Best Practices for Integrating Social Media and Content Marketing

April 13, 2023

3 minutes

Social media and content marketing work together in many ways to boost traffic to your website and ultimately grow your brand.

However, you’re missing opportunities to significantly increase your impact if you approach these as separate tactics and do not integrate them. You may be writing blog content and posting it on your website, and you may be creating social media content that engages your audience effectively. But the real power comes when you leverage both for maximum effectiveness.

Contrary to what some may think, social media platforms are not just a place for conversation but a potential on-ramp to your website. If you’ve been hitting the snooze button on social media marketing (or managing it completely separate from your content), it’s time to seize the day! This post will show you how to mingle your marketing mix so you can make sure you’re getting the most from your digital marketing strategy.

Social Media and Content Marketing: What’s the Difference?

For starters, let’s back up and clarify what we mean by social media and content marketing. Social media platforms are virtual communities for information sharing on websites and apps such as Facebook, Instagram, and  LinkedIn (to name a few). They promote engagement through comments, questions, conversations, and resharing content.

Content marketing is an all-encompassing strategy that includes all the various ways marketers create and distribute relevant and valuable information to customers. In this case, the audience is consuming the content rather than participating in it. Some examples of content marketing tactics are blogs, articles, brand videos, online courses, case studies, and downloadable guides.

1. Social Media Maximizes Blog ROI

Think of your social media platforms as another on-ramp for your website and distribution channel for your content. A blog can be a stand-alone content marketing piece, but it doesn’t have to be. Social media marketing can keep you in regular conversation with your customers in a way that your website, email newsletter, or mailer can’t.

For example, try this: have your CEO record a short video summarizing one takeaway from your blog. Then you post that video on Facebook with a link to the blog. What if, after reading the blog, your lead provides their contact information to download an ebook to learn more on the topic? They might share your post on their social media page if they find the information valuable.

As you can see, the blog benefits from the power of social media. Not to mention, posting blog content across social media increases backlinks to your site, which improves your page rank in Google’s search algorithm.

Read More: 5 Small Business Social Media Hacks to Save Time and Sanity

2. Developing a Content Marketing Strategy

To seamlessly integrate your social media and content marketing tactics, you need one over-arching strategy to orchestrate the details. If you are starting from scratch, here are a couple of posts that will help get your wheel turning when determining your goals and tactics.

Create a Content Calendar

A content calendar is essential for an integrated social media and content marketing strategy. You can plan content annually or quarterly. For example, an accounting service may want to focus on tax preparation tips in the first quarter. A nonprofit, on the other hand, may focus on giving around the holidays.

That said, it’s not enough to just choose timely topics. You must consider search engine optimization (SEO) and write content around keywords that resonate with your ideal clients.  Keyword planning tools such as Google Ads Keyword Planner, ahrefs free keyword generator, and Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool can help you choose popular search terms that will help your content rank.

What to Post: Content Marketing on Social Media 101

Leveraging social media to complement your content marketing strategy is more than just filling the air. Make your words count. Here are some ideas for meaningful social content that brings value to your audience.

  • Answer your ideal client’s questions. You should be doing this in your content marketing already. People are searching the internet looking for answers. Be who provides them (or your competitors will.)
  • Share how-to and brand videos. Your social media channels are a great place for show and tell. Sprout Social says, “about 66% of consumers find short-form videos the most engaging out of any other social media post types. You don’t require a Hollywood-level production studio to make a quick video, but you should hire a pro for a longer brand video. (Check out this brand video for Eagle Cabinetry for inspiration.)
  • Tell stories. Storytelling creates an emotional connection between you and your clients, supporters, and volunteers. Social media is a great place to share video client testimonials and, for nonprofits, stories of why your donors give and first-hand stories of how your organization has impacted the community. Instagram Reels is a great platform for visual storytelling.
  • Offer thought leadership. Look for opportunities for your subject matter experts to offer perspective on something in the news via a video clip or link to your blog. LinkedIn and Twitter are great places for B2B thought leadership.
  • Feature promotions. Who doesn’t love a deal? Your followers are more likely to stay engaged if they can access exclusive content like a sneak preview of new products or services or your upcoming silent auction items.
  • Run ad campaigns. Paid ads can complement your social posting for greater reach and retargeting prospects. Facebook campaigns, for example, allow you to track link clicks and get a sense of your ROI.

