Snuggle Up With the Social Side of Content Marketing
By now you know content marketing is more a “marketing mindset” than any individualized marketing method or single campaign.
You no doubt understand the point in taking a strategic approach for a solid direction for your content marketing endeavors.
And, if you’re smart, you even have a written document outlining your strategic plan with guidelines, workflows, and schedules in place.
The problem, of course, with your well-laid plans for content dominance and success is…well…more than one! Oh gosh, I hope I’m not bursting your happy little bubble for your planned content nirvana with this public service announcement:
CONTENT MARKETING IS HARD!
I know. I know. You didn’t want to hear the news, not to mention all the hard work you and your team are slaving over and producing by the bundle for your website.
Don’t worry dear reader, I’m going to bring you some answers to help you get your content off the shelf and out into the world!
Content Marketing IS hard. But, it can also be the best thing that ever happened to your business if you’re willing to go all in.
Then the serious work, you know, the marketing part (with your oh-so-valuable content), really pops into action for your business.
But first—just to make sure you’re up for the next challenge—I created a SlideShare to guarantee you’re in tune with the concept of Content Marketing and relishing in using it, full on.
To make it easy, this Guide to What Content Marketing Is NOT explains things, backward:
Content Marketing: Part of an Integrated Marketing Plan
Out of the box, people and businesses conclude that content marketing revolves around creating content, sometimes by the dump truck full.
And yes, quality content is a diamond for businesses. But more than quality and quantity, connecting with people is the hot smoking gun you’re looking for.
Oh drats—not an easy trick to achieve!
Especially when most of your smoking hot, top dog valuable, informational and heck, in some cases even entertaining content is secured in a vault. Hidden away on the wide wide web. Far away somewhere. On your website, floating out in the world.
If you already have all the eyeballs you need on your website, this post is over.
But if you’re like the rest of us hard working slogging along digital hopeful trailblazers and creative experimenters, doing your digital business best, well then, here’s the low down dirty info to help you out.
You’re going to have to get social with it, you know? Oh geez, am I breaking more bad news you don’t want to hear? Hang in with me cause maybe it’s not so awful after all.
Maybe what you think is the bad news is really the best thing to do right now to pump up the power of your content and get more eyeballs on your work.
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Social Media Doesn’t Have to be Hard
First, are your content assets of a caliber you set to meet and exceed quality standards, etc. for creating a quality blog content hub? Make sure they are.
I’m proof time and again that even an editor needs an editor and I’m in good company with top writers and published authors who I know agree. Editors improve you most every time and collaborating with others improves the work too, I notice.
When you know your content is premium, then amplifying it using social media means better results and sooner. Need help discovering your premium content and topics resonating most from your site? Great. I know a guy!
Andy Crestodina gives you the step-by-step for a site content audit and study so you can build on your best assets, discover content gaps, and more. Use this to build out to social media platforms for more content bang and recognition.When you know your content is premium, then amplifying it using social media means better results and sooner. #InspireToThrive Click To Tweet
Take a Walk on The Social Side of Content Marketing
Once you know (you do know?) social media marketing (SMM) is for you, then you embrace the conclusions that social media:
- Matters (statistically, it’s where people are).
- Stems from Your Bigger Picture (company vision and purpose).
- Makes Use of Appropriate Channels to Connect with Your Specific Audience.
- Takes Both Time and Consistent Effort.
- Works Best When You Humanize your Business by Interacting on Social.
- Requires a Strategy.
As the last link talks about, using Hippy marketer Tad Hargrave’s “3C’s of Marketing” in designing your social platform, gives you the perfect framework.
Creation, Curation, and Conversation, the 3C’s, are a perfect blend for the social glue to get you going. These C’s help you along with your social side of content marketing.
But, what methods can you employ to create an intentional direction for desired results from SMM? How exactly do you put a social media marketing strategy together for your business?
Working from a simple outline is enough to get things going. But, the more intentional your SMM becomes as you evolve and get savvy with it, the better you’ll do.
Whether going with a simple outline plan or full-blown strategy, you’ll want to start the same way with your social side of content marketing.Working from a simple outline is enough to get things going. But, the more intentional your SMM becomes as you evolve and get savvy with it, the better you’ll do. #socialmediamarketing Click To Tweet
A Review of You
Aligning your social media strategy to key business objectives means you’ll need to do an in-depth evaluation, overall, for starts.
This is a tough one. Because often people have a skewed view in trying to clarify their own business and align pertinent goals and objectives.
