There was an interesting article I found today that talked about how Channel 4 News had grown its Facebook audience from 5 million to 200 million in just 18 months. One of the key elements was that it stopped focusing on text and still photographs and made video the priority.
We all know that video is one of the best ways to grab people’s attention on social media. It could be something that is funny, serious, mundane or random. It doesn’t matter what it is we are much more likely to stop and watch a short piece of video than to read an article.
Communicators have long recognised the importance of using images to illustrate a story and bring it alive. But I think we are still some way off taking full advantage of the new technology that is available on our smartphones and tablets. It is so easy to take short video on a phone, edit it and then send it out within a matter of seconds. Just a couple of years ago we were getting to grips with being able to send a message to followers instantly and now it has got more sophisticated.
For years when we have been recruiting we have prioritised finding people who can write great copy. I am now starting to wonder whether we need excellent wordsmiths and instead need ideas people who know how to get the maximum benefit from the technical developments?
When we are confronted with a communication issue that we are trying to manage, tackle or promote are we thinking in the right way? Are we thinking of using the right things? Do we really understand how modern technology is developing? I am sure some of us do, some of us don’t and some of us have a partial understanding. We need to look to those like Channel 4 News and understand what they are doing and why. It might not make sense for all businesses or organisations to follow the same path, but it will make us think about what we are doing.