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4 ways to mix social media marketing with content marketing

In a perfect world, your company has all the resources it needs to use every marketing channel available. You’re creating white papers, case studies, blog posts, email newsletters, infographics, webinars, and videos, and your social media marketing is second to none. You’ve created a community, whether B2B or B2C, and are generating leads, promoting your brand, and selling successfully.

Then you wake up from this blissful fantasy and realize that part of your content marketing strategy is suffering. You’re not creating enough content and can’t afford to, and the intern who will be leaving at the end of the semester is the one who created the social media strategy. No one else in your organization cares enough or believes it’s critical to continue with using social media as part of the content marketing strategy, and for more than just sharing your own content.

According to Forbes, investing in social media, particularly as part of content marketing, is essential. It’s become a necessity for businesses that want to be more than just product-pushers. So what are some of the ways companies can use social media as part of their content marketing strategy?

  1. Twitter stories. For most people, 140 characters doesn’t seem like a lot. But a sustained effort to create a story on Twitter can pique curiosity and drive traffic, which turns into leads. The stories should always include a link to the full story on your website.
  2. Community creation. Facebook and LinkedIn both offer opportunities to create communities where users can share and discuss content, trends, and problems. By maintaining an official presence on the social media platform where your target audience congregates, you’re able to engage them in conversation and respond to theirs. You’re also able to monitor the community chatter for issues and questions that you can use as springboards for your next content marketing effort.
  3. Content curation. As part of your social media community, content curation creates vendor-neutral sources of information. For example, a company that designs activewear can share content created by other parties, such as nutritious snack recipes or health and fitness tips. A company selling B2B software can share posts from analyst firms or articles about choosing software.
  4. Monitoring. No, you don’t need to pretend to be the NSA. As alluded to above, monitoring social media helps companies find out what their target customers need. A software engineer may be looking for a way to use a testing tool to find bugs, or a fitness instructor may wonder if she should get certified in a new type of workout. Companies can use social media monitoring tools to search for keywords and find out what questions their customers have, then answer the questions with content.

These are just a few ways to integrate social media into a content marketing strategy. Used to complement, not replace, an overall marketing strategy, social media is a powerful way to generate leads, engage customers, and build your brand. While you may need more resources, if you monitor the traffic generated by social media, you may find that it is a valuable investment.

Christine Parizo is the principal of Christine Parizo Communications, a full-service copywriting firm specializing in white papers and case studies for B2B companies and a member of the Responsys Blogger Network.

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