You tend, basically, to see things from the “inside.” You think of operations by your own understanding of who you are versus how others see you.
This happens without conscious realization most of the time. But, this bias threatens to be detrimental, particularly to marketing.
Maybe this McKinsey and Company article will help you twist your CEO head around to looking from the outside in, in your own best interest, of course.
Remember, the importance of human engagement outweighs anything else in social media.
Because of that, you need to “work it” by defining, then finding, best channels to connect with the right audience.
It’s amazing how conversations in the course of doing business fuels mutual benefits to businesses and customers alike.
And folks, social media marketing is indeed a conversation. Think of it as an experience revolution as IBM explains the twist in this report. Two-way.
Now, the BIG question. How to put it all together and develop an SMM strategy that induces those conversations and engagements for your business?
How do you make your social media work matter to the desired audience and use it to help grow your business too?
Starting With You
Understanding who you honestly are in business is the only way to understand who you serve. Again, this is not always as easy as it seems and why it’s so essential.
When you do social media marketing as part of your marketing mix, you are literally putting yourself out there.
You know—out there where you may end up hanging yourself out to dry!
So I say, take a minute to peek around in the old closet. We want to get to the skeletons!
Don’t worry. After getting to the bones, you can dress it back up. But, first…
You need to take a close look at who you are, who you serve, and why you’re the hot diggity dog at doing what you do.
In a #blogchat on Twitter, Ann Handley posed this titillating gem for thought:
[clickToTweet tweet=”“Every social platform is a storytelling platform, isn’t it?’ #blogchat~@AnnHandley Hmm. Connect on Social with Story! via @SueAnnBubacz” quote=”“Every social platform is a storytelling platform, isn’t it?’ via #blogchat~Ann Handley ” theme=”style1″]
“Social storytelling.” Hmm.
I like the feel and momentum the idea social storytelling offers as an Overview for developing a social strategy.
There’s an edge you’ll leverage with your social strategy by using the natural human connector of story.
Create stories and use them to build a bridge from your business to people. Authentic stories are impactful when sharing from, and reaching to, the heart. The talented Mary Jaksch knows just how to do it, easily taking you from mere reader to story-immersed.
Stories also transfer information in a highly relatable way—perfect, right? Exactly what you want for positive results and for gaining engagement from social marketing.
Social storytelling wraps your bare bones in a cozy coat—a colorful and rich tapestry. So, go ahead and wrap your social in a tapestry of rich, colorful story and give those bony skeletons some warmth.
The Convergence of Audience and Biz
Sparking attention on social means infusing business and audience objectives in a sensible direction to create meaning.
Wow. That’s a mouthful, isn’t it?
The truth is, you won’t immediately feel the impact of your SMM efforts. For a long time, I wasn’t sure if I was posting to ghosts or meeting anyone warm-blooded at all.
The trick? I just kept showing up. Day after day. Smiling as I posted away in feed upon social feed. Trying to figure it out. Trying to make some inroads and connections. Until I did.
The spark of interaction is only the beginning. It’s when the conversation ensues, and relationships develop, that the payoffs start to fly. And incredibly those payoffs are both business and personal.
Social Media becomes an experience more than a marketing tool.
As you let yourself be part of the experience and enjoy the ride a little, genuine results occur. You begin building a reputation without much fuss.
You just keep showing up. And eventually, people show up for you, too.
Grow Your Way to Social Success
If you continue creating, curating, and engaging in conversations around your industry and relevant topics, eventually you start gaining traction.
Oddly, you can feel yourself grow as a business and as a person as you build your social game and build relationship on top of relationship.
A social media relationship brings me here to this post, my second on Lisa’s inspiring blog, as a new contributor on the site.
I’m so pleased I’m here and in truth, it all sparked from social interactions and some mutual support of each other along the way.
Lisa and I have been connected and talking for a long time. And so, getting to the writing part bringing me to you, happened as organically as anything I can think of in my digital experiences.
But, working relationships, invitations to collaborate or to be a contributor to a site, don’t happen just by feeding a social feed—or five. Even if you feed it with a bunch of good stuff.
Relationships only form when you actually talk to people. Slowly. Over time.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Social media becomes an experience and not just a marketing tool. by @SueAnnBubacz” quote=”Social media becomes an experience and not just a marketing tool.” theme=”style1″]
Take Steps to Socialize Your SMM
So, what are the steps to plan your SMM Strategy to shake things up for your business?
First, go all in. That doesn’t mean you need to be on every single social platform. But, doing social media well on only one channel beats being everywhere and interacting nowhere.
