Social media marketing is impossible without good content. Social media is a like a beast with an insatiable appetite for content. Good content. Many organizations yield to the pressure to add social media to their marketing mix without figuring out what content they will share and from where it will come.

You knew that, right?

If you are in the process of integrating social tools into your marketing and public relations programs, make sure you can answer the following questions:

  • What are you trying do?
  • Who are you trying to talk to?
  • What kind of content resonates with them?
  • Where will you find the content?

What are you trying to do?

You may be hoping to build name recognition for your company’s brand, educate the public about a cause or initiative, introduce a new product line or build relationships with the trade media in your industry. Whatever you are trying to do, in adding social media tools to your marketing and public relations, be clear about it and able to quantify your objectives before getting going. (You will thank me later for this).

Who are you trying to talk to?

This is a big one. Knowing who you are trying to talk to, what keeps them up at night and how your organization’s products or services impact their lives, is essential. The way you talk to a teen audience, the language you use and the places you may find them online differs from the way you talk to older adults, as does the language and imagery you might employ to reach them and even where you may (or may not) find them online.

What kind of content resonates with your audience?

Do they prefer to read? Are they drawn to video? Do they love to pin gorgeous images? Do they listen to audio podcasts while driving? Are they fans of bullet points and infographics or are they looking for higher level white papers and case studies? Sharing content that doesn’t interest your audience is a recipe for failure and frustration. You may have to test different types of content and even ask them what they like, but, if you want your audience to engage, you need to share content they find interesting.

Where will this content come from?

Does your organization have a backlog of fabulous imagery to bring back into circulation? Are you sitting on a mountain of written material? Do you have someone who generates video of satisfied customers or tutorials on how to use your products and services? Do you have resident experts who you can interview to create instructional audio? You must figure out where the content will come from. You will need to think through who is responsible for the creation and curation of the content your organization will be sharing.

And then…

Once you have answered each of those questions successfully, take the time to put together a content calendar (also called an editorial calendar in the old days) that will outline what your organization will be sharing, who it is targeting, what the message is, which platforms will be used and who is responsible for making it happen.

The web is filled with valuable information about how to create the content you will need in order to be successful using social media for business or organizational purposes. The phrase “content marketing” is growing in popularity and refers to “…the technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” If all of this sounds bewildering and if you don’t have someone on your staff who is experienced in creating content for online marketing and social media, take some time and learn more. Visit the Content Marketing Institute and check out the resources offered there.

Many companies operate online without this level of organization and many of those same companies fail to achieve their objectives. Taking the time to ask and answer these four questions will go a long way toward helping you accomplish what you set out to in adding social media into your marketing and public relations programs.

Are you interested in outsourcing some of this work? We can help. We can help you create your strategy, train your employees and help generate the content itself, if need be. Give us a call at 419.740.1262 or shoot us an email at [email protected]. (Operators are standing by. Well, not really. But it sounds good.) 😉

Allen Mireles is president of Allen Mireles Consulting, a an integrated marketing and social media consultancy outside of Toledo, Ohio. You can find Allen on LinkedIn and Twitter.