Recipes, Puppies, and Other Content That Has Nothing to Do With Your Brand


I took a marketing workshop once where the instructor offered his philosophy to creating engaging content on social media: Babies, Puppies, and Recipes. His thinking went that so many people on social media share these three categories of content that brands, in an attempt to act like a person and not a company, should follow suit.

The problem is that sometimes it just doesn’t make sense for brands to share certain types of content, even if that type of content is a proven winner.

…of Puppies and Breakfast Cereal

Let’s say you make breakfast cereal. It may make sense to share a recipe for a dessert using one of your products (Rice Krispy treat squares, anyone?). People like to share recipes, and your product is food. However, it makes less sense to share a picture of a cute puppy. Cute puppies do not really have anything to do with breakfast cereals. Sure, people like cute puppies and are prone to sharing pictures of cute puppies on Facebook, but puppies don’t help tell your brand story.

This may seem like an obvious statement but everyday you see brands that have nothing to do with food posting recipes on Pinterest, nothing to do with animals posting pictures of puppies on Facebook, and nothing to do with persevering sharing inspiring quotes about perseverance on Twitter. These brands have made the mistake that all engagement is good engagement.

Not All Engagement is Created Equal

Sometimes, sharing content that has nothing to do with your brand does drive engagement. However, this engagement is in many ways less valuable than engagement might be if what you were sharing was more directly related to your brand. If you make cereal and someone shares the picture of a puppy you posted, they probably aren’t connecting that puppy to your brand. Your fans will connect more to your brand if you make cereal and you share a video that shows them how cereal can help them lead healthy lives.

Tell YOUR Story

Your content needs to be sincere. It needs to tell YOUR brand story. You can’t share content just because you know it will engage your followers. You need to create content that is engaging, and lets the world know something about YOU.