Mindful content is key to media’s successful content marketing on social media

By Jessica Robinson

Globe Content Studio

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


When it comes to getting your content seen, no performance plan is complete without social media. That’s where your target audience likely spends most of its digital time — and there are more platforms to reach them on than ever.

Globe Content Studio’s social strategist, Shazia Khan, shares the golden rule for running a social media channel, how to game the video-obsessed algorithm, and the biggest mistake that marketers make.

There is no sure-fire way to create viral content, so create high-quality, valuable content and it may go viral as a result.
There is no sure-fire way to create viral content, so create high-quality, valuable content and it may go viral as a result.

Q: How should marketers go about determining which platform(s) are best for promoting any given piece of content marketing?

Khan: No brand can successfully have a large presence on every platform. You should prioritise them based on who your target audience is and what your business goal is.

As content marketers, we’re almost always trying to get users to click through and read our content. So, I have to reconcile our business objective (driving traffic and readership) and the client’s business objective (building brand awareness or driving conversions). It’s a delicate balance!

You have to keep in mind the action you’re looking for: Are you asking someone to click a link and read your article on a page? If so, then build your social campaign, posts, and tactics accordingly.

Q: What is the biggest mistake marketers make with their social strategy?

Khan: Building a campaign with the intent to “go viral.” You can’t plan to make a viral post or video — but if you make a good, authentic, valuable one, it might go viral as a result.

Q: Creators often complain that the algorithm is “burying” their content in feeds. Is there a way to make social algorithms work for you, instead of against you?

Khan: The problem with algorithms is they’re so opaque — we don’t know why some content might get served more than others because most platforms don’t tell us. But you certainly can attempt to game the system.

Say I want to drive to an article that’s just text and photos. Sometimes, if I turn those elements into an animated graphic or quick slideshow, I can take advantage of an algorithm that predominantly serves and rewards video-viewing behaviour, and get exposed to more users in the process. That’s why variety, diversity, and trying new things are so important in the social space.

Q: What, in your opinion, is the golden rule of social media strategy these days? Is there one?

Khan: With everything that’s happened in the last few years, from fake news to climate change to the pandemic to online trolling, people are feeling very jaded on social.

The best thing you can do is be thoughtful about the cultural moment and what’s happening in the world right now when planning your social messaging. Don’t be out of touch, don’t exploit your followers’ trust. As Google says, “Don’t be evil.” Care about the community you’re fostering in your corner of the Internet.

About Jessica Robinson

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