I like looking back at the past, on my work as a columnist, blogger and advocate. The challenge here is going through what needs improvement in 2018. It encourages me to make goals for 2019.
While most call it their New Year’s resolutions, I prefer to call it “New Year Goals.” These goals are something I need to delve in and figure what I want to take place in my life next year.
Goals give our life direction. While I have personal goals, I also have a wish list for Filipino social media users and practitioners that requires goal-setting:
1. Create more content. Everyone needs to be truth-tellers.
The time for truth is always now. In this age of misinformation, disinformation and viral deception, a call for more writers is needed. More than fact-checking, we need truth tellers. Lies travel faster than the truth. When you don’t call out the lies, you are contributing to the disinformation. By not speaking up, you are allowing the lie to spread.
It is a problem to keep the lies alive, though. “An image…becomes all the more interesting with our every effort to debunk it,” historian Daniel Boorstin wrote of America’s burgeoning media culture in 1961. It is imperative that bloggers learn to write more than ever now, so these lies don’t take center stage. Write long-form content and share it on your social networks. One must learn to write well. Learn writing techniques. On BlogWatch (blogwatch. tv), you can read more on “The 8 C-crets to responsible blogging and engagement.” These are create, crowdsource, curate, call to action, check (for accuracy), correct, collaborate and courtesy.
Crafting more content applies to brands, too. Post relevant stories that offer potential customers with a reason to engage with you on your social media platforms. Content provides your potential buyers with information to make informed decisions.
2. Go beyond Facebook for long-form content.
Facebook is convenient, as it helps us connect with friends and loved ones. The problem with it is that it can remove your content for “violating” community standards. For instance, a teacher exposed the abusive acts of a person in authority. He was not promoting it, but only calling attention to the abuse. Facebook removed his post for violating the policies on bullying. How did Facebook decide on that? Context is important. Bullying is when a powerful one harasses and intimidates someone weaker. In the teacher’s case, it was the policeman who bullied and harassed him. He was only resisting and exposing the law enforcer’s acts. It is time to replace or concentrate on personal websites or blogs, instead of Facebook, as the main platform.
Build your own brand and host your own cornerstone (big picture, complex idea) content pieces. One can share smaller pieces of the long-form content to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or even Instagram. When your audience wants to read more, the main post gives details. An example is creating an infographic or short video clip on your cornerstone content for Twitter users. A mix of content types and lengths to share on social media is something one can use for 2019.
3. When crafting your social media strategy and choosing the right channels, please consider blogs.
YoshkeDimen, a fellow blogger, called on digital markerters to collaborate with bloggers in 2016. It holds true for 2019. For the past few years, most digital marketers only involve our social media accounts — mostly Instagram and Facebook — to create hype. They do not consider blog posts. “Hype is good, but also consider shelf life,” says Yoshke.
You create hype for your product through an Instagram hashtag or Twitter trend. Digital marketers want to generate interest and get people talking. Your audience will still need more information, something that short-form content can’t deliver. They will Google it and chances are, they will end up in the blogosphere. Guess who’s not in it — you. Instagram and Facebook posts have a lifespan of three days, if you’re lucky. If you pick the wrong influencers, that lifespan would only last hours. Blog posts continue to generate traffic even after the hype is over. Blogs are highly searchable and great for sustaining campaigns. Social media come and go, but blogs will be here for a long time.
4. Read beyond a compelling headline.
Here is an interesting statistic I learned from CopyBlogger: “On average, eight out of 10 people will read your headline copy, but only two out of 10 will read the rest.” This is dangerous if a headline strikes you as so outrageous that you want to tell your buddies about it. When this happens, take a quick pause; it might be fake. You can do your homework by inspecting the source of the story. Is it from a credible media organization? If you see something that looks not real or not credible, be skeptical of it. The website gets increased traffic through click-bait headlines. These websites offer low-quality content as part of efforts to maximize earnings. Conduct further research and find out if it’s real or not.
2019 looms before us like another chapter in a book just waiting to be written. You can help write that story. This quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi—“Be the change you wish to see in the world”—says it all.