Does social media count as content marketing?

The short answer is yes.

Content marketing is a strategy that puts your audience first. It creates content to inform, help or entertain your audience. The opposite of content marketing is to sell at your audience. Content marketing takes many forms, from blog posts, to webinars, to, yes, social media updates.

The format might be different but your company’s values and commitment to your audience should translate to each of these.

The lines between blogging and social media are blurry at best. LinkedIn Publisher is a blogging platform that lives on LinkedIn (ditto with Facebook Notes). While Medium is a social media platform based around blogging.

Meanwhile, shorter updates, such as tweets and Instagram captions require as much thoughtfulness as your longer outputs. Anyone who’s witnessed a Twitter storm knows that you can’t underestimate the impact of a faux pas on your business…

In short, social media should be an integral part of your content marketing strategy and not just be seen as a distribution outlet.

Top Tips for Integrating Social Media into Your Content Marketing Strategy

  • Create updates specifically for certain networks following the conventions of those networks. For instance, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Google+, use hashtags to make content easy to find, so it’s to your advantage to identify these. This requires a degree of familiarisation – if you are new to any network I recommend you use it personally first.
  • Make sure your brand is consistent across the different networks. Something as simple as using the same colour palette and logo placement can help. The important thing is that your tone doesn’t wildly differ. Remember that you are on these networks to reach your audience in as many different ways as possible. Confusing them by having 50 different personalities won’t help them remember you.
  • Recycle your content on different social media networks to extend its reach. For instance, post an extract of a blog post on LinkedIn Publisher with a link back to your site. Upload your webinar to YouTube/Vimeo and share its slides to Slide Share. Etc