First published at Sunday Times & IT on December 30, 2018
I like looking back at the past, on my work as a columnist, blogger and advocate. The challenge is going through what needs improvement in 2018. It encourages me to plan 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 within and figure what I want to take place in my life next year. Goals give our life direction. While I have personal goals, I likewise have a wish list for the Filipino social media users and practitioners that requires goal setting. Here is my wish list.
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 call for more 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 problematic to keep the lies alive though. “An image … becomes all the more interesting with our every effort to debunk it,” the historian Daniel Boorstin wrote in 1961 of America’s burgeoning media culture. It is imperative that bloggers learn to write more than ever now so these lies don’t take center stage. Write in long form content and share it on your social networks. A social media user at a recent iBlog Conference asked but what is the truth? One must learn to write well. Learn the techniques in writing. On BlogWatch (blogwatch. tv), you can read more on “The 8 C-crets to responsible blogging and engagement”. Eight tips to responsible blogging to be credible truth tellers include: Create, CrowdSource, Curate, Call to action, Check (accuracy), Correct, Collaborate and Courtesy.
Crafting more content applies to brands, too. Post relevant stories that offer your 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 to friends and loved ones. The problem with Facebook is they can remove your content for violating community standards. For instance, a teacher exposed the acts of a person in authority. He was not promoting it but called attention to the abuse. Facebook removed the post for violating the policies on bullying. How did Facebook decide the violation is bullying? 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 them. They were only resisting and exposing them for their 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 the twitter user. A mix of content types and lengths to share on social media is a strategy one can use for 2019.
3. When crafting your social media strategy and choosing the right channels, please consider blogs.
Yoshke Dimen, a fellow blogger called on digital markerters to collaborate with bloggers in 2016. It holds true for 2019 and more years to come. Over the past 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, get people’s attention, get them 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, it is just a matter of 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, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline copy, but only 2 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 well be fake. You can do your homework by inspecting the source of the news story. Is it a credible media organization? If you see something that looks not real, not credible, be skeptical of it. Website gets increased traffic through click-bait headlines. These websites offer low-quality content in a pursuit to maximize earnings. Conduct further research and find out if it’s real or not.
The year 2019 looms before us like another chapter in a book just waiting to be written. You can help write that story. This quote credited to Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world” says it all.