We rarely hear business owners say, “I need social listening.” What we do hear executives say is: "We need to get on social."
And some companies, in a rush to get social, have their marketing departments create a bunch of social sites and maybe even a blog. Then they realize they have no infrastructure or process in place to funnel content into these newly created social sites. And a dormant social site is worse than none at all.
So this explains why we constantly hear business owners tell us, “I can’t create enough great content.”
Without great content, at least in the B2B space, any social strategy is a flash in the pan.
What do we mean by content?
1. Any original information you create to share your ideas.
Our Fisher Vista Marketing Group and many other creative marketing agencies make a living on the fact that companies can’t create and can’t promote good content. The problem is real, widespread and not specific to any industry.
How do you create successful content on an ongoing basis? First, you need a resource to write the content. So hire an agency or a contract writer, or find someone in-house. Second, you need to regularly publish your content in formats and channels that will reach your desired audience and expand the number of people who engage your ideas to become followers, subscribers and customers. This includes sharing and commenting on other people’s quality content to grow your company’s social presence/connections.
Once these resources and processes are in place, here are some tips to jumpstart your content marketing efforts:
1) Expand your content’s reach
|SocialEars HR helps online |
marketers create, optimize
and promote content
2) Identify content promotion opportunities
- Use the most popular content related to your content topics to improve your own content. Don’t plagiarize, but study the popular content and use it to make your content better (and while you’re at it, share the popular content on social).
- Reference the popular content and link to it from your content. You might call this Link Love.
- Find other keyword topics to use in your content, thereby improving its SEO.
This is the point where social listening becomes relevant to most B2B businesses. Social listening (monitoring the conversation taking place online day-to-day) will help you do both 1) and 2). In other words, social listening has a key, supportive role in successful content marketing. Listen with a purpose. HRmarketer’s SocialEars HR will help you do this (get a free 7-day trial here).
- Piggyback on trending topics.
- Find blogs and articles to comment on.
- Find engaged influencers (people on social that are talking about the topics referenced in your content) to share your content with – grow your network by following them and sharing their content.
Specifically, social listening in B2B helps with creating your content because great content is increasingly about how your ideas relate to others’ ideas. The half-life of ideas is decreasing as they are more frequently exchanged socially — this is where social media and great content intersect. The two have to point at each other and the circumstances are increasingly dynamic.
So, considering all this, here is what we tell executives: to increase your odds of succeeding on social, you need effective content marketing and, if you want to maximize the returns on your content marketing and social media investments, you also need to be great at social listening.
Labels: content marketing, social listening, social marketing, SocialEars HR