The New Do’s And Don’ts Of Social Media Content Marketing Gary Parkinson October 20th, 2015 As a content marketer you understand that social media helps you acquire new followers, engage in online conversations, and build your brand’s reputation. Social media has become an integral asset within digital marketing teams and a social media specialist is typically the primary distributor of content across social channels.Some of your primary goals in using social media are to:Earn a large share of voice and share of attentionEngage in conversations with prospective customersAcquire real-time feedback about your contentFunnel prospects from social networks back to your websiteHow do you achieve those goals and what are some of the pitfalls to avoid along the way? Who are you trying to reach and what types of content will trigger a response from your target audience? Should you use more of one social channel (such as LinkedIn) over other networks? We’ve put together a list of do’s and don’ts to help you use social media and achieve your goals.Do: Create A Social PlanCompile a schedule or calendar that contains a general overview of your plan to share fresh content on social media. Some marketers create daily, weekly, or monthly themes so that audiences can predict what types of content to expect on a given date. Predictability brings people back to your social network as they await the next piece of content that appears in your stream - just make sure what you share adds value to the prospects that see it.Don’t: Forget To Monitor Your ChannelsPeople are prone to express their opinions on social media and frequently do so without filters. You want your social network to remain professional without offensive or “spammy” comments polluting the stream. If you are going to share content on social media, make sure you have someone to monitor the channels and filter out any inappropriate remarks.There will also be legitimate questions or comments posed by prospective clients on social media. A specialist who watches the feeds can quickly reply to those questions and begin real conversations with those inquirers.Do: Align Social Content With Your Brand IdentityIn some cases social media is the first point of contact that prospective clients have with your brand. This means that the content you share on your channels should reflect the identity and the value provided by your brand should a member of your audience choose to click through to your website. Share content that is informative and educational and give your audience a sample of what information is housed on your site. Remember that you already have the attention of the people who follow you. Those followers want a reason to click through to your site; make sure you give them one.Don’t: Assume You Know What Your Audience WantsIt’s a mistake to assume that you will automatically increase your click-through rate (CTR) from social media simply because you share content. Understanding your own brand identity is half the battle but you also need to compile profiles on the people that interact with your content. Your end-goal as a marketer is to expand your upper funnel with more of the people that can convert into quality, paying customers. If you create a profile of your ideal prospect you can share content that will attract the attention of more potential customers.Do: Test The Days, Times And Types Of Content That Increase EngagementAny good marketer will test their content and social media marketing plan to determine what elements of the strategy can work and what needs improvement. As you surveil the activity on your social channels record what pieces of content generate the highest number of clicks, comments, shares, or mentions. Record what days and times are best for engagement so that you can schedule more content to be shared at the optimal times.If you can’t measure these analytics on your own consider registering for data software that can help you get the answers to these questions. Strategies execute successfully when they are backed up by measurable data.Don’t: Forget To Share Content Produced By Influential MarketersSocial media is partly about building an online community to continue expanding your prospective audience. You can acquire new followers by sharing content published by influential marketers, which also places your brand on the radar of those influencers. This process of sharing and re-sharing quality content boosts your own reputation as a source of trusted information and allows you to pitch your own content to those influencers, who have their own large networks of followers.