The value of quality content continues to increase exponentially as new best practices and technologies emerge to extend its reach and impact. These new advancements highlight how strategic content programs are delivering measurable benefits across the enterprise, from support and sales to marketing and human resources. The latest seismic shift to both challenge and empower the content industry is the explosive adoption of social media networks as a content distribution channel. As savvy organizations work to engage with target audiences through this new medium, one fact has clearly emerged – quality content is vital to social media campaigns that are meaningful, impactful and provide lasting value.
Social media has made a significant impact on content professionals and the industry at large. It has completely changed the way companies communicate with their audience. Gone are the days when communication was a one-way street from brand to consumer via ads or websites. Today’s consumers are actively researching and discussing products online far before they make a purchasing decision. They are reaching out to their friends through social media, looking at product reviews, and researching websites prior to making contact with a company and their content. Therefore, it is essential that companies distribute high quality content that reaches their consumers at every stage in their buying process.
Social media can extend the reach of content and provide opportunities for brands to engage with their audience. As people build preferences for products, they look online for information. They could be looking through search engines, product reviews, blogs, or recommendations from their peers. Savvy brands want to engage with their consumers and provide them with quality content. They want to be where their customers are, and their customers are in social media!
Determining the right content for social media
To understand the best content for different social media channels, it is crucial to define goals. Social media is best suited for creating awareness, prompting consideration and engaging with consumers. Goals could include promoting a product, generating awareness of a new line, or understanding public sentiment about a campaign. When the content aligns with the goal, it is more effective.
Optimizing content for social consumption
Social media content should be authentic and natural and will not be well received if it is an obvious ‘sales pitch’. Content that is distributed by brands in social media channels should fit in naturally with conversations that are already happening online. It is not natural in the social-sphere to constantly self-promote. Brands can promote their products and services if they are peppered into a normal conversation. If every tweet is about a 50 percent off promotion, people won’t be interested in the content. However, if the Twitter feed has valuable information that is relevant to readers, the occasional offer will be well received.
Aligning content with the right social network
The best content strategy for social media is to post relevant content, often. The channel depends on the company and the goals. Pinterest, for example, is perfect for brands that can represent themselves visually. Posting on multiple channels can drive more traffic to corporate content, as long as it is done in an authentic, natural way.
How to activate a social content program
The most effective way to activate a social content program is to create sharable content. When content is designed so that people will naturally want to share it with their peers, everyone wins. The brand wins because they create more awareness, and the reader wins because they have interesting content to share with their friends.
Best practices to monitor and manage social feedback and responses
Social media has changed the way that companies measure success online. The most common way to measure online engagement is with page views and click-throughs. But those metrics do not tell the whole story. They do not measure engagement. Engagement is an indicator of intent to buy. To measure engagement, it is also important to measure likes, shares, retweets, pins and comments.