithm u-turn. Favouring organic content happens overnight seeing your reach heading north. Or you convince your clients (or yourself) a slug of cash is to be thrown at paid media. In fairness, a balance of both isn’t a bad idea, but a wider creative strategy encompassing all media touchpoints may put you in a better place.

But for the social-centric brand, or a challenger brand with a fraction of the category leader’s budget, how else can you stand out in the scroll?

One option, with which we have seen continual success is the concept of not thinking ‘digital.’ Digital is a channel, just like print is; it’s purely something that empowers you to communicate. It’s unfortunately not the ‘field of dreams’ where being digital will solve your objectives instantly. Perhaps nurturing you or your brand’s digital life through the fuel of real life could be the answer. It’s not just a meaningless digital product shot with no relevance, an overly posed photograph or credulous crafted copy. The audience knows what’s good and has seen enough to know when it’s not. Stories that connect people are key.

Perhaps, simple human emotion is what we need to think of first. Remember it is humans on the other side too, pressing their limited emotional feedback buttons. Emotion and great storytelling release that hit of dopamine and serotonin, which is what got us in this habitual scrolling mess in the first place. Move your audience, be relevant and contextual in your antics. Maybe make them laugh; but maybe go deeper.

Rich social content can create huge impact, and sometimes gleam from an algorithm update too. Plan, test the ideas and roll out great content that is richer than that of your competitors. Varying production values, both authentic low-fi and slick high production have their place. Subject matter is often forgotten about. Find your voice, be inclusive rather than always wanting to own the next PR ‘world day,’ which is now so hackneyed, cluttered and crow-barred to fit a brand’s proposition. Why go it alone? Be less antisocial, be more inclusive and join in; be truly human and be social.

If you have relevance, you can go much deeper than just a quick hit. Stand for something that matters, speak out or grant public access into your private world. Allow people to be there with you every step of the way. Using other channels, including your army of influencers, brand partners or press release to help loop people directly back to your manicured social feed.

A regular social pulse can keep you front of mind, but get it just right so your content can breathe and not flood the scroll. Push the best performing posts through paid media to amplify, but only when it shows promise to stop you throwing endless cash at it.

Next time you have the challenge to stand out, stand back first. Take a breath and ask yourself, why would someone want to know about your brand? Take a risk and do something different and maybe, just maybe with more validity and substance you’ll see a better result.

Anthony Diver is the managing and creative director of Mosquito Digital