Social Media Content Marketing: The Ultimate Guide
Looking to expand your marketing horizons? Look no further. Learn everything you need to know to expand your content marketing into the world of social media.
Social media has hugely evolved. In January 2022, a grand total of 4.62 billion people worldwide used social media and this number is only on the up. Social media isn’t a new concept—the first-ever social media platform, SixDegrees.com, was released in 1997. Using SixDegrees, you could create your own profile page, make connections, and send messages to other users. It’s no wonder that social media content marketing is more in-demand than ever.
Social media has come a long way and is nowadays used for much more than socialising. Most businesses are using social media platforms to market their services and position themselves in front of billions of online users. Read on to find out how you can join them and expand your business’s online presence.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing (SMM) is the use of social media to promote your business and the services it provides. SMM allows you to engage with existing and new customers.
There’s much more to social media content marketing than simply creating content and posting it. You need to approach social media with a strong strategy to get the best results. A strong strategy includes a well thought out plan of the platforms you’ll use, the content you plan to post, and how you’re going to measure your success.
The benefits of implementing a social media content marketing strategy are:
- Grows brand awareness.
- Generates conversation around your brand.
- Increases traffic to your website.
- Promote your products and services.
- Provides a platform to share your brand’s story.
- A better understanding of your target customer’s interests.
- Identify trends in consumer behaviour and opinions.
- Builds a stronger relationship with your customers.
- Connects you with future business partners.
These are just a handful of the many benefits of using SMM. So, now that you know why SMM is important, it’s time to think about which platforms to grow your business on.
What social media platforms should you utilise?
The type of content you post will depend on the platform you choose. Some social media platforms are better for certain mediums than others, such as Instagram, where the main focus is on visual content. Twitter, meanwhile, excels with short, snappy text.
People interact with social media for all different purposes such as sharing photos, vlogging, gaming, networking, video sharing, virtual words, reviews, and much more. A lot of people use social media to check in with their favourite brands. So, it’s important to make content that people want to consume that’s also relevant to your business.
The main platforms that make a business’s marketing efforts flourish are:
LinkedIn is aimed at professionals. A lot of people use this platform as an online CV, to check out potential clients and employers. Recently, the platform has evolved, becoming more popular and accessible across all age groups.
LinkedIn is a great platform for businesses to build their portfolio, share core values, and attract new audiences and new clients. Should you choose to build your brand voice on LinkedIn, it’s important to keep all your information updated, as outdated information can be sometimes off-putting.
Facebook is perfect for businesses reaching out to those in the community. More often than not, people will look for local businesses on Facebook.
Social media is often more up-to-date than websites, and Facebook is great for sharing things like a change in opening times or promotions. So, if you’re looking to attract customers to your establishment, it’s vital you update this information frequently. Facebook has the most active users, with 2.91 billion as of January 2022, and is multi-functional — you can share text, images, and video. There’s so much potential in who your content can reach!
Your customers can also leave reviews on Facebook, so it’s great for gaining and tending to those supporting your brand.
If you’re looking to spark a conversation with your community, Twitter is the social media platform for you.
Some businesses take a light-hearted approach with their Twitter account. Netflix is known for its humorous tweets and content — clever marketing, indeed. Businesses share updates and interact with their customers on Twitter more than any other platform.
A tweet can have a maximum of 280 characters, so be sure to share the most impactful posts in as concise a way as possible.
This platform is predominantly image-based, with video content now becoming more regular on feeds. If your products are visual or digital, Instagram is a great place to share high-definition images. A page’s popularity is dependent on followers and like counts, so it’s best to devise a strategy around scheduling, hashtags, and regular post promotion.
Your content should be original and high quality. Content that is visually pleasing always performs better on this social media platform.
Tik Tok is the new kid on the block compared to other social media platforms. Despite being around since 2016, the platform has recently soared in popularity with approximately 1 billion active users, per month. This platform is purely video content and businesses are only just beginning to use it for marketing purposes.
Users come to Tik Tok for entertainment, useful tips, and personal content. Businesses approach Tik Tok with the idea of letting people get to know the individuals within their company.
If you decide to market on Tik Tok, you’ll need a designated face to run the account and make regular content.
