More and more, social media sites are shifting from sharing content to hosting content. This trend has caused some companies to question whether they actually need a unique URL or if it is better to build their brand directly on social media sites. Figuring out what’s the best option for your company means understanding your business, your audience, and the wide conflicting world of social media.
You Still Need a Good Website
Simply put, social media platforms are unstable. Investing all your content in one platform is a good short-term strategy while you’re raising awareness or waiting for a new site, but they’re pretty high risk to companies currently investing in long term content marketing strategies.
Popularity Comes and Goes
Posting articles directly to social media is an easy way to publish compared to building your own blog, but it’s a far less permanent method. These days, the popularity of social media sites spikes and declines at the mere sign of a new outlet (Facebook’s annihilation of MySpace is the most well known example).
You’re In the Hands of the Social Media Platform That You Choose
Some Content Should Be Published Exclusively on a Social Media Platform
Even if your company has an established blog on their own website, you can still raise awareness and build a stronger community by publishing some content only on a social media site. Articles published on social media offer better targeted audiences (determined by the type of social media you choose) and more external links to your site.
Rules to Follow Across the Board
Ready to begin? Regardless of the platform you choose for you company, remember to:
- Never be too salesy—social media algorithms recognize spammy content and will take you down or severely limit how many people see your content.
- Know your audience and post things that are relevant to their interests.
- Maintain and build your brand voice.
- Join in on existing conversations rather than screaming your opinion at no one in particular.
- Have fun with it (Felicia Day, a major online Influencer, recently discussed how you should never be fake with social media).
- Connect with Influencers when possible.
Now all it takes is choosing the right platform for your company and audience. Here are the three (currently) most popular and successful blogging sites available to you:
LinkedIn Pulse Articles
Everyone knows LinkedIn is the largest professional network in the world. Basically it’s the place to have professional conversations with other professionals. Therefore, B2B companies and entrepreneurs are typically the most successful bloggers on LinkedIn.
There’s far less activity on LinkedIn than on other social media sites. Many people only have LinkedIn because they feel they “have to” in order to stand out in today’s job market. So while you have more targeted leads, you’ll probably see that there’s a smaller impact overall.
In addition, companies can’t publish blogs—they can only share status updates. You’ll have to find a representative(s) to post blogs in your company’s interests. Just remember to share the posts your employees create on your company page in order to associate them directly to your brand.
What to Write
Just because your articles are “professional” doesn’t mean they have to be boring. Draw from your own experience and write articles like a mentor would speak to a mentee. Generally this breaks down into:
- Career Advice (e.g. how to find the right job, resumes, interviews, building skills, making the most out of higher or continued education)
- Employment Advice: (e.g. how to move up in your career, avoid procrastination, ask for a raise)
- B2B Advice (e.g. how to reach customers, increase sales, build brands)
- Industry Trends (e.g. keeping people up to date on major changes in your industry, helping people make decisions based on trends)
Tumblr has always been a blogging platform, which means people are there solely to consume content. While this tendency can mean your content will most likely gain more exposure, you’re going to have a lot of healthy competition from other competitors. Make sure your content stands out from the crowd.
Most importantly, the majority of Tumblr users are young, liberal, or both, so any content that targets that demographic has a lot of potential. For those of you who don’t know, younger audiences thrive on short, image-driven content. Limited attention span is even more pronounced on Tumblr’s scrolling format, so strive for immediate impact as much as possible.
Tumblr is not the place for you if your target demographic is older or more conservative. In addition, even young, liberal companies can be intimidated by Tumblr’s blunt and outspoken users. Your company will have to develop a thick skin for fierce debates.
Many companies avoid Tumblr because users are the most resistant to advertisements. Your goal should focus on building a community rather than getting direct leads.
What to Write
Soft content does best on Tumblr, so stay away from anything dry or corporate. People use Tumblr to share common interests and beliefs, so in general stick to:
- Life advice (e.g. inspiration quotes, success stories of people who fought against all odds and won, how to make a difference or stand up for what you believe in)
- Reviews (e.g. art, literature, movies, television, music, instruments)
- Industry Politics (e.g. current events that are affecting your industry or audience—just be sure to avoid these common mistakes)
- Pop science/history (e.g. How to escape from quicksand, photographs of Pluto)
- Pop culture (e.g. celebrity news, movie trailers)
- Witty/funny stuff (e.g. GIFs, memes, jokes)
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world (not surprisingly, it’s owned by Google) so posting your company’s videos there gives you the broadest possible audience as far as social media platforms go.
YouTube is fast replacing television, and as a result publishers are creating higher quality content than ever before. Therefore, many low quality videos are overlooked for ones with higher production value. In addition, your videos are in competition with charismatic Influencers, so stage presence is essential to YouTube success.
What to Create
Obviously, you can only post videos to YouTube. But its wider audience means you have more opportunities as far a subject matter goes. Here are a few well received formats to get you started:
- Short(er) videos, which should be directly related to the subject matter (i.e. guest speaker-type speeches like TEDx Talks can be as long as 18 minutes while time lapse projects should be constrained to a couple minutes)
- How To/DIY (e.g. webinars, interior design projects)
- Informational (e.g. product reviews, industry news)
- Showcase (e.g. hauls, time lapse projects)
Get Ready for Even More Opportunities
More publishing opportunities are on the way. For example, Facebook’s Instant Articles are promising to give 100% ad revenue to publishers, but they have not yet opened their platform to all brands. Remember: as each new platform emerges, the current titans will most likely see a dip. Therefore, be prepared to adjust your social media strategy accordingly as the internet moves forward.