Using HootSuite? You’re not alone. In fact, HootSuite’s social relationship platform boasts a whopping 8 million users ranging from individuals, to SMBs, to large enterprise and fortune 500 companies. In fact, it’s the world’s most widely use social relationship platform.

But if you think it’s just about managing social networks, you’re missing out. While that’s the company’s core functionality, if used strategically, HootSuite can be a content marketer’s best friend, providing you with an eco-system of content marketing tools to help amplify your organization’s marketing efforts.

Managing Social Relationships

Listening for Content Ideas

Listening is a key component of understanding what kind of content your audience is hungry for. With HootSuite, you can get these insights by monitoring specific keywords, hashtags, phrases and conversations. The foundation of good content marketing begins with knowing what your audience wants and the closer you can get to hitting the mark, the better your content will ultimately resonate with people and drive lead generation.

Pro Tip: While some keywords and phrases that you should be monitoring will be obvious, talk to your support and sales team to find out more. They’re on the front lines, talking to customers and leads regularly so they’ll have a good pulse on the types of questions that may come up.

Converse with Prospects

As you’re listening to your audience, inevitably you’ll come across people who are reaching out via social media to get information, ask questions or research a service or product. You may even find people that are talking about your competition, which may also open up an opportunity to start a conversation and share content that you’ve created that speaks to their specific needs. Starting the relationship through social media can be a powerful way to drive people towards your sales funnel.

Here’s a great example from a post by Neil Patel – the user below was talking about an analytics platform, and as Neil points out this left the door open for a response from their competitor.

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Be Responsive

If someone is reaching out to you via social media, they expect you to be responsive. WIth HootSuite, you have the tools to react quickly to both customers and prospects providing your content in realtime – when they need it. This speaks to the power of combining social relationship management with good content, not only to attract new customers, but to retain and support existing ones.

This is something we do at Uberflip regularly, and here’s an example from our own HootSuite dashboard.

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Which resulted in….

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The Content Experience Behind the Share

Let’s face it – sometimes good content isn’t enough. This is especially true if your goal is to drive people to take a specific action. A good content strategist knows that every piece of content has a purpose, which generally falls into one of four buckets:

  1. Engagement (sharing and/or commenting)
  2. Lead generation (educational and usually more “top of the funnel”)
  3. Sales generation (they’re ready to buy, more “bottom of the funnel”)
  4. Customer marketing (retaining and supporting customers, upselling)

Now consider this: you’ve systematized the process of listening, conversing and responding to your customers and prospects via HootSuite. You’ve established a relationship with them. And then you send them to a less than stellar user experience to consume your content – or worse, you send them to an experience without a path toward the desired action. No sharing buttons (or they’re tucked away so people can’t find them), no compelling CTA and an unappealing interface that doesn’t truly reflect your brand.

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As compared to…

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Compare that with an experience that is attractive (like it or not, design matters… a lot), compelling and includes the essential elements that will drive action and you’re a immediately one step closer toward your goals. Here are some of the elements of a great content experience that will help entice action:

  1. Excellent content. This goes without saying, but as mentioned before it’s not enough.
  2. Contextual call-to-actions (CTAs). Your CTAs need to relate to the content to drive the desired result.
  3. Discoverability. It should be as easy as possible for people to discover more of what they need, whether it’s educational, inspirational, or support / customer related content.
  4. Responsive design. If you’re sharing content via HootSuite, there’s a good chance people are clicking on it from a mobile phone or tablet. If your content marketing experience isn’t mobile friendly, you’re going to see higher bounce rates and you’ll be losing conversions. You don’t need an app, but you do need a responsive interface that will work on any device.
  5. Shareability. Don’t hide your share buttons. As you work to grow your network, subscriber lists and social channels, you have to make it as easy as possible for people to share your content.

Leverage the HootSuite Ecosystem

You shouldn’t feel overwhelmed by the number of tools or systems you need to use in order to combine all of your content marketing efforts effectively. Nor should you feel shoe-horned into any one stack of solutions. Leverage the robust partner ecosystem HootSuite has created to plug into all of your various content marketing products from a single social platform. You can see a full list of integrations available on the HootSuite app directory or access them directly from within HootSuite itself, but here are a few that provide a leg up when it comes to tying your content marketing to lead gen processes:

For Lead Generation

Use the Salesforce and Marketo apps to create leads from your social media activity. This will allow for seamless communication between your social media manager and your sales/marketing teams and ensure that nothing slips through the cracks. The advantage here is that you’re able to grab more social data and context which is helpful for account managers, helping them understand what their customers are talking about and creating opportunities for engagement.

In the case of Marketo, you can also add social activity to your leads in Marketo to enhance lead scoring and push people further down your sales funnel. Here’s an example of what you would see in your HootSuite dashboard.

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For Content Marketing

Having the right content at your fingertips is key to being responsive via social to generate leads and support customers. Both the Uberflip and Kapost apps allow you to pull your content assets into HootSuite, instantly creating streams so you can share content directly from your dashboard. With Kapost, you can also pull in social content from HootSuite, generating more ideas for content creation. Both integrations allow you to grab relevant content and share it in real time so it’s more impactful and ultimately more helpful to potential and existing customers. Here’s an example of what you would see in your HootSuite dashboard.

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Great content and a social media work hand in hand to build relationships with your customer and drive growth. With HootSuite, you’ll have your finger on the pulse of your audience, able to hear what they’re saying, chat them up and provide solutions to their pain points – potentially your product.