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The key to social media is content but not all content is equal

August 26, 2014

Social Media CloudThe key to successfully leveraging social media is fairly straightforward, despite that fact it remains a challenge for many so I thought I would share a few insights that I have learned in my job as a digital / social marketing media professional.

Perhaps the greatest challenge is having enough of the right content. Linking to a news article does not count unless you contributed to it or are providing additional insight. While it is perfectly acceptable to re-post third party content, if that constitutes all your activity then you are really just acting as a free “PR” agent. Striking the right balance with the materials you distribute and providing a point of view will be well received and help you broadcast your message to a wider audience.

One of the reasons that developing content can be tricky is because it should have a particular focus and sustaining that over time can be tough. Social media is all about bringing communities of interest together in an environment where they can share and discuss. If you post content on every subject imaginable you dilute your messaging and your social network. Target a niche where you can develop and distribute interesting content and don’t stray too far too often.

If you are able to develop regular content that remains focused and offer a distinct perspective, you will be more likely to succeed in building your personal brand as a thought leader; provided you focus on the social channels most beneficial to you. Today there are so many social media channels that one can get overwhelmed. Figuring out where your message is most likely to be best received and sticking to those channels will pay dividends. I focus my efforts on LinkedIn and Twitter to leverage our YouTube channel and website. These social media sites provide me with an excellent platform to share content and allow our organization to interact with thought leaders in our industry. For other organizations, other platforms may make more sense. A quick review of your competitive landscape and some social listening will tell you which platforms are most valuable to you.

I hope these tips are helpful and encourage you to engage and embrace social media as you build your personal brand and connect with peers and colleagues online. Keep in mind these three tips and you too will be able to successfully leverage social media.

  1. Consistently develop content that provides a strong point of view.
  2. Stay on message and remain focused.
  3. Only use the social media channels that make sense for you.
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