I think most marketers would agree that social media and content marketing compliment each other nicely. Need proof? Recent research has found that 93% of B2B marketers list social media as one of their top five content marketing tactics.
I like to think of social media as the vehicle that drives your content where you want it to go. But as social media continues to evolve, it’s important to remember that we’re not driving down a one-way street. Social media presents more opportunities than just a dissemination platform. It can also be used as a means for engaging your online community, publishing and targeting specific content and building brand awareness.
So how do we leverage social media in a way that drives our content marketing efforts forward? Well, as a person and marketer who’s taken a few road trips in her day, I can tell you that ensuring that the social media marketing and content marketing wheels are aligned is essential. Here are some best practices and tips to ensure you’re ready to roll.
Map Your Route
Anyone who sets out on a road trip maps out the route to their end destination So when it comes to using social media to amp up your content marketing efforts, create a social media content plan to act as your roadmap.
To get started, ask yourself the following questions.
- What do I want my followers to know about my brand? (What niche do I serve?)
- What are my customers’ pain points?
- How can I provide something of value? How can I empathize with my audience?
- What type of content does my audience consume on social? (Generally speaking, How-to and List posts are wildly successful.)
- What social platforms should i be a part of? (Where is my target audience? Do I need to be on every platform?)
- What kind of results do I want? (Increased social traffic to my blog? More followers?)
- How will I measure results? (Engagement metrics? Social traffic to the website?)
Understanding who your audience is and how they use social media will help you create a content plan that provides the type and style of content that will resonate.
To learn a little bit more about social media strategy, read: Roadmap to Social Media Marketing Strategy.
Use the Right Fuel
Filling up with the right fuel ensures your vehicle doesn’t break down a mile down the road. So when it comes to social media as a content marketing tactic, make sure you’re engaging your audience with the right kind of content at the right time.
Use the analytics available on social platforms to see what kind of content is driving the most engagement (likes, shares, link clicks and comments) and when your content is getting the most engagement. This will allow you to tailor your content to that specific social audience and drive engagement.
Also, keep track of trending topics. Trending topics present opportunities for you to become part of the conversation and create timely content that showcases your expertise or product offerings. For example, Hollywood’s biggest night–the Academy Awards–was held Sunday, Feb. 28. A few days before, TopRank Marketing published a best practices article titled: Is Your Digital Marketing Strategy Red Carpet Worthy?
Stop for Directions
If you get a little lost or just want to make sure you’re going the right way, use social media to tap your audience for insights and content ideas.
One excellent way to gain insights is through creating a poll. For example, each week TopRank Marketing asks its Twitter followers to weigh in on a marketing related topic. Not only does this foster engagement, but it also helps us understand our audience better. The information we collected can also be used in future content pieces–that we know our social audience will care about.
Find the Right Radio Station
Having the proper tunage is a must-have for any lengthy road trip. The right music sets the mood and makes it impossible for you to stop singing along. Similarly, optimizing content for social channels ensures your message is easily received, understood and shareable.
For example, optimize images to fit with the optimal dimensions for each social network. HubSpot offers the ultimate cheat sheet on sizing images.
And in addition to photos, consider repurposing existing content to republish on social. For example, you could transform how-to blog post and into an easily shareable infographic. Or consider republishing long-form content on LinkedIn Publisher. (Note: If you do decide to republish a long-form post, make it unique. Don’t just copy and paste. You don’t want to spread duplicate content around.)
Do you need to make a pit stop and ask for directions? TopRank Marketing can certainly provide them. Get in touch with us today.
What are your best practices for blending your social media and content marketing efforts? Tell us in the comments section below.
Header image via Shutterstock
Good insightful post, love the format and style. Interesting to note about the 93% B2B marketers list social media as a favorite outlet. Sharing this post with my audience.
Curtis Kitchen says
Huge best practice for me: Don’t forget your voice!
Many times, we are in such a rush to push our content that we mistakenly just throw it out on all channels and hope the post will hold its own regardless where it lands. If you post on Facebook, speak to your Facebook audience and share the link. Same goes for Instagram, LinkedIn, etc., not to mention when you post to boards or other sharing places. Use that well-crafted voice!
Caitlin Burgess says
Great advice, Curtis!
Love the road trip analogy! I’d add that business owners cannot get from point A to B on this road trip in a short time. Business owners sometimes expect social media marketing to translate quickly into sales. They need to remember that social media is a platform for making friends first. We need to put a few steps in between ‘nice to meet you’ and ‘buy this product from me’. If they can’t plan for a long journey, just skip this road trip and save the gas.
Caitlin Burgess says
You’re absolutely right. Well said!
Hitesh Parekh says
When posting on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram use Hi-resolution images. The clearer the images, the better. It adds appeal to your post and is a very smart way to get your most important content noticed.
Caitlin Burgess says
Thomas Flannagan says
Nice metaphors, thanks for the article!
Alecia Stringer says
Great questions to ask. Thanks for the map!
Nicoli Redmayne says
I am a SEO executive, in my work i mostly used social media fro marketing. now a days social media is one of the most important part of business…