How to implement an effective social media content marketing strategy
There’s such a wide variety of platforms it’s likely that you’ll find some more useful than others. For example, if your business isn’t practical design-based, visually focused mediums may not be the best fit for your strategy.
Social media can be overwhelming at first, so we’ve provided some useful tips to help you get started.
It might be your social media page, but it’s not all about you
It’s best to avoid solely posting personal content on your social media page. You want to create a varied feed, share things relating to your industry, and take part in meaningful discussions. Intertwine content about your business with news and industry knowledge to keep things interesting and effective.
Curate and create content
You may be wondering where to start with the type of content you’re wanting to put out. We recommend curating, creating, and communicating.
Curated content: this content is made by other people. Gather content that relates to your industry and repurpose it (but don’t forget to give credit!). Share your opinion on others’ work, hype them up, and offer your outlook on industry news.
Created content: this is content you create from your own products and services. You need to make these posts engaging. It’s important you capture your business voice correctly so the customer can understand the essence of your business identity.
Once you’ve started building followers and engagement, you can ask your audience what they exactly want to see from you. Creative content gives you scope to expand your ideas and give them exactly what they want.
Entertain, educate, and engage your followers
You can create all the social media posts you need, but if they don’t entertain, educate, or engage the user, they may prove to be wasted effort. Your social media posts need to be short and snappy. If you think something is relevant to your industry, give your opinion, and provoke your followers’ thoughts! Polls are a great way to engage your following. You can do these on all social media platforms.
A bank of content
We recommend you spend a good chunk of your time curating and creating content. Creating a bank of content will help organise your scheduling, plus if you have a bank of posts ready, you’ll never fall short of content to post. Spend time researching everything you think is relevant to your business, and record it in a spreadsheet. Then, when you’re ready to write, you’ll have a treasure trove of ideas that’s ripe for picking!
Before you run dry, we recommend spending more time coming up with brilliant ideas. Keep this process going throughout your social media efforts.
Social media is a full-time job and no easy feat. However, scheduling tools were invented to help save you time. Websites like Planable allow you to load all your content into their platform, and schedule posts weeks in advance across multiple social media platforms. It’s incredibly useful having one tool that lets you cross-post and makes managing social media accounts easier than ever.
Before you begin scheduling, we recommend researching the best times to post content. For example, the best time to post on Instagram is usually between 10AM and 1PM. Posting daily is important for your marketing efforts, as it provides daily exposure and reminds users of your presence—which is great for engagement.
If you choose to use more than one social media platform, some content can be cross-posted. For example, Tik Tok videos that are up to 60 seconds long also work well as Instagram reels. Additionally, photos you use on Instagram can be used for LinkedIn and Facebook, just needing different captions for each.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. If you have a topic in your industry that you’re particularly passionate about, write a piece and split it up across your pages.
It’s a good idea to promote your pages and content, so if you post a picture on your Instagram feed you can attract more attention by sharing it on your Instagram story. Due to Facebook and Instagram both being owned by Meta, you can connect your pages together, so whatever you post on your Instagram will automatically be posted to Facebook.
How to measure your SMM efforts
Most, if not all, social media platforms will provide you with some form of basic analytics regarding how your page and posts are performing, in addition to follower growth. We recommend using these metrics to see what content is performing best and identify what’s working for your page.
You’ll need to experiment with your content before you start analysing the data. We recommend testing your content by posting it for a month, before whittling down what’s working. Likewise, be careful not to overdo, as repeated content can become exhausting for some users quickly.
Seeing how people interact with your social media page is a good indicator of success. If people are regularly engaging with your posts, that’s a great sign. LinkedIn, for example, shows you the click-through rate of a post and provides a good indication as to whether a person is viewing all of your content or just having a quick glance.
This links back to your content being engaging — the payoffs will show in the stats.
Social media content marketing is a fantastic way to drive traffic to your website. Using tools like Google Analytics can help identify where your traffic is coming from and confirm that your social media efforts are providing positive results.
Choosing the right platform for you
There’s a lot you can do with social media, and so much to choose from. We can’t stress this enough, but it’s more productive for you to choose one to begin with. Better to master one platform than none at all!
By the same token, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. Growth will come. Running a social media platform is a full-time job and SMM shouldn’t be an afterthought.
Therefore, it’s best to implement a strategic plan for one platform, upscaling in time. So, now you know! Good luck!