Social media and content marketing are not interchangeable terms, although they certainly overlap in many ways. Social media is a very important tool in your overall content marketing strategy and should have just as much, if not more, attention and resources put into it as you do with creating your content.
Social media allows you to have direct access to your target audience so that you can truly listen to their needs and wants, and then produce content accordingly.
Before you jump into your social media marketing plan, though, you must first create a quality content marketing process.
Looking for a little bit of direction on how to successfully do this? Here are a few key pointers to keep in mind when you are developing both your content marketing strategy and your social media marketing plan:
Create a Content Strategy
Before beginning, you must have a clear content strategy. You must fully understand what sort of voice, image, and presence your brand will have online. You must also understand which social media platforms will best serve you, where your target audience lives, and what you are looking for out of these outlets. Be clear about your goals (ie boost sales, increase brand awareness, etc) before you begin or else you will be spinning your wheels as you produce content blindly.
Be a Content Hub
Your blog or website should ideally provide the bulk of the valuable content. It is where you will direct your followers to go from your social media platforms.
Your website is where you can begin to build valuable, long-lasting relationships with your customers. It allows you to demonstrate your expertise in the industry and also show off a bit of your brand personality or voice.
Have Consistent Presence
Your website should be rolling out fresh content several times per week so that your social media can consistently share fresh content. Once you have a steady flow of consistent content, you have the foundation for a successful content marketing plan.
The next step is to have consistent presence across all key social media platforms. This allows you to reach your target population more easily and engage with users who can provide valuable feedback about your content marketing strategy.
There are several tools that can help you maintain consistent presence on social media.
- Growr is an automation tool that automatically likes and follows relevant users on Instagram so that your brand is continuously engaging with your niche market.
- Tailwind is a great planning tool for Pinterest that not only schedules your pins according to the best times to post, but also allows you to join sharing networks within the platform to ensure that your content has visibility.
These are two examples of ways to efficiently maintain engagement across social media platforms.
Keep it Updated and Fresh
Just because you created a content marketing plan at the beginning, that does not mean that it will be a good one or even relevant as time unfolds. Make sure that you continuously update your social media presence on each platform.
If you let certain platforms go dormant, that looks worse than not having an account at all! Always be mindful of how your brand appears on social media. Keep it updated and relevant.
Determine the Objective for Each Platform
Not all platforms are the same. In fact, each of them has a very different style of communication required. Content marketing is not about earning money, at least not right away.
It is first and foremost a way for your brand to provide valuable and relevant information to your target audience. The reason to do this is to gain followers who will eventually find their way to your website (Inbound Marketing!).
Pinterest has best posting times that are different than Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Each platform also has a different style of posting and engagement that is unique.
Disseminate your content accordingly. Allow space and time for organic, genuine relationship building between you and your audience. This will naturally bring them back to your website.
Create a Desired Action
Once you determine the objective for each platform and you build the foundation of valuable content and trust among your followers, it is time to focus on a desired action.
Do you want your followers to share your content?
Or do you want them to sign up for a freemium through your website?
Be clear about the end goal and work a creative funnel strategy to help achieve your desired action.
Provide Content That Users Want to See
Customize your content according to the platform where you are releasing it.
Instagram and Facebook have a high ROI for videos, whereas Pinterest relies on quality photos and blog posts.
Twitter is a fast-paced and quirky platform that does well with continuous engagement and customer service.
Learn what works well on each platform and what your audience responds to. Then, give them what they want.
Post Frequently and Strategically
Though this may be the most difficult task of all, it is probably the most important. Post frequently, maybe even several times a day.
Interact with your target audience daily. Post during the hours that your audience is most active. Respond to comments or messages as quickly as possible.
Social media relies heavily on the social aspect. Don’t forget to be at the forefront of your target audience’s mind by posting frequently and strategically.
There are so many different strategies that can help make you more successful, but if you don’t have these aspects in line then you are bound to fail.
After all, what is social media without content? And what good is content if there is no way to share it with others?
Once you have a nice workflow created for your content and social media, your brand is ready to implement the more complex strategies.
Latest posts by Monica Wilson (see all)
- How to Build Social Media Into Your Content Marketing - February 1, 2018