Successful Social Marketing – Integrating Content and Community

The ultimate social marketing success is having a platform that stands out as the go to place for your target audience. If your product/service aims to capture an audience with special interests, you should consider a social strategy and plan that integrates content and community. Special interests groups could include fitness minded, wines enthusiasts, tech innovation, pet lovers, executive peer groups and many more.


As I have stated many times, content is the core of social. So brands should think of themselves as publishers. Every brand should have a digital platform where they produce and curate industry related content of great value to their target audience. Do not think of this as product or service literature. Produce content that addresses the needs and interests of people within your brand’s industry.


Launch your own brand’s digital blog, magazine, or journal.


Be committed to continuous production and updates so that your audience is inspired to keep on returning and builds strong affinity for your “Brand Digital Media” platform. You want to build a reputation as being the go to place for your industries information, insights, and entertainment.


In order to accomplish a “go-to reputation” you should consider a number of different types of content, which include original content, curated content, and UGC (user generated content).


As example, consider the slide below as the “BRAND Digital Media” content hub for your brand…


Determine a finite set of topics you will cover. Use the navigation bar to list these topics and allow your audience to click through directly. Build frames to pop in various content types. Try to keep a set template for these content frames so you can condition your audience to access information they desire and know how to easily obtain it. Update at least one frame a day. Include social sharing and follow buttons.


Once you have established a “BRAND Digital Media” platform, use your social channels to proliferate the content. Include content reference updates on these social channels.

And make sure you are tracking how well the BRAND Digital Media content hub is performing. Consider metrics as follows …


Once you have built a successful BRAND Digital Media platform, now you are in the position to launch an industry community platform.


Assuming you have an audience coming to your content hub for information, why not give that audience a place to engage with your brand and one and other.


As people come to your BRAND Digital Media site for information, give an opportunity to sign up and sign in to your community.


The BRAND Network is an extension of your BRAND Digital Media hub. It is a place for people to connect, converse, and network.


While anyone can get content at the BRAND Digital Media site, only members can comment on content, engage with other users, set up meetings, and network with peers. For starters, consider the following BRAND Network feature set.


The power of having your brand serve as an industry related community is that your brand delivers great value to the target audience. Strive to be the industry digital leading member’s forum. Avoid overt product push. Just aim to be an extremely valued industry information and networking source.

And like any other marketing effort, you need to track success metrics. Consider the following for your BRAND Network …


So think about what you can do to deliver a BRAND Digital Media hub and BRAND Network. If you deliver stellar content and a networking platform your target will truly value your brand.


Yes, building an industry leading content and community front takes much effort, time, resources, and budget. But do you want to be a recognized industry leader or is just being part of the pack good enough? If you want to be a leader, demonstrate leadership. Building the industry best BRAND Digital Media platform and BRAND Network demonstrates leadership.

Make It Happen!
Social Steve



Filed under brand marketing, community, marketing, social marketing, social media, social media marketing, social network, Social Steve, socialmedia, SocialSteve

6 responses to “Successful Social Marketing – Integrating Content and Community

  1. Good analysis. But what we tell our clients isn’t to “think of themselves as publishers,” we tell them to “think of themselves as producers.” Publishing is a Web 1.0 model. As customers move more and more to video, it’s important that clients get the mindset of TV network executives, not magazine editors. It’s a subtle – but we think important – distinction.

  2. Jim Matorin

    Interesting comment above re: producers. How true, but I am amazed that I am in the food business, food is visual and how little video is being produced. This leads me back to the spine of the post: Content rocks, but only in industries that are moving towards social enterprise. Those that are laggards are still behind the curve.

  3. Yeah, a little confused by this. So your recommending that companies create their own ‘social media platforms’ instead of using the current leaders in the market such as Facebook etc. Seems silly to me to not go where the users are.

    What benefit does this have? Other than having to manage and employ people to manage this. What metrics to you apply to calculate ROI on such an endeavour.

    I also noticed the piece about content – yet you give no insight on how someone may do this.. The Brand network features, really? What value do you see in this? Again what metric do you suggest to track engagement or ROI on this?

    It seems to me and I may be wrong that your suggesting that businesses create their own blend of Facebook and Linkedin. Overall and I don’t want to be rude but it seems like a really bad thing to do.

    Can you please give one example where this has worked for any brand other than those with mega budgets. I can go on about more here but will leave it at this.

    • Let’s start out by looking at the engagement on Facebook. (Look at the “talking about this” parameter.) how many people actual engage with brands on FB. Second, did you hear that FB will only let 1-2% of brand posts through to likers newsfeed? Once again, diminishing the value of FB for marketing (other than ads). What is the sense in going to where all the people if you do not drive results. Maybe you should just go to China with your brand because they have more people there than anywhere else in the world.

      With regards to ROI, I kindly suggests you read my article “Know What Social Media Success Looks Like” here on my blog. It tells how you measure social overall, not on use of one platform.

      With regards to content, I probably wrote 10 articles on the subject. Just search “content” on my blog.

      Overall, what you are missing is human behavior. Do not just buy into the hype everyone is putting out there. (BTW – do you run a FB page? What do your results look like?)

  4. It’s about learning how to be original and creating a story. And, this like all efforts take time. You either have to have someone dedicated to do it or pay someone to do it for you/help you accomplish it. You have to be consistent and see it through (but this doesn’t mean you have to allocate a lot of money and resources)… it just has to be someone’s job with accountabilit attached.

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