social mediaBy now, everyone is aware of the crucial role that social media plays in content marketing. From Twitter to Facebook to Instrgram, placing social media front and center has proven to be a golden content marketing strategy, not to mention it holds the power to significantly increase return on investment. In fact, a new HootSuite infographic displaying the results of a recent LinkedIn study shows that 89 percent of small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) find social media to be effective for their content marketing strategy.

LinkedIn’s findings remind us of some best practices for SMBs to advance their content marketing strategy. Let’s take a look at a few:

Use Social Media for Marketing and Learning

While 94 percent of SMBs use social media for marketing purposes, almost half (49 percent) use social media as an educational tool. These SMBs leverage social media to gain access to a greater pool of peers to ask questions or get recommendations; to learn from the experts in their industry; to obtain insights and best practices; and to find information about the questions they have.

Remember: Content marketing is all about telling your company’s story and positioning yourself as a thought leader. Social media is a great tool to get your story heard, but you can also use social media to strengthen your knowledge base so that you can build up your company’s standing as a thought leader.

Allocate Your Social Media Spend Evenly

It’s great that more than half of SMBs have increased spend on social media compared to the prior year—higher than that of any other marketing channel—but how company budgets are dedicated to social media is crucial. It’s unwise to throw all of your money into what appears to be the most popular platform and then cross your fingers.

Remember: You need to have a comprehensive assessment of your company’s core competencies, product offerings and consumer base to see which social platform will best suit you and help you achieve your goals fastest.

Don’t Follow the Social Crowd

Nearly two out of three SMBs say that their primary challenge is attracting new customers. Furthermore, 61 percent of SMBs say that social media solves the problem by helping to acquire and retain new customers. But while this may be a top challenge for many companies, don’t assume that it’s yours as well.

Remember: The top challenge for the majority of SMBs may not necessarily be your company’s top challenge. Identify specifically what your company is looking to overcome and see how social media can play a role.

Have any social media reminders for the small business (or any sized business) that we didn’t cover above? Let us know in the comments section below!