3. Optimize Your Social Media Profiles

Before you start posting away, ensure your social media channels are optimized to maximize traffic and impact. Take the following steps:

  • Choose a high-quality profile image. A recognizable logo is always a safe bet, or you can choose a photo representing your brand. Use the same image on all of your channels for consistency.
  • Complete all bio information. Communicate clearly what your organization does and include relevant keywords so your ideal client can find you when they search. Include your website address in your profile.
  • Check the branding. Ensure that the tone, colors, and images mimic (or at least complement) what’s on your website and any printed materials for a cohesive brand.
  • Cast a wider net. Use hashtags featuring relevant keywords in your posts.

Not only do you want to use social media to direct traffic to your website, but you want to use your website, newsletter, and email campaigns to point your prospects and stakeholders to your social media accounts. Include social media icons and links to your organization’s accounts in all of your digital marketing activities. And don’t forget to invite your current clients or email subscribers to follow your social media pages.

4. Ready, Set, Post: Sharing Your Content on Social Media

You’ve created a strategy and optimized your profiles, now it’s time to post. Use what you know about your target audience to help craft your message and decide which platforms to focus on. Sprout Social has some great information on social media demographics by gender, age, and time spent per day. 

If your brand is highly-visual such as a salon or home renovation company, Instagram should be at the top of your list. LinkedIn is a great fit if your focus is B2B. You should also check where your competitors post to avoid being left out.

Read More: Who Is Your Ideal Customer?

When to Post: Mid-week Mornings Are Prime Time

You must be intentional about when to post your content based on each specific channel. Sprout Social tracks the best time on each social media platform, but as a general rule of thumb, the highest traffic is mid-week between 9 a.m.-10 a.m. If you want to drill down even further, Sprout Social has a super cool “Best Time to Post” generator specific to channels and industries.

How to Post: Automate Your Posting

If you post your social content a la carte, you’re more likely to get out of the routine and trail off. And your audience notices if you post religiously for several months and then…crickets. They may even wonder whether you’re still in business.

Social media scheduling tools can post for you at appointed times, even when you’re not at your desk. There are many options—some free, some paid— with varying degrees of user-friendliness. Using your content calendar, load your content in batches (say at the beginning of the month) and select ideal publishing times for each channel. Now those posts will fire off while you’re getting other things done.

Rules of Engagement: Keeping the “Social” in Social Media

While many content marketing tactics involve information dissemination, social media marketing is, by nature, interactive. Automating your posting through a social media scheduling tool doesn’t mean you can “set it and forget it.” Followers seek out social media channels to connect.

When you use social media marketing as part of your larger strategy, you must commit to monitoring the activity on your business or non-profit’s social channels.

  • Respond to comments and direct messages in a timely fashion.
  • Learn about your audience by reading their feedback.
  • Post shareable content. Posts go viral because your community shares them, giving you a bigger reach!
  • Ask questions or post polls. Free marketing research, anyone? Also, it helps to encourage your staff to “go first” to start the conversation.
  • Suggest tagging your organization to solicit user-generated content. For example, ask followers to post pictures of themselves using your product or share why they support your nonprofit.
  • Add a “donate” button if you’re a nonprofit so that donors can respond to a campaign immediately. (Here are directions on adding a “donate” button to your organization’s Facebook page.)

Read More: 3 Ways Great Content and Digital Marketing Work Together to Grow Your Business

Need Help Merging Social Media and Content Marketing?

When executing content marketing strategies, it’s easy to feel “done” once you’ve written a great post. But in many ways, the blog post is just the beginning. Maybe you see the value in leveraging social media to boost your content marketing efforts; however, you’re feeling overwhelmed with how and where to start. That’s where we come in.

We are proud of our all-star team of social media experts who can manage your social media and content marketing strategies for you. Our clients range from nonprofits to small businesses and more. Best of all, our team can help you develop and execute a strategy that gets results with website design, branding, video production, social media, and content marketing. Let’s talk about working together to create a robust and integrated digital marketing strategy that produces needle-moving results!

Cross & Crown

About Cross & Crown

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