Saturday, August 3, 2013

Are You on Board with Social Business?

Social business holds vast influence, and it growing at a fast clip.  Social business practices are vital to success in online marketing, because the world has gone social.  Social media is 
constantly evolving—as are social business best practices; business entities and marketers need to be committed to ongoing social learning in order to stay in the game.  Content is at the heart of social business; content marketing is absolutely required for success.  Any business or organization with an online presence can benefit from content marketing.  High-quality content is rewarded with a social media spotlight, which increases exposure and accelerates lead generation and conversion. 

A wide variety of content types are necessary—including social media posts, blog content, webinars, infographics and premium content, such as whitepapers and ebooks.  Social engagement is critical.  Whether it is a tweet, a LinkedIn status update, a Facebook comment or a blog post, attention to detail and quality are paramount.  Social media success happens, when excellent content creation and authentic engagement collide.

Social Business Best Practices

Social business can be broken down into three main categories: social content creation, strategic content curation and authentic social engagement.    

1. Social Content Creation

Social content is content, which is created, curated or part of a social media dialogue.   Content reigns supreme; we have all heard the catchphrase, “Content is king.”  It should be noted though that not all content is created equal.  You must create content with real-time relevance, rich information and deep industry insight, which resonates with your audience on social media as well as your target market.  Various content types can be used to promote your company socially; not all social content needs to be created from square one.  If you possess a large inventory of company content, including blog posts, video and premium content, you should be able to spruce up and repurpose relevant content to share on your social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
  • Do an assessment of all your original content.

  • Perform an analysis of your social media and content curation data to determine which content types and topics achieved the best results on each social network, and then fine-tune your social content strategy accordingly. 

  • Use the information you uncover to create a social content strategy, and use it as a blueprint for all future content created for social media.     

2. Strategic Content Curation

Strategic social content curation involves the discovery, curation and sharing of top, industry-relevant content on at least the big four social networks—Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.  If you have decided to go social, a company presence on these major social networks is the bare minimum.  Simply having social media accounts is not enough though.  Intelligent content curation is valuable and can amplify your social media following and lead generation.  
There are numerous high-quality resources to search for content to share on social media, such as Klout, Topsy, Tweepi, Social Media Today and Business 2 Community.  The above are extremely useful for finding industry thought leaders and the content best suited for your social content strategy.

3. Authentic Social Engagement

Genuine social engagement is vital.  When someone shares your content, you should always reply promptly with a personalized message of thanks.  When questions are posed, provide answers with deep industry knowledge and innovative insight, which highlight your thought leadership.  Adhering to these practices will incite greater engagement, strengthen your credibility and help you gain recognition as an industry thought leader.
Without excellent content creation, you will unable to secure social capital, and your company will feel the pain.  Highly shareable social content, strategic content curation and genuine engagement could dramatically increase your reach and boost social lead generation and conversion.