Sahail Ashraf posted on 13 July 2016
Social media is meant to be quick and easy to digest. And when social media works on a spontaneous level, with stuff that just comes out of nowhere, it can cause the content to become (wait for it) viral.
Viral content has been the Holy Grail for social media content creators for years, and being spontaneous seems to be one of the few ways in which truly viral content can be unleashed. If you could only just find quick, spontaneous content that surprises and intrigues everyone. Can it be done?
Well, like the most spontaneous things in life, an element of planning has to be there. You have to be in the right place to be able to create spontaneous content.
While this does not mean heavy, extensive planning (kind of defeats the point), you still have to be aware of and manage a few approaches to make sure that spontaneity is natural and effective.
We’re glad you asked because it isn’t that simple. Spontaneous content is stuff that is literally produced in the moment, as a reaction to events or other kind of news. The opposite of spontaneous content is the stuff that you create on a regular basis, the planned stuff that you are hoping will have a certain kind of impact. So let’s think about that for a moment.
Watching the football and creating a meme for your Facebook feed that references a goal that was scored ten minutes ago is spontaneous. Watching the football and planning a piece of content that looks at the history of the two teams and their rivalry and then creating a series of tweets, that’s as planned as you could be.
This is the key question. Creating spontaneous content takes a hell of a lot of planning and preparation. You need to get a few things in place before you get the chance to legitimately create ‘in the moment’ stuff.
Your best bet is to focus on one platform, one that is known for its instant, easy to access approach. There’s only one real platform that has the conditions for true spontaneousness, and that platform is Twitter. Getting started here at mastering this platform is a surefire way to set up a system whereby you routinely create spontaneous content.
Begin with a basic and clear approach. What you need to do is ensure that you know who the best creators of content are on your team. We’re talking the best guys and girls when it comes to tweets. This is because you need to have someone who can create high quality content very quickly.
Find your best people and run them through a few tests. Grab a news item for the day, for example, and give them a target of creating three high quality tweets that are designed to engage, on that topic. Give them ten minutes. If they are producing Twitter gold, you’re looking at the guys you can use to start off your spontaneous approach.
It’s this focus on getting the very best hands on the job that really helps in the long run. We’re not talking about setting up a task force, a team designed to jump on any news item that crops up, but by preparing the right people to be ready for any kind of opportunity, you have the best chance of getting the best, most current content out there. And when you’re looking for spontaneous content, this is the easiest way to ensure it is quality content too. Spontaneous doesn’t win because it’s quick, it wins because it’s quick and good.
Using the information on your competitors is one of the very best ways to grab a lead on the latest content ideas, and to also ensure that you get there first when a big event comes up.
You can see what they are publishing and start preparing content that hits the right buttons a little further down the road. If you can see that your competition is working hard on what looks like a story or event that is upcoming, you can jump on that and cheat a little. It’s not really cheating either. It’s just you being totally aware of what is happening in your industry.
Top Tip: Wouldn’t it be great to know when your competitors are going to post, and then to be able to post before they do? No worries, we have it covered. Take a look at the new Locowise, with one of the key feature including the ability to do just that.
The biggest problem with social media content for a brand is approval. Waiting for your CEO to approve the content you are producing is not going to help when you are trying to be spontaneous.
So create a system whereby you create content that is as fresh as possible every day. This will cut down the approval process because the process itself will be quicker. This means that when you hit that golden moment where you know you have something that needs to burst out of the gates, you aren’t facing hours of waiting while your boss decides whether or not you can publish.
Sounds silly, but if you can’t publish spontaneous content due to red tape, you’re on a losing course.
This kind of links to our earlier point about making sure the very best people are on the job. One of the best ways you can effectively plan for high quality spontaneous content is to ensure that you are always producing good content. This makes it easier for your brand to simply get in the right mindset when an event or moment comes along.
If your team is just used to doing its very best, and that is part of the culture of your brand, then you will simply be able to spot good opportunities and dress it up in your brand style a lot easier.
It’s all about establishing that culture. This can take time, but the better your content overall, the better the spontaneous stuff.
If you’re able to keep an eye on what is trending in your industry, you’re in the best place possible.
We can help out a little here, with our ability to see what hashtags are used the most and engaged with the most in your area.
By jumping on top of this as soon as you see anything that could be unique or ‘buzzworthy’ you are able to create content that is spontaneous.
Take a look at what is going on and what people are publishing and see what topics you need to be blowing up, and when.
It’s also really important to remember about the time you post. This is because the time you post is vital to ensure it reaches your audience. While it’s great to go viral and hit a million new people in a minute (or something like that), servicing your audience at the time they are present is a surefire way to keep engagement high.
And if you are ready to be spontaneous at the right times of the day and week, a wonderful synergy will develop. If you know that you should post at seven o’clock on a Thursday, for example, then be sure to keep an eye on the news at that time. It just allows you to ‘be spontaneous’ and reach your audience on full blast.
This is again a part of planning, and it shows how you can prepare to be seen, and also be quick off the mark. Work out when your best times to post are, and then hit them with crazy new stuff at this time.
If we were to really hone in on the best way to become spontaneous on social, it would be the ability to have a team at the ready, and able to jump with quality content when the moment strikes. This requires good content as your ‘way of doing things’. It also requires you telling your best people to be ready and giving them practise in creating high quality content.
This way, you get spontaneous, in a carefully planned way.