Increasing social network productivity through aggregation

Step in line with your social network

The main driver behind social media aggregation is to provide a simplified yet extremely organized view on a particular subject. This is slightly different from the value provided by search engines, in that a search engine is trying to provide the most relevant result possible to the query asked. Social aggregation strives to provide the most comprehensive and complete answer by bringing together the central ideas from many different sources, often in real-time.

The process of social aggregation gathers posts from several social media networks and displays them in a real-time feed or wall on a website or at a live event. These “social walls” help drive engagement with your organization as the source for comprehensive, real-time information on a particular subject. Social aggregation can also increase audience engagement by displaying real-time posts from actual fans and customers.

Social aggregation for increasing social media engagement
This chart describes the key elements of social aggregation and how it can assist in maintaining engagement with your audience.

Content marketing challenges February 2011Devoting the time to develop a social aggregation plan can be challenging. In fact, according to a study by eMarketer, 43 percent of marketers say they do not have the time to find great content. What’s more, almost three out of four say they don’t have the time to actually produce original content. So what’s a business to do when facing this bevy of content marketing challenges?

Your plan should focus on finding ways to drive efficiencies by combining your content research process with recommendations to your audience.

Aggregate something that both you and your customers will find interesting and educational. This will inspire you to find new insights and references to the content you produce while also providing a great resource for your audience hyper-targeted to their specific interests. Be sure to share content produced by those in your community and industry, while developing original content based upon the evolving desires of your audience.

A long history of information aggregation

Like today, people 30 years ago didn’t have time to keep up with all the happenings in the world or even in their hometown. They couldn’t attend all the local sporting events, stay in the know on every wedding, birth or funeral, or even keep up with all the local gossip — let alone all of the important events around the world. The local newspaper was the original content aggregator, using services like the Associated Press Wire. A local newspaper was the trusted source for information in a small town and was the one place where those who had something to say could be heard.

Many local newspapers began to fail because they took the wrong approach. They believed they would always be the go-to source of all information in a local community, rather than understand their real value came in the convenience they provided in simplifying their customers’ search for information.

For example, newspapers used to be the best sources for job seekers. They made a lot of money by asking businesses to pay to list open positions. Today, websites like indeed.com post jobs for free and promote open positions as their primary way of attracting and retaining an audience. This story repeats itself for nearly every section of a newspaper from 30 years ago.

Solving problems through convenience and relevance

Today, most organizations strive to become useful, trusted sources of information for their targeted audiences. They aim to engage through adding value and simplifying the search for the solutions they provide. The successful firms know that it is not about their expertise but rather solving the problems of customers in a meaningful way.

With social aggregation, you are solving problems through convenience and relevance. Creating, finding and sharing useful content can prove to your audience that your organization knows its stuff, is a thought leader in the industry, and wants to assist with keeping the industry up to date.

Being a social aggregator in today’s world means you know how and where to look to find the best information; along with convenience, it is the primary source of value you provide to your audience. With the advent of social media and the immediacy it brings, there are fewer and fewer regular visitors to an organization’s website looking for the latest industry news.

Social content aggregation can help you avoid this loss in traffic. Social aggregation allows visitors to view content from the company, industry and social media in one dedicated page with updates in real-time.

As mentioned earlier, social aggregation simplifies research and education for a particular subject with real-time results. When doing market research, the faster you can collect relevant data and content to support your positions, the more time you can save for other marketing priorities. Social aggregation allows you to collect data for your organization’s market research while also providing additional insights for your audience.

If you are looking for a tool to assist with social aggregation, you might want to check out 10 Effective Tools to Aggregate All Your Social Media Updates.

Image by: Eric.Parker via Compfight cc

Bryant Tutterow
Bryant brings over 18 years of business acumen to DK New Media focused on strategic marketing and e-commerce. He has more than a decade of P&L responsibility, leading in-house marketing organizations at Fortune 500 companies and building three separate marketing departments from the ground up into world-class teams of as many as 14 people. As the Chief Marketing Officer for DK New Media, he provides overall strategic direction for marketing and e-commerce while leading business development of all strategic advisory and measured marketing services.