Is your brand oversharing?

Sharing, sharing, sharing. It’s all the rage right now among brands that have discovered the power of social media and what it can do for them. But is there such a thing as oversharing? Can a brand become too active in social media channels for its own good? Can this harm any bond that has been made between consumer and brand?

Author, speaker and social media consultant C.C. Chapman weighs in on that dilemma: “Everyone assumes there is a magic formula to answer this question and the truth is that there isn’t. I have years of experience developing award-winning content for clients and for myself and the one thing I know is that if it is one piece of content or a million, it doesn’t matter if it does not create an emotional response from your hoped-for audience. If what is created doesn’t educate, entertain or inspire them, then nothing else matters.”

And so it would seem, oversharing is relative and to be determined based on a individual situations in which the brand participates – as well as how that content connects with a brand’s audience. A slippery slope of sorts.

A couple weeks ago, Gary Vaynerchuk, the personal brand behind brand consultancy VaynerMedia and online wine connoisseur, announced he had hired a person to shadow him, essentially sharing relevant personal and corporate information to both his personal and corporate followers on social media.

Vaynerchuk believes this concept will become commonplace because brands simply aren’t sharing enough content with their fans and followers. He believes “the top one to five percent of executives and social media personalities in the next few years will have full-time content people around them. There are going to be 500 to 5000 people at this time next year who employ a full-time content person.”

While Gary is most certainly a well-known brand, he’s a personal brand. So what about corporate brands? Let’s take a look at the biggest advertising event of the year which just happens to have taken place this month. Perhaps you’ve heard of it: Cannes Lions held in Cannes, France. It’s where all the agencies and marketers go every year to soak up the sun and pat each other on the back for producing stellar creative.

And while everyone in the advertising industry wishes they could go, they can’t. Thankfully, though, through social media, we all can be there right on La Croisette just as if we were there physically. OK, so it’s far from the same thing but one advertising agency, Ogilvy, made a big name for itself during the week with a social media army sharing every last little detail about the festival.

Normally, sharing of this kind might fall into the oversharing category. But to Chapman’s point, it depends on the situation; for one week each year, the only thing the advertising community cares about is Cannes. There is no such thing as oversharing in this case. In fact, Ogilvy has been lauded for its coverage of the event, topping many charts assessing such things.

How does this sort of sharing benefit a brand like Ogilvy in this particular situation? Ogilvy is seen as an expert, an ever-vigilant and dependable source of information to a voracious audience, many of whom could most certainly become clients of the agency.

While content certainly is king and is the underpinning of every well-oiled content marketing/inbound marketing/marketing automation (choose your term) effort, brands must be able to quickly take the temperature of any given situation and gauge its followers’ need for information. Additionally, simply asking your customers and followers can glean insight into the type and quantity of content they would like to see. Query your blog readers. Survey your subscribers. Ping the leads in your pipeline.

So is there such a thing as oversharing? Your followers will let you know. But be sure to listen to them.

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Post by Steve Hall

Steve Hall is a marketing professional, publisher, writer, community manager, photographer and all-around lover of advertising. Steve has held management positions in media and account service at Leo Burnett, Starcom/Mediavest and others, working on such accounts as Reebok, Marriott, and Marshmallow Fluff.