Are you looking to maximize your content marketing results? Using social media is a must in today’s digital era. You will rarely find a business that can afford to ignore it completely. Whether you’re a developer, designer, site owner or all three, engaging your audience through social media is an important part of any digital marketing strategy.
Why social media is important
Social media is far more than a platform for banal chatter and funny cat videos. It is a virtual realm where people are spending increasing amounts of their daily life in. As of the fourth quarter of 2015, Facebook reported to have 1.59 billion monthly active users. LinkedIn has 414 million. Twitter has 307 million. Facebook users check their profile an average of five times a day and social media users in general hear about the latest news from these networking sites. These facts and figures should not be ignored by the business world. If you are wondering how best to engage your target audience, the answer is to meet them where they are spending most of their time.
Business managers can take strategic advantage of this information by leveraging social media sites to reach out and engage with potential new customers, share valuable content, and bring people back to their website. These sites are also a key component of brand building and promoting you as a trusted expert in the field. You may be surprised by how much real revenue can be generated with this approach.
I have put together my 7 most important tips for marketing through social media which will help you to:
• Get a high level of brand exposure
• Attract new prospect leads
• Build a credible reputation
• Climb the search engine rankings
1) Know your content marketing strategy
If you want to be successful in leveraging social media you must know exactly what your content marketing strategy is and stick to it. You must understand the aims, objectives and desired outcomes of your marketing plan. Make sure to ask yourself – who is my target audience? Do I want to come across as informative? Educational? A trusted advisor? Perhaps humorous. Write out a list or plan of how you are going to tackle the social networking world and make sure your social media manager always has it at hand.
2) Strategize for specific networks
Strategizing for specific social networks will get you better results than simply posting the same content to multiple sites. In other words, if you are using WordPress to write about something you feel you should share with your target audience, you can format this content differently for each social media site so that it has the greatest impact and delivers the most positive results.
With LinkedIn, for example, sharing long-form posts such as lengthy, detailed articles are welcomed and sought after. This makes LinkedIn an excellent outlet for content sharing. Don’t forget that you are most likely putting this content in the eye view of a very specific audience which is incredibly important for generating leads. Look at LinkedIn as a medium to engage and target both your prospects and your peers.
Twitter must be dealt with differently. A 140 character limit presents a challenge for grabbing your audience’s attention in the same way as your LinkedIn audience. Perhaps you should think of Twitter as a platform that drives traffic back to your website. Therefore, when you want to share your content, introduce it with short snippet of enticing information to grab people’s attention and make them want to read more. If your company is promoting a new anti-aging cream, your Twitter summary might read ‘Science reveals how peat-based face creams can significantly stunt the aging process’.
3) Solve your target audience’s problems
Even if your company sells counter-tops and you have to create a post about ‘which color counter-top to choose for your room décor’, your seemingly ‘boring’ content may be incredibly interesting and useful to the right audience. Have a clear sense of who your target audience is and discover what problems they may be facing. After that, it is time to come to their rescue.
You solve your prospects problems by providing them with valuable, quality and useful information for those who have questions. Interact and be genuinely helpful. Content that answers their specific questions suddenly become ‘must-read’ content. You might not realize how effective this content is in gaining leads and eventual customers.
Posting valuable content builds your reputation as a field expert. And everyone wants to listen to the experts. As an expert, you are giving advice directly to your potential customers and not putting them off by shoving a sales pitch in their face. This way your presence and brand are more valued.
4) Keep it simple
Keeping your posts simple with an easy-to-read structure and clear sub headings will help readers to stay engaged.
But marketers must remember to keep it simple for themselves too. The main focus of any content marketing team is to increase brand awareness and interest to attract more customers. Even in a small business, marketers can feel enormous pressure to get results. With so many options and different approach you can take, you may feel overwhelmed and a little confused about what you should be doing.
In order to be more productive and get the best results, you should clear your mind of overlapping opinions and endless approach options and, instead, focus on what you know how to do. Always remember – your end goal is to produce something of value and interest to your specific audience. What will engage my target audience? What topics will catalyze social media discussions? What will grab the attention of influential figures? Answering these questions will keep you focused on the task at hand.
5) Consistently post new quality content
It is important to continuously post new content, but unless this content is of quality and value to prospects, it is ultimately useless. Your content should address a topic with a new spin on it. A different opinion. An interesting angle. The social media manager should always plan ahead and make sure there is always something new to be shared. Only then will a business be successful in engaging an audience.
You can start coming up with fresh content ideas by looking at what your competitors are posting. What topics are they covering in their blogs? What is getting them the most ‘likes’ and shares on their various social networking sites? It also helps to keep on top of the latest news and articles because social selling and social media work better when people share the latest industry insights and breaking headlines.
6) Use imagery and visual media
Content doesn’t have to come in text form all the time. Images are content. Infographics are content. So are videos. And slide shows. And downloads. In fact, the use of imagery and video is more likely to reach and engage a much broader audience. People love visual – they are lured in by content in the form of infographics, relatable photos and data. The old saying is true – “a picture is worth a thousand words”.
I remember in the lead up to Ireland’s same-sex Marriage Referendum back in May 2015, the cookie brand Oreos posted a single picture that reflected their support of same-sex marriage being legalized.
This picture received thousands of ‘likes’ and was shared all over Facebook and Twitter. This was an excellent content marketing move on the part of Oreos. Not only was it a fun reflection of their values, but it was a strategic move for launching their brand awareness to a different level. It made me like them a little more. It also reminded me how delicious Oreos are and that I should buy a packet as soon as possible.
7) Measure your progress
What is the point in spending valuable time and money in social media content marketing if your business does not track, monitor and report on any progress made after putting your content marketing strategy into action? You need to record your social network activities such as posts, articles, comments, and shares, as well as what results were achieved (leads, likes, connections, followers, sales). This way you can monitor what works and doesn’t work so you can make necessary adjustments.
So there are my 7 quick tips on social media content marketing. Keeping these in mind each time you create and share new content is sure to maximize your social media marketing success and deliver truly incredible results for your business.