At a time when it seems that every important topic needs to be described in only 140 characters, I continue to be pleasantly surprised that thoughtful content is still out there in the realm of business-to-business (B2B) social media. Like many professionals, when I first came onboard with social media, I was confused by the terminology used by companies when they said they provided rich content with social media. I don’t consider repurposing a picture or smartphone video as content – sorry. And short comments and opinions don’t necessarily constitute well-thought out insights.
What I have noticed is that the focus for several years has been on social media platforms and frequency of output versus the message or content being delivered. A good article on the difference between social media and content is Who You Should Bet On? Content Creation Vs. Social Media.
The author sums up his thought on the two by saying, “Social media marketing is all about promotion and content marketing is about creation.” I couldn’t agree more. And while I find myself sometimes having difficulty sifting through the volume of content to get to the real value, I definitely lock into certain authors or blog sites.
This leads me into the topic that I think is important – how to find the right firm to outsource your social media to. When choosing a firm, it is important that anyone you consider should understand the difference between content being delivered, the platform being used, and the frequency of delivery.
In our effort to gain experience in B2B social media marketing, we have observed many up-and-coming social media firms focusing on helping companies with their social media strategy and focusing primarily on platform and frequency of communication, rather than the content delivered. Many times, lack of experience in the customer’s business area can result in greater quantity of social media activity, but lower content quality. That’s a critical mistake and can leave the client projecting a poor impression within the market–without even realizing it.
When a business outsources their social media or content creation, they should be looking for a company who understands social media and their business. Focusing just on the platform and frequency of social media outreach may work well as the sole goal in the entertainment, sports, and celebrity industries, but certainly not in a business-to-business setting. I would look to social media to provide powerful, if short viewpoints that reflect the business being represented. Your content or your message will always be more important than frequency of communication in a business environment – even when 140 characters might be considered the norm.
Over time, social media will mature as a tool for conveying useful, timely insights. In the meantime, many of us need to wade through a lot of stuff to get to the interesting information and professional insights we crave. And for those business owners looking to outsource some or all of their social media presence, it is important to ask a lot of questions. Check back with us again in the future as we look to answer some of those questions.
In the meantime, consider participating in our Introductory Social Media Assessment: (Free assessment and report until the middle of September as we beta test this new offering!) This interactive assessment with a social media expert is a critical exercise to help you develop your approach to social media. You will gain the insight you need to create and implement a strong social media plan, giving you a powerful competitive advantage.
Brad is a 30 year veteran of marketing who understands the value of content that helps close business. You can find more blogs and content from Brad atwww.porterconsulting.net.