Last week’s LiNC 14 conference in San Francisco saw a lively debate about the development of brand identity through online social communities. Business leaders from well-known brands such as BuzzFeed, Sony and Telstra also spoke about how best to develop their social media strategies.
This year’s keynote speaker was the founder and CEO of news and entertainment website BuzzFeed, Jonah Peretti.
In his speech ‘How content travels’ Peretti declared that “social is bigger than search” when it comes to how people discover content. BuzzFeed is growing rapidly because of its ability to create highly shareable content, with 75% of BuzzFeed’s traffic coming from social media channels. BuzzFeed now receives 130 million monthly visitors.
Peretti claims that creating content with a strong emotional resonance for people is important if you want your content to be shared online. While some are quick to dismiss BuzzFeed’s content as too simplistic, with lists about celebrities or comedic topics, Peretti believes that many brands are now using similar tactics as they realise that this is the sort of content that people like to share.
“There’s so much humour on the social web because it makes people feel closer to other people they might not otherwise know” says Peretti. He added that some marketing strategies do not work online, for example the adage that ‘sex sells’ because “people don’t want to share content if it makes them seem sleazy.
“Part of the reason you share things is because you’re telling the world who you are – so a better approach for marketers is to think how can I make this content smarter, more social and more inspiring. That’s what people want to share.”