Social Media Marketers: Focus on the Content, Not the Tools
Social media has become a big part of marketing strategies, and most people start by defining the social media tools they want to use as a part of it. But don't miss the critical piece of any social media marketing strategy: content.
There's no question that social media tools are really great for marketing. Facebook, Twitter, and now Pinterest are all great ways to engage your target audience and promote your brand. However, it's not the platforms that keep consumers coming back to your Facebook page or Pinterest boards. It's your content - what you can offer them, whether it's something helpful, interesting, or just plain fun.
When you're sitting down to prepare your social media strategy, focus on the content. How can you leverage each medium and put out the best content for your audience? If you're a visual company, Pinterest seems like an obvious choice. But even companies without a mostly visual presence can leverage Pinterest to drive traffic to blog posts, if they have interesting graphics to go along with it.
Think of social media as more of a distribution channel. If you leverage your Facebook page, Twitter feed, and Pinterest boards to push out your rich content, like blogs, case studies, and white papers, you can drive more traffic to your site.
Then, use social media tools as a value-add. Most brands find interesting news articles or use their social media streams to tease out new products and post those. For example, one cosmetics company posted pictures of new nail polish colors on its Facebook page, which garnered a lot of responses from customers eager to paint their tips with neon colors. The consumers are now aware of the new colors and, from the comments, are likely looking for the nail polishes when they come out.
Just, whatever you do, don't forget the content. Falling into the "pretty shiny object" trap - where the messenger becomes more important than the message - devalues your brand and, ultimately, causes your social media strategy to backfire.