Short Form Content: The Latest Social Media Trend

Would you like to speed up your content creation process, while concurrently making it more relevant to your audience?

While Google still loves long-form magazine style content, it is certainly better to create short form content than nothing at all.

However, instead of considering short-form content a compromise, recognize it for what it is. This is a win-win for your business and its on-the-go audience that often only has time for a snack.

It’s no coincidence that the fastest growing social media channels are those that deliver the bite-sized content that active people crave. For businesses, we’re talking about Instagram, Pinterest, and Vine.

Benefits of Short Form Content

In addition to participating in these highly active communities that were specifically designed for short form content, they integrate seamlessly with Facebook and Twitter, thereby multiplying your efforts.

So, instead of publishing directly to Facebook, consider publishing to Instagram and then link that message to both Facebook and Twitter. That gives you an easy three for one.

Additional Benefits of Short Form Content

  1. Takes less time
  2. Builds the content creation habit
  3. Readily shareable
  4. Consistency increases engagement
  5. A link is a link

Let me elaborate on that last point.

When building your online presence, every link counts. In other words, both a short and long piece of content offer you one link that leads back to your primary website. Obviously, when you consider your investment in time, it’s easier and more economical to earn inbound links with short form content.

In fact, it is arguable that a heavily shared video on Pinterest, Instagram, or Vine will drive more traffic than a long form article. It all depends upon the nature of your business, social marketing strategy, and the behaviors of your communities.

If you want to learn more about Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine, go to Social Media Examiner and search for the respective channels. You will discover informative articles and podcasts.

Personally, I learn more from the in-depth podcasts. Of course, you can also Google these channels or their experts. I’ve found Cynthia Sanchez to be the top expert on Pinterest and Sue B. Zimmerman for Instagram.

Design Your Short Form Strategy

For short form content to work for you, it has to be planned.

Here are some ideas that I pulled right out of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business. (This is page 60 if you already have a copy).

  1. The how-to
  2. Expert viewpoints or perspectives
  3. Interviews
  4. Product or service reviews
  5. Trends and best practices
  6. Helpful tools, tips, and techniques
  7. Business promotions

Obviously, you would not want to exclusively focus your content on business promotions. However, as one example, you could certainly combine #1 and #6 to show your community how to get the most from your products and services, which effectively is a subtle form of promotion.

Taking this a step further, let’s assume you want to encourage more sign-ups for an event you are hosting. Build a list of a dozen or so tips that are representative of the benefits one will learn at that event. Then roll them out as a series of teasers that gives your audience a sample of what they can expect by attending.

Just be sure to focus on being helpful, rather than promotional.

One Business Channel

Remember that while there are many social networks, they have to collectively work together as one business channel.

Therefore, you should ideally develop a balanced mix of both long and short-form content to give your audience, as well as Google and the other search engines, exactly what they want.

To put this into perspective, you may find The Best Blog Post Length Test interesting. It helps to put short and long into perspective, so that you can use them to more effectively tell your stories.

How is your business using the new short form social media channels? Please share your thoughts in a comment.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley 2013)  

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+.

Photo Credit

QR codes Save Lives


StopAfib Mobile Site

There are many who are quick to dismiss what they do not understand well, and this certainly applies to the QR code.

QR codes are much more than a means for connecting the virtual and physical worlds. They are mobile triggers that are portable, and therefore shareable.

Consider what would happen if you could unify multiple communities that share a common challenge, some as users and others as influencers. What would happen if you could bring them all together to share their experiences and expertise?

Read further for a practical example of how QR codes successfully created awareness of a life-threatening condition whose origins are uncertain, while also bringing to bear resources to help those affected by it.

Non-Promotional QR Codes

I met Mellanie True Hills last year while researching uses of QR codes for a chapter I was writing for the book Speak More: Marketing Strategies to Get More Speaking Business.

Mellanie and I are both members of the National Speakers Association, which published Speak More. After submitting my chapter, the editors decided it would be better if I had an example of another speaker using QR codes. So, I reached out to the NSA community via our Facebook Group.

What attracted me to Mellanie’s story was how she used QR codes in a non-promotional way to solve a problem – with the result changing her life and business for the better.

Here it is.

The Story of Stop Afib

Atrial fibrillation (afib for short) is the most common irregular heartbeat condition, and a major cause of deadly and debilitating strokes. Mellanie is an atrial fibrillation survivor, having had surgery to stop this condition.

Once she was afib-free, she couldn’t sit on the sidelines and watch others suffer, so she started, a non-profit patient advocacy organization for those living with this condition. provides a wealth of resources for those dealing with this condition, including video interviews with the world’s top afib doctors.

To help doctors help their patients, Mellanie created a non-promotional patient card with a QR code that links to important atrial fibrillation resources. The StobAfib site is purely educational, and the mobile version readily serves up videos and other valuable content via the QR code.

What has resulted from these efforts has been nothing short of amazing as has become the go-to source for atrial fibrillation information. And Mellanie has become the go-to speaker for medical conferences and hospital events about the patient perspective on atrial fibrillation.

Using QR codes to Share Practical Resources

One of the more common inquiries I receive is how to make a video go viral. In fact, I even wrote an article to answer that question and it gets abundant clicks every day.

Going viral occurs when people encounter something so interesting, entertaining, or  useful that they are compelled to share it.  That’s the secret behind the success of Stop Afib.

It’s a QR code success story like no other.

If you’d like more, here’s a recent video about how Mellanie came to create Afib Awareness Month.

Is it possible that QR codes should be used more for sharing than marketing?

Are you rethinking how you can use QR codes more effectively?

Leave a comment below and share your thoughts below.

Until next time, Jeff


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