Social media – what to do with it, how to keep up with it, and when to ignore it is a major first world preoccupation. But spending time on social media and passing around other peoples content is not a social media strategy, it is wasting time at best and promoting other businesses at worst.
The problem for many businesses is their focus on Social Media means they are trying to drive the car from the back seat. Unless you have a well considered content strategy in place, your social media will be scattered, unfocused and can ultimately damage your brand. A solid content strategy on the other hand has the potential to create meaning and relationships with the right people, by using social media to find them.
Sharing other peoples content on social media is like passing the chips and dip at a cocktail party – instantly gratifying, shallow and ultimately not good for you. Creating your own content on the other hand is cooking a meal and inviting people to your table – conversation will flow, the flavours will be remembered and recipes will be shared – it is a deeper more meaningful experience filled with nutrition and generosity.
How to create a content-first social strategy for your online marketing.
Understand your audience
We can’t emphasise this enough – if you don’t know who you are trying to reach, then you probably won’t really reach anyone useful. Understanding your audience is the cornerstone to your entire marketing arch.
Create content that resonates with you audience
Find out what your audience want in relation to your product/service and create your own original content that speaks to those desires or problems. Content can be blogs, videos, info-graphics, slide-share presentations or photos. But make sure they are your own!
Find our where your audience are hanging out online
There are endless social channels available and while you may want to appear hip-to-the-groove by posting regularly on Periscope, you might be playing to an empty room. If your target audience are still trying to get their heads around Twitter, they’re really not on Periscope!
Top tip – pick two channels to start with and grow from there if necessary.
Publish, and then – finally – broadcast
Publish your content on your site and then use your chosen social channels to broadcast your content on your social channels. Make sure it links back to your blog.
Enhance, don’t distract
Sharing other peoples content isn’t a bad thing – but make sure you do it as part of an overall strategy and not on an ad-hoc basis to keep your social feed full. Find valuable content that enhances what you are saying online, and post it after you broadcast your blog – not before. Apps such as Evernote are great for collecting relevant links.
Businesses who get distracted by social media before they create a solid content strategy will spend a lot of time finding, curating and sharing other peoples content – and ultimately driving potential traffic away – when they could spend that time and energy creating their own valuable content and broadcasting it – drawing more traffic to their site and their business.