“Fill it up with new content! Update hourly! Beat users senseless with information!”
These are the online branding and social media marketing commandments. We have all been told by our digital gurus that absolute inundation is the only way to keep in touch with our online followers. In short, to not update is to die. We abide by these unspoken rules; but lately we’ve been wondering if our protocol about blogging and social media shouldn’t be shifted to accommodate our changing views about digital media.
American Express rightfully gets routinely patted on the back for its new digital dominance and ongoing updating efforts. The credit card company has turned its image on its head by adding social media and blog-like news components to its website. Less of a place where you just check your balance and then bounce, OpenForum is more of a magazine that covers everything from money management to small business videos. The company is looking to empower small business owners and cardholders (of course), so AmEx has carefully chosen content that carries out that message.
The only problem? There is a lot of content on OpenForum. In fact, it’s jam-packed. Sure, all of the content is thoughtfully chosen and well executed, with bloggers from The Atlantic and NBC serving as experts. But there is a lot to digest — so much that many users most likely keep their eyes on the toolbar that helps them access their account and then quickly exit. It’s too bad, seeing as the content is helpful and worth reading.
But AmEx isn’t alone here. Many brands don’t know when to say when with the content. They want to cover any and every thing that could be associated with their business, leaving web browsers exhausted. It is a fact that today’s web user is looking for shorter blasts of information that cuts to the point. Whether it is for business or pleasure, the next wave in content brought about by sites like Twitter and Tumblr truly is short and sweet and not over-crowded.
So perhaps updating frequently isn’t as much of a problem as updating all day with epic-length blogs and wordy social media posts. What say you, dear overly-saturated readers?