Social Media & Content Marketing: How to Create a Unified Plan

by Isaac Oswalt on January 26, 2017

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Still thinking about your social media marketing as separate from your content marketing? Yikes! Social media and content marketing aren’t separate silos. They go hand-in-hand and should be part of a single, integrated digital marketing plan. Separately, these two strategies can boost brand visibility and awareness, strengthen trust and loyalty, and drive conversions. Together, their impact is magnified.

Creating great content is just one part of the puzzle. If that content just sits on your blog, how is anyone going to know to read it? You need a smart social media distribution strategy that shares your best content on your social channels and engages your audience. The same goes for social media. It’s all well and good to have a robust social presence, but tweeting for the sake of tweeting won’t get you very far. There needs to be a clear purpose behind everything you say on social media. (Click to Tweet)

A unified social media and content strategy will help your business achieve its marketing goals much faster, whether those goals are building brand awareness, driving lead generation or upselling to existing customers.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Start with a single brand voice.

    There’s a good chance the folks managing your social media accounts are not the same people writing your blog content. This is especially true if you rely on a team of freelance writers to support your content creation efforts. While there’s nothing wrong with this setup, one downside is that it’s easy for two  (or more) distinct brand voices to develop. The first step to aligning social media and content creation is to take inventory of your current efforts and compare them against existing brand standards.

    If you don’t already have a single brand guide with rules for voice and tone, now is the time to create one! (Not sure where to get started? We're huge fans of this fantastic sample guide created by MailChimp.) Identify your target audiences across all platforms, create guidelines for how you talk about
    your brand on different channels and establish a single brand voice moving forward.

  2. Create content with an eye towards social sharing.

    As you write blog posts, eBooks, white papers etc., think about how this content will be shared over social media. Have your copywriter include a few suggestions for social media headlines in conjunction with the blog posts. Have your social team tailor these headlines for different channels, like your LinkedIn company page, Facebook and Twitter and add appropriate hashtags.

    Finally, don’t overlook other elements that make for viral content. Are there small graphics/infographics that could accompany some of this content and boost audience engagement when shared on social media? A provocative quote to tweet? What about a short video tutorial to accompany a how-to blog post? When you consider how a piece of content will be shared during the creation stage, it’s easier to maximize the content’s impact.
     
  3. Use social conversations to drive content creation.

    When it comes to user engagement and brand awareness, content marketing and social media are two sides of the same coin. While it’s important to create content with an eye towards social sharing (as discussed above), it’s equally important to draw insights from social media conversations.

    So, how do you use these insights to influence content creation? Start by identifying common threads that come up over and over again on social media. Maybe clients continually face the same challenge utilizing a feature on a product you sell and or don’t understand all the ways a service you provide will be valuable. Maybe the common thread is a new challenge facing your industry or how a current event will impact business strategy.

    By monitoring what’s being said and by whom, you’ll have a better idea about the topics your audience finds most relevant. It’s much easier to generate engagement and enthusiasm around content that’s aligned to topics your audience is already discussing than trying to start a brand new conversation!

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Isaac Oswalt

Owner of 21 Handshake, a strategic marketing company, driven to grow relationship-driven businesses. Futurist in nature, Isaac displays a deep desire to preserve the human element in today's business. Trust being the ultimate currency, his clients appreciate that "new and stronger handshakes" is a success metric in their businesses.

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