Engagement is king

Just read a funny and thought-provoking piece on ragan.com about the often mindless, silly or inane postings that draw massive numbers of comments and other interactions in the social media world.  In the article, Steve Crescenzo suggests the axiom that “content is king” in the marketing and brand building arena is nonsense.

He has a point.  Just think about the goofy quizzes you see constantly on Facebook, for example.  The huge numbers of likes and comments make a clear case that intelligent, thoughtful content isn’t necessary to get a lot of attention.  Content is king?  Pffffff.  

So, if great content isn’t required, what is the king now? 

Look at the numbers.  Right now on Facebook, a list of “top ten spelling peeves” has almost 18,000 shares and more than 16,000 likes.   It’s silly and it’s pointless, but it’s also fun in a snarky sort of way.  And a funny meme about sex education has 1.2 million likes and 284,000 shares! 

Neither of these examples satisfies the marketer mantra that you simply must provide strategic, inspiring content.  But both – and there are countless other examples – are obviously engaging.  The numbers tell the tale.  Lots of people are enjoying this stuff enough to take some kind of action. They’re highly engaged.

No, content is not the king.  Engagement is the king.  Long live the king.   

–       Eric Whittington