The social media craze is quite attractive to brands: a free publishing platform that enables small snippets (and sometimes whole projects) of content to be viewed by a fluid and potentially limitless audience. Marketers perceive it as their brand’s personal newsroom. But the ubiquity of social media is, in fact, quite deceiving. In an interview, Jay Baer, founder of Mighty Interactive and bestselling author, states “content is fire, social media is gasoline.” This is a key tenant to achieving a thoughtful Content Marketing campaign.
Here are 3 ways to be smarter with your social media:
- Listen & Learn
- A Social Vehicle
1. Listen & Learn
Contrary to to popular belief, Social Media’s main purpose (for marketers at least) is not a pulpit from which to spew 140-character sermons about your brand. It is, however, a virtual pulpit for your audience. Use it to listen to your audience and learn from what they say, follow, and view. Check out econsultancy’s 5 Ways Listening to Social Data can Help Your Business.
Keep scrupulous records of all your shares, favorites, likes, follows, pins, and retweets. It’s not necessarily valuable to know you have another like on Facebook, but to know that your audience tends to enjoy a certain type of Youtube video is. Truly connecting with your audience requires both macro and micro, analytic and creative insights. Social is a beautiful mix of these contrasting bits of data, giving you a very well rounded view into your customer personas.
3. A Social Vehicle
Don’t try to screw a nail with a wrench. Siloing social is putting the cart before the horse…way before. Social exists in tandem, not separately, from other marketing campaigns. Social is one small, albeit indispensable, facet of what should be a complex, multi-pronged content marketing mechanism. It is a vehicle of communication and can ignite your whole Content campaign.
The prospect of reaching an essentially limitless group of people is deceptively tantalizing. Don’t fool yourself, social media is not a silver bullet. It’s incapable of achieving its full potential alone. Social media a single tool in the marketing toolbox. Use it effectively to learn more about your audience and as a vehicle supporting your content campaigns.