If you’ve built your LinkedIn or Twitter profiles, you know that it’s not terribly difficult, it’s just a bit time consuming. It can certainly help to get some guidance or assistance on setting them up correctly and even enhancing, optimizing, and customizing your social profiles. For the most part though, they are not that tough to set up.
Social media profiles are not the strategy, they are part of the foundation. Building a professional and consistent foundation across the social web is critical to shaping your online reputation. However, it’s only the beginning.
If you want to leverage the true power of social media, you must move beyond creating your profiles and bring them to life. This is where it can seem intimidating at first. By understanding what should drive your social media strategy and creating a plan for implementation, it won’t seem as daunting to get started.
The most important driver of social media strategy is something you may not have considered.
Content Drives Social Media Strategy
Content is the key driver for any successful social media strategy. Why? Because you are defined by what you share in social media.
What you share determines the audience you attract. Sharing your own unique content can drive visitors to your blog. If what you share is share-worthy, your followers will expand your reach by sharing with their connections.
As Brian Clark of CopyBlogger says “The content is the marketing”.
If you want to be known as the visible expert in social media, you will need to focus on these two content-related activities:
1)Create and share your own unique content through your blog (which can then be shared to your social networks)
2)Curate and share quality content from other online sources with your connections
Creating Your Own Content to Share in Social Networks
By publishing your own unique content, you show that you are a thought leader. If you are a thought leader, it means you are thinking about and addressing the issues, concerns, and problems that the members of your target markets are facing.
Blogging is about educating and helping, but it’s also about showcasing your story. Your story and your personality are the only true points of differentiation between you and your competitors. You can’t compete on price, product, and performance anymore.
Who are you? What is your personality? What are the things that you care about? What’s it like to work with you? What kinds of things do you like to do in your spare time? What do you believe? What do you stand for? What are your goals, dreams, passions, and interests?
By producing your own content from your professional blog and sharing your posts with your social connections, you also create a social media landing pad. Your blog provides a hub for all of your social media activity where your connections and community can get to know, like, and trust you. It also serves as an important tool for lead development if you add “calls to action” and an email subscribe feature to your blog.
Curating Content to Share in Social Networks
Curating content is also an important part of a social media strategy. In fact, studies have shown that curating content can be quite effective in building a trusted network of connections and followers.
If you think about all of the information we have access to today, it is quite overwhelming. It’s getting more and more difficult to find the quality. Think of your role as being the professional advisor who will guide your clients, prospects, and connections to reputable sources of information.
When you discover, filter, and share accurate and credible information with your target markets, you position yourself as the go-to resource. People will tune into you instead of being overwhelmed by the world wide web. They will realize that you can keep them informed enough of what matters most to them with regard to their financial lives.
When sharing curated content, always include a short note on your point of view or your angle!
Developing Your Social Media Strategy
Have you considered the role of content in your social media strategy? What you share will define you in social networks.
In addition to developing your content, you will also need a plan for what your goals are, who you will target (also determines what you share), how you will engage with your audience, and when you will engage. Once you’ve developed your comprehensive social media strategy plan, you can build a sustainable system for implementing and monitoring your program.
This takes quite a bit more time, thinking, and resources than simply creating your social media profiles.
Questions to Consider
What are your thoughts about content driving social media strategy? Does content currently play a role in your strategy? What are some ways you can add value to your connections through content?