In the mid 2000s, social media exploded and left many businesses scrambling to capitalize on a trend that was — in many ways — foreign to them. All at once, tried-and-true marketing strategies were taking a backseat to viral campaigns and the world began bowing to the power of the “share.”
OK, so that was a bit hyperbolic.
Bottom line: A defined, executable social strategy is now integral to many a business plan, and that plan can’t simply consist of scouring the Web for other people’s content.
While re-treads might get traction in the social space, their value to your business is limited. Sharing in this way won’t do much to raise your business’ profile and — in some cases — it won’t even be worth the time you’ve invested clicking around in search of content.
Thankfully, the solution is simple: Create the kind of content you’d like to share.
Managing a business qualifies you as an expert in your particular field and, as such, you should have something to say about it, something that people might actually want to read — or even share.
When you’re sharing someone else’s viral content, your social engagement only goes as far as a Like, a Retweet, or a comment can take you. But when you’re the source, the possibilities are virtually endless.
Any time people click on a link to your content, they are landing on your website, reading your source material, and raising their eyebrows at your way of framing a particular story or issue. All of a sudden, by promoting content you’ve created, your customers are doing your marketing for you.
What makes social media such a compelling platform for businesses is not the possibility of joining a mass conversation — it’s the possibility of leading a mass conversation.
Our advice: Sit down with your team today and identify your three most share-able pieces of content. If nothing fits the bill, or, if your business has yet to create any content, sit down and develop a plan to do so.
In either case, ask yourself the following questions: What are we experts in? What is driving the conversation in our space? On what network(s) is this activity centralized?
Once you have your answers, you’ll have the beginnings of a social road map. Fleshing it out will take trial, error and plenty of time, but simply having a plan should place you ahead of many of your competitors.