Previously in this series, our panel of experts weighed in on the most common mistakes content marketers make and provided their top three tips for success. In the last of this three-part series, Jay Baer, Ann Handley and Joe Pulizzi offer advice for using social media effectively in a content marketing strategy.
What are your top three tips for leveraging social media with content marketing?
Jay Baer, Social Media Strategist and Speaker, Convince and Convert
Social media marketing is about people, not logos. Whatever you do, make sure you are interacting with customers and prospects on a human level. Acknowledge the other people in your company that are creating content, running your Twitter account, and so on.
You should also go beyond features and benefits. If every company has a special offer, what makes yours so special? Passion for your company — not a string of coupons — is what will cause your customers to become advocates. Understand what really differentiates your company and build your social media marketing program around that.
Lastly, you should integrate social media and social metrics into your overall business and marketing objectives. The goal is not to be good at social media; the goal is to be good at business because of social media. Never, ever forget that.
First, you need to create a content strategy before you have a social media strategy. Content is a cornerstone of social media, and it helps to know what you’re going to say before you say it.
Second, give your content wings to soar across the social web. Outfit it with social bling (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn buttons), and ungate anything intended to spread awareness, or in B2B speak, “top of the funnel” content. Oh and by “ungate” I mean that an email address or registration is not required to access something. Also, consider developing content “party favors” — widgets, infographics and the like that your fans and readers can take home to put on their own blogs or sites.
Third, don’t use Facebook as your sole content platform. You wouldn’t build a house on rented land, so don’t build your whole online content strategy around Facebook. Facebook is awesome, but you should build out content assets of your own at the same time.
Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute
The first tip involves training. Social media needs to be a skill within your organization, so train your staff on how to use it effectively and give them direction. When done correctly, your employees can be an incredibly powerful asset.
The next thing to keep in mind is to act human. Get rid of corporate speak. Treat people on the web like a human being would like to be treated. The days of corporate speak are over.
Finally, remember that it’s about content first, then social. You need to develop your content strategy before you develop your social strategy. In other words, we first need to be interesting to our customers before we can use all those fancy tools effectively.
Back to part one: What are the most common content marketing mistakes to avoid?