Content is king for social media in 2014High Quality Content Is Still King

It’s worth repeating, high quality content will remain the cornerstone of the top SEO and social media strategies for 2014… so don’t forget to share!

Whether it’s engaging sales copy, visually stunning infographics, or an in-depth scientific paper with cited references, putting high quality content out there will improve your search rankings.

The primary goal is to do a better job than the competition. If your competitor is blogging once a month,  you need to be blogging twice a month. If they’re posting to social media daily, you should be too.

Create high quality content that is useful to your customers, on a regular basis. And share it!

Follow Your Customers on The Big Four

Having a website just isn’t enough these days. Today’s businesses need to be proactive in reaching out and engaging customers wherever they are online.

I usually recommend companies engage “The Big Four” social media companies; Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.  Each has a slightly different upside and the strategies are a bit different, but you can count on finding the bulk your customers on one of these big four social media networks.

But there are literally hundreds of other social media networks that might be a perfect fit for your business model and marketing strategy. Facebook isn’t always the right fit and sometimes a little creativity is needed to coax out the best result.

Gorgeous Photos, Art, Food or Graphics?

Visual appeal goes a long way online. Flicker, Instagram, and Pinterest are great social networks to promote to and engage with users and customers. Utilize your content on the platforms that allow it to best shine!

The same goes for any company that has naturally beautiful products and/or is able to produce high quality graphical content such as Photographers, Realtors, or even Dentists.

Manufacturing and/or Distribution?

Facebook may not be the best route for more industrial industries, but you can be sure sites like LinkedIn and Manta have a lot of opportunity.

Most experts agree that LinkedIn will be the biggest platform for B2B companies in the coming years and they’ve really done a great job updating their website with even better features for growing businesses.

Retail or Physical Location?

Local Search is still a huge opportunity, the sooner you stake your claim, the harder it will be for your competitors to catch you. Make sure you’ve set up your Google Places page, as that’s what drives the little map you see when you search for a local business.

Also make sure you’re active on review sites like YelpZagat, and Bing…not to mention the plethora of yellow page type business directories like Superpages, Yellowbook and MerchantCircle.

Managing Multiple Social Media Accounts

Over the last couple of years, there has been an explosion of sophisticated new tools designed to manage and track all your social media campaigns. Sites like HootSuite let users manage multiple social media accounts from a single easy to use interface. Post to all your properties at once and manage incoming comments and information requests.

Create a Social Media Calendar!

Sounds like a no-brainer right? You’d be surprised at how few companies have an actual social media calendar. Monday morning is a time to announce product offerings that will be available during the week and Tuesday afternoon is a nice time to remind your customers of said offering. Make sure you put everything in the calendar including days and times to promote other businesses in your community and/or causes  your company supports.

The frequency of your posts will vary based on your marketing plan and which social media network you’re using. For most companies a few Facebook/Google+ posts per week is usually sufficient, while on Twitter, up to 5-10 posts per day is a good number to start.

Automate Your Social Media Strategies for 2014

One of our favorite features is the ability to post to other networks. LinkedIn is a great example, when you create a post, you can also post to Facebook and Twitter…this obviously saves time but it also helps drive cross network traffic, generating more followers and better engagement.

Tools like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck allow you to schedule campaigns ahead of time, while site like TwitterFeed allow you to automatically share updates from other blogs and RSS feeds that your customers would find valuable.

No campaign should be fully automated, and every social network you’re on should be monitored as feedback, customer inquires, and review should be managed on a timely basis. There’s nothing worse than finding an old comment that you should have addressed, whether its a customer complaint, or a missed opportunity for new business.

How is your company planning on using social media in 2014? Feel free to share in the comments section below. Here’s to a prosperous new year!