Social Publishing Strategies – What’s your plan?

Goals of Social Publishing Strategies

Social publishing strategies should be utilized with two goals in mind – (1) to increase the exposure to the brand’s messages and (2) to use the content to drive traffic to the brand’s owned media. This differs from traditional advertising strategies in a way that is often difficult for traditional marketers to understand; rather than examining the end results (sales alone), social publishing emphasizes the importance of exposure.

In a traditional advertising campaign, the media planner will set goals that will be accomplished through ad placements. These goals will include audience reach, exposure to the message, and desired outcomes. In other words, paid media is utilized to achieve marketing objectives. With traditional advertising campaigns, progress made toward desired outcomes and marketing objectives can be tracked and analyzed, often times with direct correlation to ROI.

With social publishing goals, the creative content seeking exposure is not necessarily an ad! Goals for social publishing include distribution of content through inbound links or link chains to content from search engine results, other websites, and social media communities. Instead of paid media, social publishing relies upon owned media and earned media online. Social publishing strategies invite the viewer to be part of a conversation with the brand rather than just the consumer of a one-way message.

How to Proceed with a Social Publishing Strategy

How does a marketer proceed with a social publishing strategy? Two types of optimization and organization can be used with on-site and off-site optimization tactics: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Optimization (SMO). These tactics, (which can be viewed below in the Media Optimization Matrix and can be found in Chapter 6 of my Social Media Marketing textbook,) should be utilized to create a social publishing strategy with critical consideration given to the following questions:

  • What content should be published?
  • Where should content be published to maximize exposure to the content through search engine rankings and social sharing?

Table 6.2 Media Optimization Matrix

Types On-Site Off-Site
Search engine optimization* Optimizing content value, tags, keywords, titles, URL Publishing related content elsewhere with links to originalLinkwheel structure
Social media optimization** Share toolsRSS feed Social news and bookmarkingMicroblog postsSocial media press rel

*Search Engine Optimization is the process of modifying content, site characteristics, and content connections to achieve improved search engine rankings. Therefore, marketers must develop and publish content in ways that improve the likelihood that search engines will rank the sites well in response to search queries.

**Social Media Optimization  is a process that makes it more likely for content on a specific social media platform to be more visible and linkable in online communities.

The Importance of Social Media Optimization

How can SMO increase the reach of a marketer’s message? Consider what happens when valuable and engaging content is placed online:

  1. Other sites will link to it.
  2. People will share it.
  3. People will post it.
  4. People will rank it, tag it, and augment it with their own stories about the brand.

The additional visibility gained through SMO and the benefits to search engine rankings as a result has even led to the creation of an entirely new industry of specialists who help organizations stay afloat in the growing sea of content!

So what’s your social publishing strategy? Will you learn SEO? Who will help you sift through all the content that’s out there to find what your brand’s enthusiasts will be most interested in? The value of increased exposure and the ability to drive traffic are critical to staying competitive in today’s ever-expanding market.

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