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5 Things for Publishers to Watch in Social Media

February 22, 2013

By now, you know that social media should be part of your content marketing strategy and that a SaaS Content Management System gives you an advantage to meet the evolving needs of that strategy. It’s helpful to have the tools (like those offered by ePublishing) that make is easy to upload, organize and manage video and images for social media as well as make them easily sharable. It’s also helpful to know a bit about the leading social platforms and the value they hold for effective audience engagement.

The challenge, of course, is keeping track of the important changes in the world of social media and what their potential holds as part of your ongoing content marketing and lead generation strategies. This means looking not only at what the current top platforms are doing to stay in the lead, but also at new platforms with potential. 

Here are five things to keep your eyes on:

Google+

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Google is the major player in how search engine ranking evolves. Nor is it too far out of the realm of possibility to assume that wherever possible, they are going to incorporate their own products and tools into the formula.

What’s the latest?  Author Rank verifies writers through Google + which enables you (the writer/editor) to show your headline and byline next to search results for your content. It also incorporates reader activity, in relation to your content, into the rankings.

What does this mean for you? At the very basic level, it means that you might want to beef up your Google + profile. But there’s more to it. Stay tuned. We’ll have more to share regarding this development . . .

Instagram

You probably know the power of Instagram, but should you harness it? The already popular photo-based platform got a giant boost in users and resources when Facebook acquired it in April of 2012. But at the end of the year, when they released new terms of service, it seemed like their popularity might plummet, due to some vague language that put user’s rights to their own photos in question.

Large public (and Bieber-esque) outcry generated speculation of Instagram’s decline. But current numbers and another revised terms of service indicate otherwise.  Instagram is doing just fine. And you might be more than fine to incorporate it into your content delivery strategy.

Remember, images and video rule the day in social media and the relatively brief attention span of the general online audience. Get creative, personable and fun with images that illustrate the context of your business.

YouTube

It’s not a question of if to use The Tube, it’s a question of how. For those of us who have yet to delve into the world of creating video, YouTube can be a little intimidating. Luckily, a lot of the same rules apply to YouTube that apply to your general content marketing strategy.

Rule #1: First and foremost, create something high quality, relevant and meaningful. Yes, target your content to your audience, using context awareness. 

Rule #2: Optimize. Remember that YouTube is right behind Google as a search platform. Using appropriate keywords in your titles and descriptions will get you a long way.

Rule #3: Share your expertise in a unique and professional way. This is perhaps one of the more challenging areas to focus on when utilizing YouTube. It’s always about sharing insight and expertise, but shoddy video quality and awkward personalities can do a lot to diminish the value of your content. Keep a few things in mind to start:

  • Minimize distractions in the video “set”.
  • Use high quality sound and image recording.
  • Make sure your video personalities are comfortable, fluid and reflect your image and brand. Practice and re-shoot if necessary.
  • Use videos as another avenue for promoting your brand. Brand consistently.

Branch

What? Haven’t heard of Branch? That might be because it has only been open to the public since January of this year.  Branch offers a way of expanding conversations around user-created subjects, questions or other conversation starters.

Branch is offered through Twitter, (Yippee! The bird finally has somewhere to rest).  Branchers can request to be added to a conversation and pursue more in-depth, focused conversations on their topics of interest. It’s a discussion forum that, in theory, reduces chatter and increases substance.

One might compare Branch to LinkedIn conversations, and in that way, it holds a lot of potential for sharing knowledge and deepening connections—with a twist: Branch is integrated with SoundCloud and Spotify, so music can easily be shared in discussion threads. Think of how you might enhance your content in this way. What does your company sound like?

Vine

Naturally, where there’s a branch, there’s a Vine (the vine’s got to grow on something, doesn’t it?) Not surprisingly, Vine is another Twitter-based social tool. In fact, it was created by Twitter. It’s a simple premise. You can create looping six-second videos to share.

While it got off to a rough start with some users posting offensive content, Vine has been refined and now presents a fantastic channel to polish your video content and catch the attention of your target audience. With video being one of the leading forms of content on social media, it couldn’t hurt to explore it as a tool for illustrating your deeper content and enticing people to go to it. Plus, it forces you to employ your strongest editing skills—which you know will only help you stay ahead in the current universe of content.

While all of these tools are worth paying attention to, remember to honor your resources. How does that saying go? It’s better to do a few things really well than many things halfway . . .

 

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