Content marketing has seen a gradual evolution from traditional content (hard copy) to digital content (blogs, eBooks), and now… social content.

Each social network provides its own opportunity to create social content, based on its demographics and what it allows you to post. For example, even though Twitter limits tweets to 140 characters, it can still be used as a tool to create “content.”

LinkedIn:

Discussion Groups are used to engage with potential customers. Each post and comment is content. this paves the way for interactive content creation that all involved parties can contribute to, it is no longer a one-way channel.

Facebook:

There is a Catch-22 when it comes to Facebook: you can’t get engagement without fans, and you can’t get fans without engagement. Of course, you can go the way of paid fans, but those are worthless, and in general, it’s a terrible practice. So how do you grow your community?

Social Content Marketing.

Even if you have a minimal-sized community (100 users or less), you can still begin to grow your fanbase organically by creating engaging social content in the form of status updates. These updates need to meet the same standards that all marketing content should meet – providing actual value to your audience. With social content marketing, it is important to focus on the promotional and the engagement component. One strategy for this would be to include open-ended questions in your posts.

Twitter:

Twitter was created as the ultimate “micro-blog;” its sole purpose is to provide users with a channel to distribute extremely short-form content to a wide audience. Twitter, unlike Facebook, is an “open” network where anyone can see your tweets.

The “openness” of Twitter gives social content marketers a fantastic platform for distributing their content. One 140-character tweet can be seen by literally millions of people if it’s written correctly.

In order to finesse Twitter, you need to know how to tweet. In this case, it’s all about hashtags. As a social content marketer, you must know how to utilize hashtags within your social content to maximize the number of people who will see your content.

Twitter has a fantastic feature called TwitPic that allows you to not only post written content, but visual content as well. In the new world of Social Content Marketing, images are content as much as any kind of written content. By coupling compelling visual content with engaging written content, you can maximize the effectiveness of Social Content Marketing on Twitter.

Google+:

Robert Scoble, a thought-leader in the tech and social space, uses Google+ in a fashion that perfectly exemplifies Social Content Marketing. Instead of utilizing profile updates on his G+ page the way one would on Facebook or LinkedIn, Robert uses them as a forum for longer content – essentially as a shorter and more engaging blog post. By doing this, he has created a completely new channel for content distribution directly on social media.

The result of this strategy is an incredible number of comments, +1s and shares of his updates. While not many people advocate Google+’s value, Robert Scoble has become something of an evangelist for the social network.

Social Content Marketing, as a strategy, is continuing to evolve. As the social age witnesses the continued proliferation of social networks into niche markets, so too will Social Content Marketing evolve to meet the new social media reality.