When you’re starting with a content creation strategy, it’s essential you also consider an alternative social media strategy.
Traditional wisdom surrounding the relationship between content and social media strategy is as follows:
- Publish an article, then spread this article everywhere you can.
- Repurpose it to be shared across several mediums to make sure it gets as much reach as possible.
This strategy isn’t flawed for a content operation with established audiences closely matching the readers that visit their blog. It is faulty when you’re building a content operation from scratch or have a limited social media presence.
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How New Content Creators Should Approach Social Media
First off, it’s a terrible idea to share content across all social media platforms just because those platforms exist. There’s nothing that says you have to be all things to all people in the social media ecosystem. If you try to do so, in fact, you’ll be on a fast track to burnout.
Instead, identify the 1-2 social media platforms to focus on that make the most sense given your audience’s makeup. If your typical reader – for example – is a 20-year-old female, Facebook’s not the right place. It would be best to focus on repurposing your written content for TikTok and maybe Instagram Stories.
If your typical reader is a 55-year-old male, I would focus on Twitter. And maybe repurpose your blog content into videos to share with the right hashtags supporting them on YouTube and LinkedIn. Once you’ve identified the platforms, secure those accounts, and then STOP. You shouldn’t do one more social post for at least another four months.
Now I know this sounds crazy; here’s the reasoning behind it.
Delaying Social Media Activity For Four Months
Once you’ve secured the social media accounts that will be your focus, there’s no reason to create any content on those accounts for the next four months.
Sharing any content on these platforms is yelling down an empty hallway. There’s no one to check out your content because you don’t even know yet who your audience is! The exception to this rule is if you plan to build out a LinkedIn strategy. In this case, creating content daily on the platform can directly support the content you make away from the platform. LinkedIn is much more symbiotic in this way than any of the other platforms.
For at least 90 days, you should approach content creation with the content strategy I’ve outlined in other articles on this blog:
- Day 1-30: Write a few articles for your blog or create a few videos for the blog
- Days 31-89: Focus 100% on guest blogs to drive backlinks back to your blog to build domain authority
- Days 90-120: Go with a hybrid approach of creating content for your blog and continuing to write guest posts for other outlets in your niche with a high domain authority
By the end of 120 days, you should have a solid sketch of your typical reader and what type of content will resonate with them.
Then, and only then, should you turn your attention back to social media to grow your following. And leverage those resources to drive traffic and build social signals necessary to start to rank for keywords you’re chasing.
Three Social Marketing Tactics to Employ Next
Once you’ve been through 120 days of content creation, there are three social marketing tactics to employ next:
- Buy a few likes/followers who mirror people who have been reading your content or following your videos
- Boost your highest performing article on the medium of your choice
- Build out a social media calendar that you can stick to and use consistently as part of your content marketing strategy
Let’s take a look at these one at a time.
Buy Likes/Followers That Mirror Your Audience
Buying followers on any social media platform isn’t a great long-term strategy. You eventually reach a point of diminishing returns. But there’s nothing wrong with doing it as you’re building out your accounts. You can purchase Facebook Likes for cheap with pinpointed targeting.
It’s straightforward to set up Facebook likes campaigns and isolate the budget, duration, and other preferences. If you even spend, let’s say, $50 over two weeks, you can drive likes to your page for a quick start. You can also do this pretty quickly on Instagram as the targeting mirrors what you would work through for Facebook.
Suppose you’re focusing on TikTok, LinkedIn, or even Twitter. In that case, it’s best to skip this step. Building an organic audience for your content is much more valuable on these platforms in the long-run. And there isn’t an easy way to pay for your initial following, even if you wanted to.
Boost Your Highest Performing Post on a Social Account
Once you have 120 days worth of traffic data, you’ll have a clear picture of your “top” piece of content. Ensure this content is primarily for awareness and not the middle or bottom of the marketing funnel. In other words, it should be a general interest article or one that goes over a few basic tactics. Not a case study, whitepaper, ebook, or article that uses buyer intent keywords.
The next step is to boost this piece of content by putting a few dollars behind it and targeting your typical reader.
This tactic serves several purposes:
- Sends social signals to search engines that you consider this top content
- It drives more traffic to this post to further establish it as a foundational piece of content, and
- Provides an opportunity for you to capture interested readers at the top of the marketing funnel to which you should market down the road
To capture these readers, make sure to add a non-intrusive email capture element to the blog post. This element could be an exit-intent popup or an email collector in the sidebar of your blog.
People are interested in what you had to say to visit your post from a social media share. So in offering them to sign up for your email list, you’re offering them even more impactful and actionable content going forward.
Build Out a Social Media Calendar You Can Stick To
Far too often, we get too ambitious with what we can post to social media. You can’t post everywhere all the time. You just can’t. This activity isn’t realistic if you’re running a business or working a full-time job while trying to build some traction for a side hustle or project.
Instead, build out a social media calendar that’s realistic and will for success. When you build a calendar that fits the time you have available and your workflows, and you’ll set yourself up for success. When you stick to it, you’ll develop the momentum you need to build your following on your platform(s) of choice. And make social media an essential element of your content marketing strategy.
Start small. Crawl before you walk. As things grow and your communities get large enough to need some assistance, you can reframe your strategy to match the work that’s there. Following these three tactics will make your social media management practices your ally rather than an annoyance, which you dread.
When you know your audience, the platform that makes sense for that audience, and the amount of content you can reasonably create on that platform each week, the rest of the pieces fall into place. As your audiences grow organically, much of the grunt work of posting and community management could eventually become something you can outsource, anyhow.
If that’s your goal, following a slow, repeatable process that’s measured by metrics is the way to go.