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May 24, 2022 (Updated: March 8, 2023)
Love it or hate it, social media is a modern-day content marketing tool. Traditional marketing strategies aren’t dead, but they have some competition for ways to reach your audience. According to Statista, the average daily social media usage per person worldwide is 147 minutes. That’s almost 2.5 hours of screen time. Compare that with the average person watching three hours of TV every day, and reading just over 20 minutes a day. Social media is a contender for your audience’s attention. So how does social media support content marketing? Today we’re finding out with topics like:
You’ve probably heard the saying, “if you build it, they will come.” That’s a great saying, but impractical for content marketing. If people don’t know your content, let alone your company, exists, they’re never going to come. No matter how great you think your pieces are. So how do you use these two areas of marketing together to make it happen? By realizing a dual strategy:
Social media platforms let you promote your content to a large segment of your audience. People don’t always spend time on social media with a purpose. They scroll and waste time, the way we used to do by going and spending hours at the mall in high school. They do it for something to do. If your content is available where they’re wasting time and they see it, they may be more apt to click, read, or watch. It’s shown up in their path. They didn’t have to seek it out for themselves.
Being on social media isn’t a guarantee people will stop the doom scroll and convert. But it is a place for you to create a need, or at a minimum, an interest in your services. Doing your marketing right convinces people they need to stop, even if it wasn’t in their original plans. Social media is a wonderful tool for encouraging this type of brand awareness and gathering an audience you can develop into a community.
You can use social media to find new leads. But those leads can also do some of your marketing for you. Relevant, timely, interesting, and even controversial content gets shared online. If your target audience reads a piece that sparks emotion, they’re more likely to share it with their own network. This gets you more marketing exposure with less work on your own part. You just have to focus on creating high-quality content people want to see.
Social media is about community. People go to those channels to share their thoughts and opinions about everything and anything. Including your content. Social media is not just a one-way communication channel. The audience can tell you just what they think about your content in real-time, and you can respond.
This helps generate more content ideas based on their conversations. You can use interactive features of each platform, like polls and stories, to get even more insight into what your audience wants to see. When you engage in these discussions online, it humanizes your brand. It makes people feel less like you’re trying to sell them something and make a profit. Instead, you share that your brand cares about their thoughts and needs.
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People use social media both personally and professionally to be part of a community. For businesses, you no longer have to gather at a conference or in the real world to share thoughts and ideas about your industry. Building a community makes people feel like they’re more than interacting with a brand, they’re part of it. Those who want to join that community usually are interested in what you have to say or share your beliefs and values. Creating a space like this increases brand trust and customer loyalty.
It also increases the chances of other people sharing your content with their own networks. Remember, people who already like and trust your brand make up most of your social media community. These are people most likely to partner with you or buy from you, anyway. But that’s okay. Social media is as much about attracting new clients as it is about nurturing the ones you already have. Customer relationships are like a marriage. You don’t give up once you already have them. You keep tending to them to keep them happy, healthy, and spending for years to come.
One of the most common ways to share your content on social media is with links from the original hub source. That might be your blog, knowledge base, or video repository. Getting shares or clicks on this content drives more traffic to those original sources. And, these practices are more important than some of the vanity metrics on social media alone, like impressions or likes.
Vanity metrics inflate how well you think you’re promoting your content on social media. Likes are the perfect example. You might get over 1,000 likes on a post, but liking is easy. It doesn’t take any thought or commitment. People often like posts, or even share them, without reading or viewing content beyond the headline. Skeptics of social media marketing use this as a basis to argue why it’s not worth their time. It doesn’t yield what they consider actual results. But it can. You just have to work harder to get it there.
Watching your engagement and click-through rates tells you more about the actual success of your social media and content marketing. If you’re getting people back to your primary site, they’re more likely to explore other content and things you offer. That’s where they’re most encouraged to make meaningful conversions, like signing up for your newsletter or making a purchase. Social media can be the tool to get them there, and you can tell if it’s working if you look in the right places.
Use these tips to find out how to develop a social media strategy to support your content marketing efforts:
Your brand doesn’t have to be on every social media platform. Does a B2B software company really need to be on TikTok? Probably not. Just because the channel is available doesn’t mean it’s right for your strategy. While social media is a great tool for reaching a wider audience, it’s only worth your time if you’re reaching the right audience.
Some of the most effective social media platforms for B2B companies include LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. You can find out where your target audience spends time by doing market research. Once you find the right channels, develop your content distribution strategy for each one.
