The Value of Broadcasting

After last week’s post on using longer format social media channels for insight, we started hearing from our clients.  What is broadcasting, and should we be encouraging it?

First, a definition on “broadcasting” from a social media perspective -

Broadcasting is the act of redistributing content without the addition of incremental value.

It is sharing with the least possible effort, and Brian Solis recently wrote a thought provoking article about the balance needed between creation and consumption that can perhaps get the juices flowing.

So then is this really valuable to the enterprise,especially if it is basically just passing along a message?  As we look to our clients, there is clearly a benefit to having fans, followers and customers who “broadcast” content about a company.  Granted, the value of that shared content becomes more valuable when someone adds their own ideas and thoughts to it, but increasing the conversation volume around your company, product and service can only help raise the visibility of the brand across the web.

The other great thing about broadcasting from an enterprise perspective is that content created by bloggers or evangelists is generally positive or optimistic in tone.  Except for the occasions where there is a PR crisis or a set of complaints, broadcasting helps most of our clients to spread the word about what they do in a relatively cost effective manner.

So what happens over time?  As people filter out the “noise” and try to keep out broadcast messages, the effectiveness will be diminished.  I think two things will happen here. First, people who broadcast will try to keep messages fresh by adding their own twist (they are after all trying to keep their own audience engaged).  And second, companies will have to provide interesting and engaging content that does not lean too far into marketing, in order to allow their followers to quickly think of ways to make the re-tweeted content more applicable to their audiences.


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