Social media plays a prominent role in content marketing. It’s a vital channel to distribute content. Using social media and content marketing, you can build brand awareness, foster engagement, and drive followers to your website for conversions. In creating a social media marketing strategy, it needs to align with your content marketing strategy.
But how do you maintain consistency and integrate these two strategies? Let’s dive deep into how.
Are You Truly Investing in Social Media?
It’s not enough just to have profiles for your brand on social media platforms. You have to engage, delight, respond, and share valuable information. Why? Because social media is where your audience looks for solutions. We know this because 3.96 billion people use social media, and 54 percent of social browsers use social media to research products.
Most businesses see the opportunity here and are investing more into their social media efforts. An investment in social media isn’t just about promoting content or running ads. Rather, it’s more about having dedicated resources that have a defined strategy for each network, consistently publish content, and interact with audiences. Having authentic conversations with prospects on social media by educating them with your content is a proven way to drive conversions.
Social Media and Content Marketing: Making Sure They Complement Each Other
A good first move to align social media and content marketing is to review your current content strategy. In your content strategy, you’ve defined:
- Business goals and objectives
- Target audiences
- Voice and tone
- Content mission (what you expect to achieve with content marketing)
- Distribution and channels
- Measurement (what content analytics you’ll rely on to show progress toward goals)
Of these elements, several are relevant to social media. Your business goals should be the same. For example, if your goal is to increase website visits, leverage social media to be a referrer to your site.
Target audiences matter as well because you’ll be seeking out those that match your buyer on social media. The type of targeting you can do depends on the platform, but you can typically use industry, roles, and interests.
Voice and tone are important in everything you craft. The tone of your content might change depending on the platform. On Twitter, for instance, you’ll use a conversational, concise style.
Distribution is an essential role of social media. While you don’t own social media channels, you do have the ability to decide how to use it to disperse your content.
Finally, measurement is just as crucial for social media as for content marketing. Metrics to consider tracking include:
- New followers from each platform
- Engagement rate (likes, shares, comments, etc.)
- Clicks to the website from social media posts/pageviews
- Social share of voice (percent of mentions within an industry)
- Conversion rate as share of total followers
- Amplification rate (ratio of shares compared to total followers)
- Applause rate (ratio of likes compared to total followers)
Defining Your Social Media Marketing Goals and Tactics
After you’ve reviewed your current strategy, including social media, you need to revisit goals and tactics. If you have documented these already, that’s great. It’s simply time to review them. If you’ve been using social media without a compass, you should map out the elements noted above.
You’ll need to answer several questions to start. These answers assist you in achieving that alignment between social media and content marketing.
What are your universal goals on social media?
Across all the social media sites, you should develop fundamental goals. Some popular ones are engagement, community building, traffic, awareness, and monetization.
Which platforms will you use, and how will they align with your goals?
There are so many unique platforms for social media. Some are mature; others are emerging. Choose the profiles that make the most sense for your industry and audience. Then align those with goals. For example, Facebook — which is still the platform with the most users — makes sense for most brands, and is just as important for B2B as it is for B2C organizations.
Using Facebook can help hit goals around awareness, engagement, traffic, and community building. Whereas Instagram is great for awareness and engagement, it’s harder for it to be a traffic referral source because there’s no linking on posts.
What metrics should you monitor to determine success?
Looking back at the metrics above, you may choose to measure all of these things or only a few. Decide which ones correlate with your goals. Social share of voice is a good metric to use if your competitors have highly optimized social media. If not, then it may not be very useful.
Don’t Forget to Audit Your Social Media Channels
In this process of revamping your social media channel, it’s also a good idea to audit what you have now. This is true for brands with and without an existing strategy. Analyze aspects of your profiles and optimize them:
- Profile components: Update imagery and brand positioning if necessary.
- Following and followers: Review the profiles you’re following, and that follow you. Remove any that don’t make sense for your brand.
- Frequency: How often are you posting?
- Personality: Does your brand have a “personality” on social media? If so, does it resonate? If not, should you develop one?
Putting It All Together: Social Media and Content Marketing
You’ve now completed your social media and content marketing journey. It’s time to take what you learned and develop this into strategies. The most crucial action to take now is to build a social media content calendar. It should include all the same aspects as your master content calendar.
The calendar allows you to plan posts and meet posting frequency goals. It’s also a transparent way to provide visibility to all content stakeholders on what’s happening on each profile every day. See how it works in DivvyHQ’s platform below.
If you need help developing a schedule for your calendar, download the social media schedule template today for free!