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Content Marketing: The Promises And Pitfalls Of Social Media Sharing

In today’s world, a business can’t thrive online without a strong content marketing strategy. Marketing experts agree that selling any product or service requires building a relationship with the customer first, and relationships with web visitors are built through content.

Content is what pulls visitors in, hooks them, and gives them a reason to come back. Most businesses know this, but still fall short of the goal. They share content on social media hoping their posts will go viral, but it rarely happens. Even when the content is worthy of going viral, there’s no guarantee it will.

Social media sharing isn’t a strategy – it’s a method.

Content marketing is time consuming and tough, but failure doesn’t come from a lack of effort. Many businesses try exceptionally hard to produce content that will sell their services and bring visitors back. They fall short when their focus remains on the method rather than the strategy.

For instance, social media is one method for delivering content to potential visitors. By itself, social media isn’t a strategy, yet many businesses have turned it into a daily task to check off.

Social media is a powerful platform to market content, however, reaping the rewards of this platform requires more than scheduling daily or weekly posts. Professional social media marketers, for example, spend most of their time crafting a strategy including setting measurable goals, monitoring and responding to feedback, and optimizing tactics at every turn.

To make social media sharing part of your overall strategy, everything you post needs to have a clearly defined purpose tied to a goal. Otherwise, you’re just entertaining your visitors.

Rethink sharing other people’s content.

Nobody wants to refer their fans to the competition, but what if social media isn’t always a competition? What if, by sharing somebody else’s content, you’re actually strengthening your own brand and building rapport with your fans?

One marketing agency that specializes in working with rehab centers acknowledges the fading perception of competition when it comes to sharing content. They explain, “85% of our clients re-post other’s content on their social media channels.” This drives their audience to another source, but it strengthens rapport with their fans at the same time. In the end, a strong relationship built on a foundation of trust is more likely to generate a sale, even when other sources have been shared.

Be generous with your posts. The most successful social media campaigns share information whenever it’s relevant to their fans, even if that content comes from the perceived competition.

Redefine the way you interpret the ‘engagement’ metric.

In the back end of most applications used to automate social media posts, there’s a metric titled ‘engagement.’ Each time somebody likes your post, shares your post, or comments, it’s considered engagement. As these numbers rise it looks great on the surface, but this metric doesn’t always mean much.

For example, say you run a popular Facebook page and generate daily engagement from hundreds of people. If nobody ever clicks through to your website to make a purchase, and your overall goal as a business is to generate sales, those engagement stats are meaningless.

Of course, social media isn’t just about driving sales. Still, social media posts need to be connected to a specific goal, even if that goal is to build a strong relationship with fans. Only within that context will the metric of engagement become meaningful.

Your social media activity should be crafted to achieve your goals.

It’s easy to get people to engage on social media by posting something relatable. However, Facebook likes and retweets on Twitter are a dime a dozen.

To make social media sharing worth your time, dig into all the reasons you started your business in the first place. If your sole aim is to make money, it’s going to be difficult for you to connect with your fans over social media. When there’s a deeper purpose driving your connections, fans will notice, and form a higher opinion of your brand.

One tried and true strategy to build deep rapport with your fans is to find a charitable cause you believe in, assert your commitment to your fans, and find a way to be a contribution. When it’s authentic, philanthropy is one of the best ways to build your brand using social media platforms.

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Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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