Why content marketing must own social media
A friend recently asked me if they should move social media ownership under the banner of content marketing at their company, and I said yes, absolutely!
Why? Because the team that is always thinking in terms of the customer (or audience) are your best talent to position information within the context of customer interest. This is micro-blogging, and it’s a unique talent in its own right.
If you can’t grab attention in 140 characters, or a short LinkedIn/Facebook paragraph, you can’t win at content marketing.
How often have you seen a great piece of content get lost because it was poorly positioned by someone who didn’t understand the importance or relevance of it? Or didn’t understand how to position it within the context of customer-need?
Too often. Far too often.
I’m not criticizing the social media teams here. Social media kicked off with a focus on marketing – promotions, deals, events and ‘look at me’ content. Yes, customer service got a showing, but not nearly as much as it will have in the next decade.
The challenge is, most companies have not evolved further and senior leaders are not paying enough attention to their assets. They are not casting an essential critical eye on how their company is being represented. They’re just not interested.
Social media is a need – the box is ticked – move on.
But social media is so much more than a box to be ticked. It’s your doorway to your customers. It is where your customers find you or are drawn to you. It is where your customers are interacting in their world, with their community, absorbing knowledge on their interests. It is why social media is the place to earn the right to your customer’s attention and time.
So are your social media channels good enough to attract your customers? I suggest you review them from the eyes of a customer. And then review them from the eyes of a potential employee. Would you buy from you? Would you work for you?
I recommend reading this quirky but interesting article in CMI – A Day in the Life of a Social Media Marketer (2026 edition). While the future doesn’t look great (it seems pretty lonely) it is the integration of all the parts that caught my attention. Because it is too separate now.
Today, the siloes of business are the enemy of content marketing, and while that’s a much bigger topic, if your social media team is separate from your content marketing team, then it is very difficult to succeed in this customer-centric digital world.
Professionals who understand the customer and are focused on serving the customer, are the ones who need to own social media. That is content marketing.
Of course, there continues to be a place for marketing on social media, but as I have said many times before, only 20% of your effort should be here. The other 80% of your social focus must be on serving the customer – with rich information that will improve their lives, make them more successful, help them overcome a challenge, and so on. It is this quality of information that builds loyalty to your brand and helps you win over the long-term.
We still have a very long way to go here. The mind-shift from what we’ve always done to what we need to do is incredibly challenging for business professionals to make. Some of the smartest people I’ve met just can’t adjust. They are still thinking about themselves. They are still thinking about what they are selling, and what they offer. But this is boring and it does not earn the right to exist in the customer’s world.
The customer is following the Republican Convention, or the latest terrorist incident, or the Kim Kadashian/Taylor Swift feud, or finding a recipe for dinner tonight, or a place for their kid to do gymnastics, or a new holiday destination….
In fact, if you read my friend Isabella Barbato’s blog –The Quick Content Marketing Kit for Travel Brands Looking to Stand Out – “68 percent of travelers embarking on a 4-hour trip will spend 42 hours poring over travel-related content online before their trip.”
That’s a lot of time spent researching!
How is it relevant to you? Your content has to be good enough to exist alongside your customer’s desire for knowledge and information. That’s the flip we must make, and the latest product brochure, or uninspiring case study focused too much on product and not on the problem it solves, doesn’t earn that right.
Seth Godin said “content marketing is the only marketing left.”
Well if that’s the case, make sure it’s at the top of the apex of your business and everything (including social media) feeds into it. We’re definitely not there yet.
Once professionals get it, they really get it, but we have many more minds to flip – especially in this region.
What do you think? Agree or disagree? Or perhaps you’re seeing something completely different?
Hello I am client centric photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
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