Social media marketers – myself included – spend a great deal of time talking about the importance of content.
And the rationale for that focus is justified.
Great content is an important component of a greater equation for how you can provide value to your targeted audience and positively address your business goals.
But therein lies the crux of what this post is about: content is only part of the equation for how you can provide value to your targeted audience.
There are many ways that you can use social media to great effect that have absolutely nothing to do with creating content.
Every now and again we all could use a reminder about the many content-free ways that we can use social media, so let these five examples serve as that reminder:
Proactively getting involved in organically occurring discussions around the social web and responding to questions or comments can be an amazing way to build relationships, demonstrate expertise, humanize your brand, raise awareness, attract new community members, and create relevance, among many, many more benefits.
For many of the benefits listed above, getting involved in social media communities around the web that your business does not manage can be a tremendously rewarding exercise.
Additionally, involvement in other social media communities can provide you with unique perspective and insight on your business, category, competition or consumers that you might not be able to glean from your own communities for a number of reasons.
Providing customer service is a great opportunity to rectify concerns your customers have with your product or service, provide solutions that could be of use to other customers, be reassuring and influential to prospective customers (in that you support your product/service post-sale), and share ideas for new uses of your product or applications of your service. These are of course just a few benefits, but you get the point: there’s great value here.
Effective and dedicated social listening can provide a huge amount of intelligence that can help you to not only improve your social media marketing efforts, but other key elements of your business as well.
Spending time listening to key conversations on platforms like Twitter, paying attention to the conversations your competition is having, learning from best-in-class out of category businesses, identifying mistakes to avoid from organizations going through tough times, the types of consumer decisions your audience is making aside from your product/service… these can all be important inputs to your business, and are just a few examples of what you can be learning from dedicated social listening.
I know you have a strategy in place to influence your audience, but you should also have an approach in place to allow your audience to influence your business. Every question they ask on social media, every customer service dilemma encountered, every positive or negative piece of feedback you receive, every review of your business, and every like, comment or share are all potential opportunities to accept and demonstrate the influence of your social media audience, ultimately building a stronger connection with them.
All of this isn’t meant to suggest that content is unimportant to the success of your social media marketing efforts, as it is critically important. The point here is simply that there are a number of techniques, strategies and tactics that can be employed to significantly improve the effectiveness of your social media marketing and that are critical to maximizing the return on your effort on social media.
Aside from the creation and publication of amazing content, how do you use social media?
Which non-content initiatives do you find to be the most effective on social media?
Do you have goals, objectives or KPIs built around non-content oriented initiatives?
It would be amazing to chat with you about this more in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial