You’re consistently publishing thought leadership to your website. And you’re sharing these insights in regular outbound emails to your contacts list. These two combined achievements sound like your team is well on its way toward the peak of digital marketing. Isn’t it time to just follow the path ahead and get ready to bask in views at the top?
Well, yes and no. Making it this far is certainly a moment to be proud of. Your team is building muscle memory for the habits necessary for meaningful content marketing. But the reality is that you still need to put your head down and work hard rather than just expect the climb to the peak to be easy. This isn’t the time to grow impatient; now’s the time to consider what else you can to increase your chances for success. And social media may just be that additional means to an end that you need.
You may have been sharing your content to your company’s social media pages for the past few months (or even years), but you probably haven’t reached your organic potential on these platforms. (We’ll tackle how to maximize a paid social investment another time.) Or you may have been so focused on not missing a scheduled publication date or outbound promotion that social fell to the wayside altogether.
Regardless of which camp you fall into, now is the time to evaluate your social media strategy. Meet with your team. Look at your stats — follower numbers, posts with the most engagement, etc. Decide which platforms are worth your team’s time. And then employ these three tactics:
1. Be more thoughtful about how you share your content via social.
You put the time and effort into considering your target audience when creating your content, so why wouldn’t you keep that strategy in mind when posting to social? Similarly to how to best approach outbound strategy, writing social media copy should speak to your prospects’ concerns, questions, and pain points in a way that befits the platform. Don’t use your social media posts to shout from the mountaintop about how wonderful your firm is. Instead, craft your social posts to tell the story of your team and your work by highlighting exactly what is of value in clicking through to read on your site. What will your reader want to see?
I could go on and on about keeping social copy short and sweet or direct and conversational or simply “on-brand,” but we’re sure you’ve heard it all before. I would rather share a best practice you’re less likely to have come across before. Sometimes, give away your content’s key point — potentially the solution to your audience’s problem — right at the outset of your social post’s copy. Remember, content marketing depends on generosity and credibility. Being generous in sharing answers directly goes along way in today’s inundated digital market. It can be less about clickbait and more about the application of your expertise to your audience’s needs.
2. Don’t let your social pages simply serve as a replica of your website’s insights.
Your business’ social pages are not meant to solely be an extension of your website.
If you scroll through your social media posts right now, does almost each and every one one share your thought leadership with a link back to your site? If so, you’re using social media all wrong. Social platforms are a place to connect, to entertain, to storytell, to nurture relationships, and to express yourself. Your site should be designed to function at its best and so should your social media.
The best way to keep your social media pages relevant, nonrepetitive, and resonating with your audience is to share third-party content. This doesn’t mean sharing your competitors’ content — I know you are all more creative than that. It simply means sharing high-quality content from sources other than your own site. This is an important step toward being successful in a social community. Not only are you working to amplify your own brand voice, but you’re also helping others do the same. This can look like many different types of content, but a few ideas to consider are sharing your partners’ content (either by sharing their post itself or by posting a link to their site), industry-relevant news and updates, or mentions of your business from third-party sites.
3. Set aside time for engaging on social media just as you do for posting.
Let me guess: You’re seeing very little engagement on your social media pages. How much time are you spending commenting and liking others’ content? None? Well then it’s not really surprising they’re not giving yours the time of day either. Sure, you can say that it’s because your content is being lost in all the noise or that your organic social content doesn’t stand a chance against paid, but at the core base of social media’s foundation is the idea of reciprocal relationships. You and your community may not be keeping an exact score, but you can bet Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and their counterparts are.
When you are not putting money behind your content, your greatest opportunity to reach more viewers is by creating content that drives users to engage. The more that other users interact with your content, the more frequently it will be displayed in others’ feeds beyond your specific network of followers, thus increasing your content’s reach. While employees can serve as ambassadors for your content and help drive up its viewing potential, devoting 20-30 minutes once a week to reading others’ content, leaving kind or astute comments, and sharing to your own company pages when appropriate will give you another leg up. Not to mention that this best practice can compliment your need for third-party content quite nicely as well.
You may not have hours to spend on social every week, but if you simply follow these three recommendations you’re on the path toward optimizing your organic content performance.