If you create content they will come. Well, maybe they'll come, but, if the content isn't engaging, they won't stay. We talk a lot about the technology behind SharePoint, but the technology is all about enabling the business. And, when it comes to SharePoint, content is king.
Unless it's not.
I've been in the publishing business for more than 25 years. I've seen a lot of changes during that time, but I've always held that, in the end, quality counts. A piece that's fair and balanced, that's relevant, that's interesting, and that's free from spelling, grammar and punctuation errors will get respect. It will get passed around, and people look for more of its kind. A piece that's none of these things could brand the writer--or the organization he/she is writing for--as amatuerish, sloppy, untrustworthy.
There's a lot riding on content--and that goes for everything from the 100-page whitepaper to an update to your workgroup to the quick text to your boss. Especially in an environment like SharePoint, you are what you write.
Here are five ways to raise the content bar.
1. Make it original. It seems logical, but too many companies don't get it: If you want your content to stand out, it has to be different from everything else that's out there. Even if you are writing about a public event that every man, woman and child has mentioned on Facebook and Twitter, put your own unique spin on it.
2. Make it useful. People will read and pass along content that helps them do their jobs, makes them clearly understand a complex topic, or just helps them see something in a new and refreshing way.
3. Keep it coming. Not only do you have to produce quality content, but you have to produce a steady stream of it. It's a good idea to set up a schedule for posting, especially when several different people may be posting to a single platform.
4. Be provocative. This is one of those "fine-line" deals. You want to write content that will elicit a reaction in your readers, but you don't want to overdo it. Where's the line? You kind of have to know it when you see it. When it doubt, ask a trused colleageue for his or her opinion before hitting the Publish button.
5. Maintain a healthy conversation. Once you post your content, people may comment on it; they may reply and respond. In fact, you want people to comment on and share your content. Answering questions and providing additional insight will go a long way toward branding you as a go-to subject-matter expert.
I could go on and on, but I want to hear from you: What's worked on SharePoint, Yammer and other platforms in your organizations? Better yet, what's bombed? (We can all learn from each other's mistakes.) Please let us know in the comments section below.