Related: 3 Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Marketing
Don’t restrict the content you share on social media to just written or video content you create. Curating content from other sources is just as important. Find a balance among sharing helpful resources curated from other accounts, your own educational pieces, and sales content. This variety exposes your audience to as many helpful resources as possible. It also prevents your channel from looking like a supermarket bulletin board, where you only post sales ads or your own hype pieces.
One hallmark of a trusted source is being secure enough in what you do to share or promote content that comes from another source. Even when you’re an “expert” in your field, you’re never really an expert because there’s always something new to learn. You can gain audience respect when you show you understand that.
Looking for new content to both create and share? Request your free content analysis report from CopyPress. This report shows how your content compares to that of your top competitors. It also shows opportunity keywords for content your audience craves. Let these guide both your content creation and curation processes.
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Even if you’re promoting written content on your channels, include a visual. The type of visual you use depends on the channel and the content you’re promoting. Photos, videos, infographics, and animations are all options. People don’t stop the scroll for words. They stop for visuals, then they read the words.
Visuals let you summarize written content, too, like a preview. This helps people decide if stopping, clicking, and reading more is worth their time. Make sure you’re optimizing your visuals for each platform. Image sizes and video quality differ on each one.
Social media isn’t the only tool people use to find your content. Organic search leads people to your website, as well. If people find content on your native site, make it easier for them to share it with their network on social media. A good way to do that is by adding social share buttons to the content. With a click of a button, they can pop their comments into a post and share your content with their friends or followers. These tools are especially popular for mobile browsers because they integrate with social apps.
Related: Where and How To Use Social Sharing Buttons in Your Content
We’ve already said social media is a community. Now, think about an in-person community and all the facets it has. There are schools and government offices. Restaurants and retail shops. Hospitals and homes. These things co-exist and work together to make the community run, and make it a good place to live, work, and spend time. Often, different community groups get together to promote causes, like fairs or meetings.
You can do these things within a social media community, too. By finding influencers or non-direct competitors in your niche, you can work together to get more interest in and traffic to both of your content. This strengthens your community and makes your circle of influence wider.
Social media content is famous for trends, challenges, and “going viral.” There are many downsides to this type of marketing. You’re constantly chasing the next big thing, either as a leader or a follower. That increases the amount of content you need to make to stay ahead of, or even on par with, the curve.
But social media is still a suitable home for evergreen content. And that never goes out of style. There will be times that a trending topic aligns with evergreen content in your archives. Try to find a balance when sharing trending and evergreen content on your social feeds. For example, you may share both timely blog posts and resourceful article links on your feed to cover both areas.
You need to be authentic in everything you do when trying to attract clients. That includes your content marketing and social media practices. Many clickbait articles on the internet get traffic, but they don’t provide value to the audience. Engaging with clickbait comes back to vanity metrics. Sure, these pieces get lots of likes and even shares. But the actual content doesn’t have any substance. Check the bounce rate on any clickbait page. It’s likely pretty high. There’s probably a list of angry tirades in the comments, too.
Engaging in these kinds of spammy practices on social media damages your reputation. Make sure your headlines, visuals, and post content all relate to the links and content message. This is how you lower your bounce rate and increase time on page and conversions with your social content. Although these metrics live back on your host platform, they’re a better way to tell if you’re getting actionable traction from your social media strategy than vanity metrics.
Use the feedback you get from social media polls and comments to plan your next content marketing campaign. What are people saying? What are you doing well? Where can you improve? This feedback may tell you not just about what topics people want to see, but what content works best on each platform. For example, your articles may be more popular on LinkedIn, while blogs are a hit on Facebook.
Remember, content marketing is all about providing valuable information to your audience. It sets you up as a thought leader and a trusted source in your industry. Once you’ve captured the audience’s trust, they keep coming back for more on social media and other channels.
When deciding if social media is going to help your content marketing strategy at all, look to your key performance indicators (KPIs). These measurable values help you track your marketing campaign’s performance. Common marketing KPIs include new customer or client acquisition, return on investment (ROI), and customer lifetime value.
There’s often not a direct pipeline to track if your social media marketing contributes to these metrics. That doesn’t make it impossible. You just have to get more creative. It may take your strategy team more time to devise a plan that correlates social media efforts to KPIs. If you don’t want to do that extra work, then maybe a social media support strategy isn’t right for your content marketing.
Social media is not the end-all, be-all of marketing. It’s just one tool in your toolbox. Like keyword research platforms and AI content editors, it helps you on the way to get to your real endgame—conversions and sales. The content actually gets you there. Start a free call with CopyPress today to learn how we share your vision through content to promote conversions and sales on any platform you choose.