By “It”, here, I mean content. In the sense that marketers and publishers use the word, “content” means (according to Wikipedia) information and experiences that may provide value for an end user/audience in specific contexts. You may think of content as something contained on the Web, but it can be in other media as well, including broadcast media, CDs, and even print.

The key to content being useful for marketing purposes is that it must be information or an experience that can be easily:

  • Captured
  • Stored
  • Forwarded
  • Repurposed

What does content have to do with social media? Updates or announcements with associated links posted on social networks are a great way to draw users to your content! And from there visitors — the ones thinking of buying — can find their way into your sales funnel. Increasingly buyers are finding their own way through the sales cycle via the internet.

If you’re ready to give this a try, first, stop and consider what you would want social media to do. Who do you want to reach? Which social networks are those people in? What action do you want users to take when they see your social network presence? What happens next?

Nothing happens unless you make it so. When you have thought through your strategy and figured out how to move ahead, be sure you follow these basic rules:
1) Learn to write great headlines – The posted information needs to include a very short, intriguing “headline” or subject line that gives readers a good idea of what content they will see when they click the link.
2) Make the content truly relevant and valuable – When your company draws users to information that makes them more knowledgeable, you do them a service and boost your brand’s credibility. Make sure your content is related to your industry or product and will make visitors smarter for having visited.
3) Don’t push – Most visitors, still in the information-gathering stage, can be put off by advertisements pushing a product before they know enough about the subject. Let them learn at their own speed. Today’s buyers will anyway.
4) Provide a call to action – If visitors like your content and they’re ready to learn more, giving them a link to more detailed information on your products or services will encourage them to explore further. Use a simple info form (name, company, email address) to enable access to more in-depth information such as White Paper downloads. Now they’re genuinely prospects.
5) Stay open and accessible – If the content is a blog post, allow visitors to leave a Comment. Include RSS capability so they can subscribe to your blog. If they want to receive updates from you, give them a simple form to subscribe to your newsletter and emails.
6) Keep your content fresh – Develop and maintain a Content Calendar with topics, dates and contributor names. Publish new content frequently. If your website becomes stale, people won’t keep coming back. If there is something new and interesting, they’ll tune in.

Every time you post new content, by all means, tweet about it on Twitter or post an update on your Facebook page. If the content is really delightful, people will share it with others and help you spread the word.