Content marketing, social media marketing, earned media marketing; the list of types of marketing that you have to have to succeed online probably feels extensive. And it’s true that you do need to have content on social media and beyond. However, it’s not as complicated as it might seem. Streamlining the process and ensuring that you leverage your content efforts means success. One leads to another, and if you have any type of content marketing plan, then social media must be part of your earned media strategy.
“But what if I don’t have earned media?” you ask. You already do. If you’re online and you’re working to grow your business, then you have earned media. Earned media is simply a third party talking about your business online. It’s online word-of-mouth marketing. If you have reviewed, you have earned media. And it can be a huge business builder. When more people are talking about you online, you gain increased awareness, traffic, subscribers, fans, followers and, ultimately, more customers.
Earned Media Happens on Social Media
Let’s get right to the point. Earned media mainly occurs on social media. Sure, you can get Google or Yelp reviews, and that’s earned media. However, to get the most bang for your earned media buck, it has to be on social media, where there are hundreds of thousands of people engaging at any given time.
The audience is huge. Messages travel quickly from one person to another. And awareness of one product, post, or comment can spread to thousands overnight.
Social media is also a low-cost way to publish content. When you consistently publish content – and it can be anything from a quote to a tip to an infographic or meme to a long article – you can begin to build interest and awareness. You can invite others to comment on your business and to create earned media literally without spending a dime, unlike paid media which can cost plenty and have lackluster results.
It’s About Relationships
Social media is social, and if engagement and conversation are part of your strategy then earned media is just a few posts away. It is important, however, to make sure that you are engaging. When someone comments about your company, links to your website or posts a review, you engage with them as quickly as possible. If it’s a negative comment, turn it around if possible. If it’s a positive comment, thank them and discover how you can further serve that person and grow your relationship.
Social media is a must for any business, and if you want to get your audience involved in promoting your business (i.e., earned media), then it is one of your most important channels. Check out the opportunities not only on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – check out LinkedIn as well. Make earned media, and social media, a strong part of your marketing strategy.