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It's a question you should ask yourself as a content creator before publishing. Anything. "Am I trying to add value or simply game an algorithm?"

If you can do both, great. That's the silver bullet in content. However, I would venture to say that gaming an algorithm shouldn't be your first priority.

But we can't add value if nobody sees it.

This is true, to a point. If you ignore something like an EdgeRank algorithm when posting Facebook content and you aren't driving actions like shares, likes and comments, your content will fall flat. Your content becomes that tree that fell in the forest but nobody was around to hear if it made a sound or not.

However, if you continually post content that doesn't add value, help your customer out or make their day better in some way, you'll fall short and completely miss the mark with social in the long run. There won't be an obvious connection between your content and your brand when a user is flying through their newsfeed on their mobile app. You'll just be another dime-a-dozen brand using gimmicky content to drive cheap engagement and very little in fruitful results or insights around your fan base.

Your page becomes nothing more than what link farm web pages were to Google searches.

A Local Case Study

If you were to take a look at these posts, what would you say they were offering? Could you identify the brand?

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Probably not right. The posts belong to a local hotspot here in Atlanta. The venue is a "live, eat and play" type of environment that includes nightlife, tons of shopping, movie theaters, community events and even residential options if you never want to drive your car again. It's a place literally swarming with awesome content fodder every single day.

In my opinion, a more applicable content strategy would include live photos of people shopping, activities, new release trailers  for movies coming to their theater,  coupons, trivia about the venue itself (visitors per year, celebrities, movies filmed etc) and even posts that answer frequently asked questions about their spot. You'd want to show off your venue and offer a virtual experience that would compel people to stop by.

To this venue's credit, they do a good job engaging in real-time on Twitter. They retweet positive experiences and do some on-the-fly customer support. However, the above Facebook posts are proof that they're more about driving eyeballs than providing a valuable extension of their brand.

Could switching their content strategy hurt their PTAT numbers? Possibly. However, Facebook has provided a way in Promoted Posts to drive eyeballs when you need them most.

Know your brand. Then get social.

The best social content strategy is one that is customer-centric and not so much brand centric. It's less "look at me" and more "what can I do for you?" For some brands (like Old Spice for example) it does mean providing humorous content. For others, it should mean something completely different.

Knowing your brand identity, who you are (and what you're not) and having a specific purpose for channel execution is the foundation for a successful social media - or any marketing - endeavor.

It also helps you avoid silly PR mistakes like these, as documented in full by @laurenkgray. 

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