You’re set and ready to get productive with what matters most in social media as in everywhere else on the internet: content.
There is no magical recipe to turn overnight your slow-dripping blog into a content marketing war machine, but with focus, commitment, and basic skills, there are some easy tips you can put to good use.
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First things first, you need to have a basic understanding of what exactly qualifies as potentially successful content in the context of social media.
To see things a little clearer, let’s break down the main categories of content you can produce before taking a deeper look at the benefits and drawbacks of each type of content.
Unique, branded blog posts.
Long tail articles & high quality
Short, disposable content & promo pieces.
Visual, shareable content.
One liners & interesting quotes.
You will need a good share of dedicated time and self-discipline to run a blog, assigning yourself to write regularly about topics that are of direct interest to your audience.
To turn this time-consuming chore in a quick and fun activity, your best bet is to start writing about what you know best.
Your company, your customers, your work, your industry, or your products are all subjects that will get you easily inspired and will produce unique, branded content promoting your brand, boosting your search engine rankings and website traffic.
The perfect blog post is composed of 7 main elements:
“Long tail articles” are blog posts and high-value content (case studies, white papers) that tackle a very specific subject, mimicking the “long tail keywords” techniques of search engine optimization.
This type of resources-consuming work is usually packaged in neat downloadable reports which you can use as incentives to collect information and start a business conversation with qualified online leads.
Of course you’ll most likely need tremendous dedication, time and outside help to put that kind of content together, but it will go a long way to boost your search engine ranking and online traffic, especially when shared a lot on networks like LinkedIn or Facebook.
With 56% of all searches being three words or longer, content and blog posts optimized for long-tail keywords will rank higher on search engines, resonate with your target audience and bring in more qualified leads.
To spice up your social media presence, and ensure a regularly active communication on social networks, nothing beats short, disposable - yet often very effective - content pieces.
A new product line is available? Opening hours changed? A new support number is available? Something important happened in the industry? Today is an important date for your company? Your dog did a funny trick in the office?
All these little events can prove to be simple and great ideas to post on social networks, and you’d be surprised how easy it is to write a short message, or a few paragraphs about this stuff.
Just do it, do it often, see how people react, and your social networks will come alive at all times, including outside of office hours when people might enjoy a short casual thought better than more work-related reading.
Product images, workplace pictures, videos, slideshare how-to guides, work tips, online links, customer photos, holiday messages are all great stuff you can share on your social channels, provided you still stick to your social media golden rules.
At the end of the day, your audience will see your social brand personae as a cool online buddy they’d like to hang out with, rather than just another business trying to pry something out of them.
And frankly it’s so easy that you’d have no excuse not to post visual, shareable and potentially viral content on your social networks.
More often than not, you won’t have anything interesting to say or no available time to put in producing content for your social channels, and the smaller your business, the more often this will happen.
When you’re on vacation or simply away from the office, you can still post interesting stuff on social networks, even if it’s just a short, one line statement, and turn content voids into social opportunities.
Famous and funny quotes, breaking news, topics and persons of interest can all be turned into short social posts that will maintain your social channels alive.
Short statements about your followers, colleagues or business partners can spark two-way conversations, show your audience that you care about them as much as you care about your own business, and shed more light on the people that may become brand ambassadors over time.
Even when a blog post is particularly relevant or informational, with time it will fade out of the social radar and SRPs.
Updating data, changing a headline, or upgrade an “evergreen” post to a more dynamic format (slide, infographics, video...) can go a long way by reaching new audiences across your social channels.
The social media machine is a hungry beast, and you should feed it regularly as if your business depends on it.
In truth, the more developed companies have an unfair advantage over small businesses since they can set more time, people and funds to keep their social audiences happy.
But if you’re really serious about social media marketing, you should also allocate the appropriate resources to managing your social presence, and redirect some ill-used resources to social marketing.
If you’re not comfortable carrying this daily mission through, chances are someone within your company is willing to give it a shot.
Additionally, you may hire a professional, even if that means making a small dent in your yellow pages budget.
Your preferred social audience drives your content mix, not the other way around.
Boost your website traffic and gain social followers: try to write a relevant, personal and informational blog post at least once a week.
Always feed your social channels, even with just casual content.
Use content as a conversation starter, and engage honestly with your social audience to build brand loyalty.
Forbes has put together for you 100 Killer Ideas for Your Social Media Content.
The Content Marketing Institute explains how to Build Social Media Into Your Content Marketing Processes.
Julia McCoy shares with you 15 Tips to Write Killer Content for Social Media.
A great post from AListApart to kick-start your Content Strategy for Social Media.
LinkHumans gives you extra tips to Write Effective Social Media Content.
Thanks for reading this extract. This is just one step, and we have a lot more tips and tricks for you in store.
To uncover all the secrets of mastering social media for your SMB, get your own free copy of SeoSamba's guide: just click below to download Social Media Strategy for Small Business in 7 Easy Steps.