You just published a killer blog post. Your latest eBook is ready for download. Your best infographic to date is live on your site. Now that you are halfway home, it is time to take things the rest of the way.
Social media provides an outlet for sharing your content with the masses. Twitter has approximately 316 million monthly active users. There are more than 380 million members on LinkedIn. Facebook had 968 million daily active users during the month of June 2015. And that is just a small sampling of the many social media sites that are driven by user-generated content.
Even though you may be among the 84 percent of business-to-business marketers that use social media, it doesn’t mean you are taking the right approach. It doesn’t mean you are achieving success.
If you are concerned that your content marketing strategy is headed for failure, there is still time to turn things around. You cannot expect to reach your goals by following the same path.
Instead, you need to know two things:
- The best practices for marketing your content via social media.
- The things you should never do when marketing your content via social media.
For the sake of this article, let’s focus on the second point.
1. Don’t be selfish
There are social media accounts that provide real value. There are also those that have nothing to offer. The reason for this is often the same: the publisher cares about nothing more than “pimping” out his or her content to the world.
A selfish social media marketer is one that will die off soon enough. Conversely, if you share a variety of information, your content becomes that much more powerful.
Let’s take Twitter, for example. You could spend every waking moment pushing your own content. You can link to your most recent blog post or guest post. You can tell people to visit your site to sign up for your newsletter. You get the point. Talking about yourself is easy.
What you need to do is mix in other types of content. This could include answering questions, retweeting information you find useful, and providing guidance and advice with no mention of your business.
When you take a selfish approach to marketing your content via social media, it won’t be long before the trust you've built is gone and your voice goes unheard.
2. Don't overuse hashtags
Have you ever come across a social media update that is littered with hashtags?
It looks something like this at the end of the post: #contentmarketing #contentstrategy #brandname #digitalmarketing.
Even if your update was extremely useful, the excessive use of hashtags comes across as spam. Sure, it might get your message in front of more people, but in the end there is no real value.
Fight the urge to use more than two hashtags, and limit yourself to one if possible. This improves the overall appearance of your update, and doesn't come across as spammy.
Tip: Use an analytics tool to monitor and track hashtags. This allows you to identify your top hashtags, ensuring that you know which ones to use in the future.
3. Don't lose yourself in too many channels
Most businesses focus on the “Big 3” when it comes to social media marketing: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You can’t go wrong if you spend most your time, money, and resources on these services.
If you spread yourself too thin, your audience never gets the true value of your content and brand. You jump from one site to the next, hoping to make meaningful updates and connections, but never really reaching your goals.
Answering these four questions will help you decide where to spend your time:
- Which social media sites have the largest reach?
- Which sites are your competitors effectively using?
- What has worked for your brand in the past?
- Which sites make the most sense for your industry and the type of content you produce?
Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn may have the largest reach, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are right for you.
For instance, “visual” companies, such as interior decorating firms, should focus on the power of Pinterest and Instagram. Companies that need to demonstrate products, on the other hand, can benefit from YouTube and Vine.
As a general rule of thumb, choose the three to five social media channels that make the most sense for your business.
Creating high quality, unique, targeted content is only half the battle. Once you are armed with content, it is time to shoot your bullets. It becomes easier to market your content effectively when you avoid the mistakes above.
Have you overcome one or more of these mistakes in the past? How did you do so?