How Good Are You at Using Social Media to Distribute Your Content?

June 17, 2013

social media content distributionThe number of social media sites has exploded in recent years, bringing hundreds of potential new marketing channels onto the scene. With so many options — more than 500 by some accounts — it’s easy to get distracted and to waste time experimenting with new channels to distribute content that may not actually provide any real business value.
That’s why it’s important to be extremely focused and to concentrate your efforts on mastering just a handful of channels — whichever ones your target audience uses most. Chances are, that will be some combination of the six social networks listed below. While it’s certainly not news to anyone that you should be posting your content to LinkedIn and Google+, the fact is that many B2B marketers fail to use these and the other social networks listed below well, often enough, or with any real impact.
In this post, I’m sharing some best practices and resources for using each of the big six social networks effectively in your content distribution strategy:
1) LinkedIn: The world’s leading business networking site, LinkedIn is the perfect tool for sharing your content with highly targeted audiences. In addition to promoting your content through status updates on your company’s page, take advantage of the more than one million LinkedIn Groups, whose tens of millions of members have done you a real favor by segmenting themselves based on their industry, interests, and needs. By joining the groups that are most relevant to your buyers, you gain access to a platform for distributing virtually any thought leadership that you produce to a targeted audience.

To find out more about how to utilize LinkedIn effectively for your content distribution, see this best practices guide.

2) Google+: Initially slow to take off, Google+ has gained significant traction since its launch and has evolved into a vibrant social network for sharing content. Like LinkedIn, users can segment themselves into groups called communities based on their interests and needs, facilitating targeted content distribution. Better still, publishing your content via Google+ will positively influence your search results, particularly if people share or +1 your content, which signals engagement and popularity to Google, resulting in a better ranking.

To learn more about how to utilize Google+ check out this valuable guide. I also recommend this post from Mark Traphagen, which provides a great explanation of how Google+ can positively impact your SEO efforts.

3) Twitter: While there’s a limit to what you can communicate in 140 characters, Twitter is a powerful distribution vehicle that’s both easy to use and ideally suited to sharing content. The problem is, a lot of content marketers don’t tweet often enough. A single tweet for a new piece of content just isn’t going to cut it. Instead, try to tweet new, evergreen pieces of content up to four times in a row spaced eight hours apart so as to maximize visibility across time zones. You should also periodically retweet the same content (up to 10 times) over the course of the following three months to maximize engagement.
Although it may feel like your putting out the same content and messages over and over, your followers won’t notice and you’ll reach more of your target audience this way. Also remember to follow the 4-1-1 Rule:  tweet four pieces of original relevant content from other users and retweet one relevant tweet for ever one tweet you send out to promote your own content.

For more information on how to utilize Twitter for business, check out these best practices.

4) Facebook: Even though Facebook is more commonly used as an outlet for B2C marketing, don’t underestimate its value as a tool for positioning yourself as a thought leader within your industry. That said, the key to success on Facebook for B2B marketers is posting the right kinds of content. This isn’t the place for white papers or technical content, but rather for more digestible and visual content such as blog posts, photos, videos, and infographics. Focus on posting content that shows the fun side of your company, and save the heavy stuff for other venues liked LinkedIn.

For more ideas, check out this best practice guide to marketing on Facebook.

5) YouTube: Did you know that YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world after Google? What a huge opportunity for people to discover your video content! Beyond creating great videos, the secret to YouTube success is taking the time to set up and brand your company’s own YouTube channel, organizing your videos into playlists, tagging them for search, and embedding links that take visitors to other videos or back to your website.

In a recent blog post, Wayne Ford share some valuable tips for optimzing your presence on YouTube.

6) Pinterest: Somewhat of the unsung hero of social media, Pinterest is a top destination for visual content and has seen huge growth in recent months. Fortunatley, you’re not just limited to posting your infographics and photos here either. Instead, consider posting all of your content that contains images. For example, after writing a blog post like this one, I always post it to my content marketing board on Pinterest. While not a huge source of engagement or traffic for me personally, Pinterest is at a minimum a source of additional inbound links that can help boost my overall search results. That aside, numerous brands (like Disney, Starbucks, and Target) are leveraging the site to build their brands.

Chloe Mathieu-Phillips overs some good advice on how to maximize your impact on Pinterest in this blog post.

Ultimately your goal in using all of these sites is to raise brand awareness, foster engagement, develop a community, and drive people back to your website where they can consume your content. To get results, however, you need a real strategy around when and how to use each social network to get the best results.

Take a minute to share how you have used the sites above to share your content or if there are other sites that you use instead.


Content Marketing Director

<strong>Kevin Cain</strong> is the Content Marketing Director for <a href="">BlueChip Communication</a>, Australia's leading financial services communication firm. Before joining BlueChip, Kevin was the Director of Content Strategy for OpenView.