Second, Forget haphazard and adopt a strategic approach. I’m not saying don’t experiment. Heck, every day on social is an experiment to me!
But, what I am saying is the simplest plan, an outline perhaps, to align your business vision and direction with SMM, will take you much further.
Start with a clear determination of what channel or channels you will work with, or start with.
Like content marketing in general, your SMM Strategy isn’t about you but, about finding, connecting, and engaging with your audience.
“Be human,” says Bryan Kramer by keeping the “human” in technology through creating human-centered products and services.
In his article, he also poses this question for thought:
Isn’t it more important than ever that we prioritize personalized, human-centered moments?~Bryan Kramer
So, in selecting where to be on social, let your audience guide you. Select the platform or platforms where the people you want to reach are hanging out. This will help with your social side of content marketing.
Plunge Into Platforms for the Social Side of Content Marketing
After you find the appropriate social media sites where you need to be, do a little research.
There are a few things that apply to certain platforms, in particular, you need to know. Try to understand them so you can get the basics, like your profile, optimal settings and such, taken care of properly.
Make sure you know the spec sizes for visuals as well since there’s not a standard size. Okay, I’ll help you out—thanks to Rebekah Radice, that is, she’s got the media size skinny covered for you here.
Other things to find out about on various platforms are the word or character counts allowed for posting, and how to tag people when you want to include them.
Try to use appropriate hashtags for platforms for more notice. And also when appropriate to a topic of discussion or, for joining a Twitter Chat.
As another example, LinkedIn maintains a more business-like attitude in posts and shares. Meanwhile, FaceBook is home to personal life in extra abundance. And often political discussions (translated: all-out brawls) are flaring up all around on there.
Hint about the social side of content marketing: Remember what you talk about, share, promote, and otherwise indulge in via social is up to you but, be aware everything on social is a reflection on you and your business.
I think of myself as friendly, helpful, and business-oriented at all times. I try to purposely avoid rants or whining on public social forums for the most part.
Now, I have let my guard down and asked plenty of stupid questions and let myself be more vulnerable in private FB groups, for example, as part of learning. Who knows how private anything is on the internet though so, you may want to think about it.
You Be You With Your Social Side of Content Marketing
Best advice: You be you.
Just remember you ARE putting yourself out there. In public. Possibly permanently. I do and say enough stupid things in real life so, for me, I try to maintain a business-friendly social attitude.
Another thing I sometimes wonder is how some folks get any business or create working relationships at all when they show a seriously judgmental attitude in their social media conversations.
I believe in and am all for freedom of speech so say what you will. For me, business is what I love to do and talk about. But besides that, if your reason for doing SMM is for business, you may want to hone communications to reflect a strategic direction.
You may want to stay professional, more than personal with your social side of content marketing.
But, you can still be personable. Approachable. Helpful.
Be sure to embrace the two-way communications that make content marketing and social media your secret door to engaging. Yes, engaging with audiences, fans, and prospects, alike.
For an added bonus, you can also interact with mentors or others you look up to. Remember, you are venturing into the social side of content marketing so, it may be fun to get social:)
[clickToTweet tweet=”The importance of human engagement outweighs anything else in social media. says @SueAnnBubacz” quote=”The importance of human engagement outweighs anything else in social media. ” theme=”style1″]
Friendly or Grouchy on the Social Side of Content Marketing?
While you’re thinking of how to portray yourself and business on social, consider your visual imprint as well.
Decide if you want to maintain a recognizable logo, for example, for social media visuals. If so, make sure to use it every time, and faithfully. Get visible.
Think about whether you want a singular color scheme or image style for a consistent business look over social. Or not.
For companies with multiple people responsible for social posting, social responses or interactions and the like, you may do better with an editorial guide.
So no one flies off the handle with an inexcusable tweet, you may take it further. Like setting up a checks and balances system to be sure no single player falls out of line with team posting or response rules.
You and your business may be at stake by how you use your social side of content marketing and throughout social media.
A thoughtful approach is the only way to go! And a simple intentional outline for direction is all you need to start.
A deeper dive, if you are reviewing your SMM Strategy already in place, is your best agenda.
How you use social media matters. A major player in your integrated marketing and content marketing plans, use SMM for good, not evil, and carry on…
What’s your take? Are you ready to snuggle up with the social side of content marketing? Do you have a plan in place for “thoughtful” and human-based social media marketing for your business?
Please drop a comment below about your social side of content marketing.