As social media continues to permeate the marketplace, and more businesses choose to socially connect with their interest communities, the amount of “clutter” in a person’s social media stream has reached intrusive levels. Brands and organizations can run dangerously close to being the social media version of spam and being tuned out altogether. As we’re seeing with Google+’s Circles, Facebook’s improved friend organization, and even as far back as Twitter’s lists: who is talking has become equally important as what is being said.
Content has been and still is king, but recently the throne is being shared. Producing great content is no longer enough. Making associations via “likes”, “followers”, and “connections” is not enough. Brands and organizations must earn their place in consumers’ or interest community’s social stream. There must be trust, there must be authenticity, and there must be a relationship. In short, both you and your content must be given a worthy context.
Context can be simply defined as a frame of reference. This frame of reference has several critical elements: Source, Relationship, and Timing.