We’ve been talking a lot recently about Content Marketing and Content Strategy on Search Decoder, not just because we think it’s absolutely exciting (OK, maybe we do), but because it is important to understand the major role it plays in engaging and establishing relationships with consumers. But, Social Media Strategy & Tactics my dear friends, is another equally exciting aspect of Inbound Marketing and we know you want to hear more about it.
How do we know that? The term, “social media” has over two hundred thousand monthly global searches on Google and should be seamlessly integrated in your content strategy plan. Social media can shape brand recognition and sentiment and as Kelsey Jones writes in, How to Organize A Social Media Content Strategy, “is one of the main megaphones that a company uses to create its overall online presence…because users are smarter and have made social media a part of their lives, it is up to companies to make the most out of every post and update they publish.”
With social media the range of possibilities abound, that’s why we reached out to Megan Brown, Social Strategist at iAcquire to gain some insight into her day-to-day role and to chat about trends in the social space. Teaming up with the rest of the inbound marketing department, Megan creates and innovates within the social space to boost and cultivate client reach, relationships, reputation and resonance. When not cheering for her favorite baseball team, learning how to kickbox or testing out new Popsicle flavors, Megan also manages the online reputations of professional athletes. You can find her on Twitter @thatgirlmegan or @thatgirlondeck, her personal site www.thatgirlmegan.com or at a ballpark near you.
Social Media Tactics
In the video below Megan discusses:
- Recent trends in the social space
- The value that creative content adds to marketing campaigns
- Unconventional social media tactics she has come across
- The value of taking risks
Here is a (paraphrased) snippet of our conversation:
What does the job of a social strategist entail?
I work at a startup… So this means that I need to wear many hats. I do social strategy for clients. I work with them on campaigns and optimizing their social media tactics and that sort of thing. But also, I’m Community Manager for iAcquire, the company itself. So that means I make sure that there are things scheduled to post. But beyond that, I work with the measurement and metrics of how well our social profiles are doing and how to keep our audience.
Additionally, I work with the rest of the inbound marketing department, because we kind of have a twist on the way that we do social media in that obviously we’re a digital marketing agency, and we do a lot of on- and off-page SEO. So I do social media through a search lens…I work with the content strategists, the Director of Market Research, the Manager of SEO, and the Director of Inbound Marketing. I work with them to make sure that all of our pieces fit together.
What trends in the social space should brands be aware of?
A lot of brands are not just running the same campaign on every network, and they’re also not running different campaigns on every network. They’re repurposing content, which gives them a lot more resonance, so that they can last a lot longer and perform better. For instance, Facebook may be better for visual data and Twitter is better for short, clever messaging. But it all fits together and they’re not just doing one-off campaigns. They’re building a better brand identity by re-purposing content to target specific social networks effectively.
Read how to create engaging content in 3 Calls to Action That Get Conversions
What value does creative content add to marketing campaigns?
First of all, there’s the basic SEO part of it. So if you place an infographic and you include a backlink in the code that is embedded on other sites, you’re building links, which anyone knows, for SEO strategies, that’s obviously something you want to do. Additionally, that kind of content could potentially be viral content, so getting those social shares will indicate within search that you’re fresh and relevant, and that this is interesting to people. But also, the very fact of social sharing means more people will see what you’re doing, and that kind of content lends itself more to it – like data visualizations, interactive data visualizations and infographics.
There’s so much value to it, because a lot of companies are like: “I’m going to create this, and then just put it on my site. But if you actually get the buy-ins from people who are influential in that social space, you’ll have both on- and offline influence and people will recognize you by the good work that you do. So you’ll be seen as a resource, because you’re providing people with something useful and entertaining.
Content doesn’t have to be crazy-expensive to be good….Obviously, you want it to look good so design is an important consideration. Content needs to be fresh, timely and unique, and it needs to have that buy-in from those influencers. And all of those things don’t necessarily cost a whole ton of money. Outreach you can do yourself – getting other people to share. The creation of it does not have to be expensive either and it definitely pays off more than it would cost a small business.
Find out more about incorporating social into your marketing strategy in blog post by Megan Brown: 4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Developing Traditional Marketing Tactics for Social Media
What unconventional social media tactics can you tell us about?
Like I said, I’ve seen a lot of great social media content campaigns where they create resonance by creating separate parts. I’ve seen a lot of video campaigns that I’ve really liked – interactive video campaigns. There was one that was actually really cool that was featured on Jimmy Fallon where they gave you a tour of the building and you chose your own adventure. You’d pick the next video where you would go, and something different would happen every time. That was kind of interesting, different and entertaining and it’s hard to keep people engaged but they were sharing it.
Gamification is huge. A lot of companies are seeing a lot of success with that because, first of all, you are rewarding people for returning, and second of all, people like to play games. I mean, that’s kind of what you do on the Internet besides looking at chats and going on YouTube. So social media gamification is probably one of the big things and you can work infographics or data visualizations into those.
You need to know what your audience likes and where you find them. That can reside on Facebook, or on your site or somewhere else. At iAcquire we do a lot of audience research and create personas to see who your target audience is, the audience you currently have and don’t have. We use Experian Simmons, Nielsen data with a couple of other data sources layered together. Then also we pull all that social data and social behavior data.
Check out great post by Megan Brown: Newsjacking: You’re Doing It Wrong
Final social media advice to readers
I will say that I won’t do anything unless I believe in it. When I came to iAcquire, I came from a different SEO company, and I really liked iAcquire because we do the homework. And I feel that’s really important to find out who you’re creating it for and ask them what they think.
You need to take risks because an infographic or data visualization might cost a little bit more money than writing a blog post, but the reward is really high. So I think taking calculated risks like that is one of the things that marketers are overlooking a lot and they’re going with what’s safe.
Learn about one of Megan’s “risky” projects in presentation, Cinderella Story Content Strategy
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