How to use Social Content
We talk about marketers using content on social media platforms like it’s a new thing, but according to Lee Oden author of the article 5 Deadly Sins of Social Content the “B2B world has used content to romance customers across long buying cycles with great success for many years. But with increased importance among consumers, search engines, and social platforms, online marketers are emphasizing content in the marketing mix now more than ever.”
The article suggests there are 5 common mistakes made when using social media content and why they are important to avoid.
- Have a plan
Like anything else in marketing (or business for that matter), there needs to be a strategy. The article states that “experimenting with social media applications and platforms is a practical first step” but, it cannot be seen as a strategy. The article makes an excellent point in mentioning that the strategy should not be ‘set in stone’ but rather be adaptable and able to keep up with the changes of that particular social media platform, or changes in technology in general. I think this is very important to note because the social media landscape changed daily and this uncertainly forces the strategy to be solid and fool proof as possible, some things I believe makes for a great strategy.
- Take it personally
The article states that “companies that view social media platforms simply as a distribution channel fail to create value for the very audiences they’re trying to reach.” This mistake is often made by companies. Examples can be found very easily during a 15 minute surfing session on Facebook or Twitter. The article says “people don’t typically use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, blogging, Pinterest, and other social applications for keeping tabs on corporate press releases, product announcements, and promotions. Reasons for social media usage are most often personal.” When I think about myself using Facebook or Twitter my main goal for usage is to keep in contact with friends and family (Facebook) or get the news in real time (Twitter). I am not actively looking for ads, deals or promotions on my favourite products or services. Oden suggest “marketers can achieve much better success with social content by empathizing with customer needs, interests, goals, and pain points.” The good news here is that not many companies are doing this properly so that leaves room for the companies to do it right and get notices (and sales) because of it.
- It’s a community, not dictatorship
The social media community has proven to be fickle and sometimes illogical. The reason I say this is that it seems the common laws of marketing are not always followed in the space, and it is often difficult to predict the outcome. The article suggest “provide(ing) something of value before expecting anything in return.” and “it’s smart to find out more specifically what consumers and those who influence them find valuable as inspiration for a social content plan.” This idea or model is built on that fact that it’s a ‘give and take’ relationship that by providing customer with something of value (content) they will be more likely to give something back to the company, wither that be a simple thought of a purchase, trail run of a product or complete loyalty to a brand.
- Promote it, even if it has legs
The article suggest “a lot of marketing budgets have invested in creating content for companies but many purists feel that great content should be left to attract attention based purely on the quality of the information. There’s a feeling that if content is really good, it will attract traffic and engagement all on it’s own.” This may sounds like a no brainer but its easy to assume that everyone in the community will think the content is as great as you do, and will love it just the same. That might be true, but the content still needs to be promoted and supported through other ways. The article states “with a hub and spoke publishing model, themed content is published into a repository that represents a “go to” resource for topics that the brand wants to be known for. At the same time, that content can be promoted through spokes or social channels among communities that are interested.” I think this is also a way to be seen as an information authority at the same time as showcasing great content through multiple channels.
- It never stops changing
As previously mentioned the social media platforms are always going to be changing and having an adaptable strategy is important. But it is also important to continuously monitor and analyse the content that is published on these platforms. The article states “As the community grows, even more sharing of links and traffic is involved with brand content. The increase in engagement, search visibility, and social sharing provides a rich set of data with which the brand can improve content creation. It’s a cycle of hypothesis, implementation, and analysis that can improve how effectively a brand is able to refine social content effectiveness at inspiring business outcomes.”
Other links of interest: