6 Ways to Bring Social and Content Together in Your Plan
Do your social and content teams work closely enough together, or do you run on parallel tracks that rarely intersect? If the latter is true, you’re missing out.
Content Benchmarks: Using Social and Web Data to Set Performance Goals
When your content team is regularly informed about what’s performing well (or not) on social, they can create better content for your social team. When your social team is regularly updated about which content requires promotion to fit brand messaging, product offerings, and larger marketing initiatives, they can be more strategic about how they post. Magic can really happen in this intersection.
Here are six ways to bring social and content more closely together in your own organization.
1. Start Sharing the Same Content Calendar
If the software you use makes this impossible, share one planning document with a rough timeline and mandatory check-in points.
This will help you move your collaborative process past production requests and delivery dates, and towards better, more data-driven decisions from both creative and strategic standpoints.
2. Start a Joint Influencer Program
Do you have a network of influencers that you leverage on social?
— Jay Shemenski (@jshemenski) September 18, 2016
What about getting them to commit to a regular cadence of blog posts for you, or a photo spread on your website, or posting about you on their own sites?
Introduce your social influencers to your content team (and vice versa), and try to weave those influencer stories into your major pillars of content.
3. Agree on Three Metrics
Most content teams and social teams judge success differently. This is where the silo-ization begins, because different metrics for success lead to different priorities. Resist this tribal urge and get together to choose three metrics which you agree signal whether a piece of content or a campaign has been effective. For instance, you might choose:
- Engagement (on social, across all active social channels)
- Conversions generated from content/campaign (on all marketing channels)
- Most shared pieces of content (on social, including dark social)
Once you’ve picked your metrics, set up a weekly meeting (it should take no more than 30 minutes) to talk about results, growth, and pivots you can make to see these numbers increase. A “joint grading system” of this nature will keep you aligned and hyper-focused. And, social marketers, chances are you’re diligently tracking at least one of these metrics right now, anyway.
4. Formulate Messaging Together
Tap into the earned conversation around your brand and industry with listening, and you’ll be able to come up with more creative campaign themes than ever.
How can you build content according to what your target audience is actually talking about, vs. what you think they’re talking about or should be talking about? Instead of trying to push content out that you “think they’ll like,” or mimicking your competitors, why not base your content efforts on the solid foundation of real data? This is data that smart social marketers should be sharing regularly with their content marketing friends.
5. Give Your Website a “Social-Friendly” Overhaul
Make sure you have large and prominently placed social share buttons on not just blog posts or web pages themselves, but also on individual images. Don’t ask visitors to share our content everywhere from your site: only include buttons to social channels where you’re active and your target audience lives.
You can also use a “highlighting share” feature, which allows visitors to share specific snippets from text on your site.
Finally, when people visit your site from social, they’re typically visiting from their phones. This means that part of making your site “social-friendly” is making sure it’s mobile-friendly. Don’t sleep on this: if a social user takes a chance on visiting your site once from social and has a bad experience, he or she might never do it again.
6. Test Out Your Networks
Specific kinds of content might perform better on some social networks than others. For instance, thought leadership content from your CEO might perform best on LinkedIn, but fall totally short on every other social network. “How-To” blog posts might perform exceptionally well on Twitter, but gain almost no traction on Facebook. Categorize your content as specifically as possible, and then run experiments to see which content categories do best on which networks.
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I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I’m responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.