Implementing a strategic social media strategy isn’t a question of why, but how. Just ask the 90 percent of marketers that describe social media as important to their businesses.

A robust social media presence can drive targeted traffic to your website, enhance search engine optimization and help you build stronger relationships with prospective and existing clients. Yet, as with any content marketing tactic, there needs to be a method to the madness.

If certain types of content serve different purposes, it stands to reason these assets require specific social game plans as well.

Most marketers love social media platforms like Facebook. Enough to buy flowers? We're not judging.

Most marketers love Facebook. Enough to buy it flowers? Hey, we’re not judging.

Consider the content

Modern content marketing is nothing if not filled to the brim with different asset types, including:

  • Blogs posts.
  • Newsletters.
  • Press releases.
  • Case studies.
  • Whitepapers.
  • eBooks.
  • Infographics.
  • Videos.

Understanding the commercial goal of different types of content makes it easier to determine how to share it on social media. This is where using the sales funnel as a guide becomes invaluable.

Every potential customer is on a buyer’s journey, from gaining awareness of a product or service to purchasing it to evangelizing about its benefits. Your job is to align different content assets with the proper stage of this journey.

As we’ve pointed out before, blog posts tend to perform better during the pre-sales phase of the funnel. In addition to showcasing your organization’s expertise in a certain business sector, blogs can generate recognition of specific pain points a prospective client may be dealing with.

As the customer continues on his or her journey, a whitepaper presents the ideal opportunity to dive deeper into these pain points and outline exactly how your business can resolve them.

Still, even after you know who the content should be targeting, the question remains: Which social channel is the best option to reach them?Learn to speak the language of social media. Today's lesson: hashtags.

Learn to speak the language of social media. Today’s lesson: hashtags.

Check your channel

Like different content types, each social media channel has its own unique applications.

social_facebookFor instance, while Facebook remains the reigning champ of social networks among U.S. adults, its primary business purpose is building buzz and reaching a broad segment of your audience. This makes Facebook the clear choice for early sales funnel content, such as blog posts. At the same time, it can be a poor choice for highly targeted content assets – at least without creating a paid social ad campaign.

twitter_cropLike Facebook, Twitter provides an excellent platform for quick, expansive audience engagement. However, it does not offer the same level of interaction as Facebook, and also limits how much you can say in a single post. It’s ideal for short company news and announcements, for quickly sharing content like press releases and videos, and for guiding your audience to landing pages and downloadable assets.

linkedin_cropFor more in-depth, targeted content assets, LinkedIn is the clear choice. Geared toward professionals, LinkedIn is considered a more trustworthy source of content than Facebook and Twitter. It’s also the clear leader in usage among c-suite executives, meaning content shared here should target decisionmakers.

This is where you should deploy more comprehensive content assets, such as whitepapers, case studies and eBooks, that are focused on informing customers, answering questions and solving problems.

Once you have a handle on which types of content and social media platforms best serve your goals, it’s time to make sure your strategy incorporates practices that will increase your impact.

“No matter what you’re sharing on social, it’s important to let your followers know what they are going to be clicking on.”

3 social circulation best practices

While by no means an exhaustive list, the following three tips will set you up for social success:

1. Be transparent: The last thing you want to do is waste a prospective client’s time. This makes transparency a key component of disseminating content over social media.

“No matter what you’re sharing on social, it’s important to let your followers know what they are going to be clicking on,” said Brafton Social Team Associate Manager Erin Hancock. “Whether you’re sharing a whitepaper, eBook or infographic, make sure to include that messaging somewhere in your post. It’s also a great idea to catch someone’s eye with a photo from whatever asset you’re sharing. If you’re sharing a video, you can even upload the file to your social post for increased visibility.”

2. Maximize shareability: One of your overarching goals should always be to encourage social users to share your content. You can accomplish this by:

  • Concentrating on timely, relevant content.
  • Incorporating eye-catching visuals.
  • Writing intriguing headlines.
  • Mentioning well-known industry brands or professionals.
  • Sharing content with thought leaders possessing large followings.
  • Including buttons that make it quick and easy to share.
  • Using hashtags to make content easy to find.

Also keep the specific social channel you’re using in mind when strategizing shareability. For instance, if you’re promoting content on LinkedIn, you should:

  • Utilize LinkedIn SlideShare.
  • Publish on LinkedIn Publisher.
  • Share content in LinkedIn groups.

3. Tool up: Looking to build up your social strategy? Make sure you have the right tools for the job. There’s no shortage of social solutions available, many of them free, to help you enhance your online presence and increase content sharing effectiveness.

Buffer and Pablo are just two examples of tools that make it easy to streamline social sharing and beef up posts with enhanced text and imagery.

Together with a mastery of how each type of content and social channel appeals to your audience, a focus on transparency, shareability and preparation will make circulating content on social media that much simpler.

Eric Wendt is a writer and editor at Brafton. He discovered his love of words after realizing he was terrible at math. If he's not updating his Tumblr with poetry he's too embarrassed to share, there's a good chance he's out in search of the perfect pale ale.