At best, nothing much. At its worst, it destroyed your online reputation. Posting content on social media that is not tailored to your target audience is really like throwing paper aeroplanes at your teacher. Either you’ve missed and didn’t hit her, and she has had her back turned. Or, you will suffer a massive backlash.
You are not your target audience
The allegory sounds exaggerated, but it actually happens more often than you think.
How many times have we heard “this is a great video, people are bound to like it” or “this article has all the points, it is sure to get a lot of traction“? Actually, such internal judgement is precisely driving an organisation’s content strategy to the ground.
Why? Because you are not your target audience.
You may have a sense of what they want to engage on, but you need to substantiate that opinion and test it with data. Sometimes it does coincide with your gut feeling. But believe me, often it doesn’t.
We all carry biases and our likes and dislikes, built upon our own very personal experiences. Everyone has their own opinions, yours may not be the only one that is right.
But fortunately, digital marcom allows us to overcome that eternal childish fight between who is right and who is wrong, because we can simply look at the data and know what we need to do.
As mentioned earlier, the best scenario that comes out of not tailoring your content to your target audience is that nothing happens. This means that there is no reach, no engagements and you are not achieving anything. This is when you hear people going “nobody is interested in us, we’ve only had 5 clicks and they all came from our colleagues“, or “this is a niche area, our target audience does not engage online“.
Well, the lack of engagement and limited reach already tells you that the content is not working. Don’t blame it on others.
How bad can it be?
Like I said, low engagement rate and limited reach are the best case scenario.
Persistent, non-tailored content makes you lose your current audience. When your community expects the regular quality content – insight, ideas, knowledge – and you consistently fail them, they will leave. This can only further depreciate the reach you can potentially obtain.
Getting them back, will be doubly hard.
On top of that, badly-tailored or low quality content may bring you negative reviews and reactions. Once that builds up, it hurts your online reputation and it will reach crisis level when that sort of negative remarks achieve top search rankings. You may think this is exaggerated. Why do you think some brands change their name? Over time, negative reviews and comments on social media gain traction. Companies that have been studiously tracking their online reputation would have to decide to relaunch their brand under another name when such negativity reaches a certain level.
Last but not least, ill-tailored content on your owned media damages your SEO efforts. This will be one of the deadliest blow you can give to your own online reputation.
If you were not as stupid as to throw paper aeroplanes at your teacher, then stop throwing ill-tailored content at your audience.
Eureka Moments are not so much moments of sudden realisation or enlightenment like Archimedes. They are moments while I am in my commute when I get to reflect on things that someone mentioned to me, things that I am confronted with, things that I or others have sought a solution for. They are more ‘oh I get it’ rather than ‘I have discovered it’.