Context Over Content

It’s 6 p.m. on a Tuesday. You just got home after a long day of work and decide to sit on the couch and scroll through Instagram as a mental release. There, you see a post made by your friend Dave, who briefly expressed his day at the golf course with a celebration beer. 

Moving on, you hop over to Facebook, where you see another post of Dave’s about the same thing, but the context is entirely different; now you know that he was there for business, and not just taking a ‘lax day away from work. 

That same evening, you’re curious about what’s on Linkedin. There Dave is again! And again, Dave posted the same content about his workday at the golf course, but this time, you know that he worked hard to earn a client’s sale and that he loves his job. 

How interesting… On these different platforms, you had the chance to encounter the same Dave, but three different ways. You wonder why Dave described his day so differently with each post and realize that it’s because the context he used was developed specifically for that platform’s audience. 

Context – what follows a subject, event, or idea and gives it the utmost understanding for a group of people. 

“Content is king, but context is God.” – Gary Vaynerchuck in Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. Context is meant for how a story gets told, native to the platform it’s for. While what we create has strong potential as long as the guidelines are set in place, the content may require change based on where it gets posted and who sees it. 

Vaynerchuk uses this analogy for marketing on social media, though, it is possible to use this approach with any non-fictional story, like our friend Dave did. As we saw above, a photo and description for Instagram won’t have the same effect if posted to Facebook. The audience per platform changes and responds differently, and altering your voice can strongly influence a greater result with a responsive audience.

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