There’s a massive buzz in social media ‘guru’ land at the moment around the absolute importance of content as the key component for your social media marketing success. Seriously, if I read ‘content is king’ one more time (or meet another social media guru) my head will explode.
It’s not that I disagree with this sentiment, I absolutely agree that good content is fundamental to the success of your social media marketing. But the importance of good content is nothing new; content has always been king across all media – since the printing press started. Newspapers, catalogues, DM, radio & television shows would all be ignored if what was delivered to the audience was boring, unimaginative, irrelevant rubbish.
My gripe lays with the fact that this myopic focus on content as the key to success is teaching businesses to only think about how good the content is (leaving them scratching their heads when it fails to engage), when they absolutely also need to be thinking about the strategy and the target audience. The reason is that developing a solid strategy for your social media marketing and understanding who the audience you need to engage with to deliver on said strategy will ultimately influence the social media platform you need to be on. This in turn will influence the content you publish, how you publish it and when you publish it.
Your social media marketing plans shouldn’t be approached any differently to any other promotional activity you employ.
3 steps to help your social media marketing
1. Decide what you are trying to achieve by using social media – this is your ‘why’ or strategy. Is is customer services, sales growth, brand personality, thought leadership?
2. Identify who you are targeting – e.g. mass, niche, segmented – males, females, teenagers, children, parents, industry peers. Use these two inputs to guide your selection of social media platform as not all platforms are created equal, and not all will be right for your audience or strategy. Quite simply, if you are investing all your time and energy in Facebook, but your target audience are on Instagram or Pinterest – well, how are they going to see it?
3. Then, after you have done the first two steps, develop your content plan and deliver it. The platform you are on needs to guide the type of content you produce and publish – image led for Instagram and Pinterest, video rich content for YouTube, short or long form content for blogs etc. The key here is to make the content native to the platform you are on, relevant to the audience you want to engage and then focus on making it ‘king’
What are your thoughts on the social media marketing puzzle? Have I missed a piece?