We don’t need more content. We need content that does more.

more content more problems

We have laptops, tablets, smartphones, e-readers, and new devices keep emerging. We are connected, and we use our devices to go online. Mobile devices and Web 2.0 technologies are here to stay. Hurley and Hea mention that this phenomenon has “allowed for more user interaction, especially opportunities for user-generated content.”

Social media cannot be controlled, it can only be prepared for. Because we have so many devices, we have an enormous amount of social media content, and the content is everywhere: LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Klout, Tumblr. For a technical communicator to be successful with social media, the authors state that he/she must “engage with” (be proactive), “rather than merely respond to” (be reactive).

Last year, I attended the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive festival in Austin, and I noticed a common theme in social media: the importance of content strategy. We don’t need more content; we have plenty of it. We need content that does more. This is exactly what Hurley and Hea mean when they claim that social media use in professional contexts results in “the potential to promote active engagement, encourage people to work in groups, provide opportunities for feedback from a wide audience, and connect people to others who are knowledgeable in a host of areas.”

Similar to the principles of good writing, a good content strategy for social media is about having clarity, purpose, and focus. The first step in getting there is to perform a content audit.


Once we perform a content audit, we can create a social media strategy. The strategy can also include calls to action (back to our website/app/product/experience) that enable us to engage with our users and to get feedback. Participating in social media isn’t enough, we must have a plan in place as to how we are going to use it.

An important thing to remember about social media is that it’s not about being a superhero nor a mastermind. Ideas can come from anyone, and the more participation, the better the result. Hurley and Hea summarize it best by saying that technical communicators can “become an effective peer … one who provides the right information at the right place and at the right time.”

About peahleah

Youngest of four, left home at 17, traveled the country, and wound up in Austin.

Posted on September 14, 2014, in mobile, Social Media, Society, Workplace and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Excellent post–can you tell me more about the SXSW experience and how you saw content strategy in action?

  2. SXSW Interactive Festival was the best community event I’ve ever attended. There were hundreds of activities scheduled over five days: panels, keynotes, hackathons, book readings, meet ups, extended workshops, pitch events, mentor sessions. There was an entire track for Content & Distribution. Some of my favorite were https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gz8r4eL6wmA&list=PLXs_3rGeYdIk0oDYKf8cw-YJJUk7BTW6-&index=26 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1eg-2yHk4c&list=PLXs_3rGeYdIk0oDYKf8cw-YJJUk7BTW6-&index=19 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiHiyF7Tza8&index=5&list=PLXs_3rGeYdIk0oDYKf8cw-YJJUk7BTW6-

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