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Using a "POEM" to Improve Your Social Media Strategy

Using a "POEM" to Improve Your Social Media Strategy

By smallbiztrends, Guest Blogger
Published: June 5, 2014

It’s frustrating to see small businesses give up on social media as a marketing channel after just a few months of effort. Usually the heart of the problem is a weak or nonexistent content marketing strategy. Without a strategy, there can be no meaningful, long-term engagement.


Engagement doesn't happen like spontaneous combustion. Content is at the center of engagement. But it’s not as simple as just slapping up some content on your social channels or blog. A small business needs a content strategy to create highly targeted content assets for fans and followers to engage around.  


The Importance of Understanding Your Audience


Your business also needs a content strategy in order to outline the messaging and brand impression you want to convey. Is your business known for providing helpful advice to other businesses or consumers in your niche?  Then you'll need a lot of helpful content around issues your target market cares about. On the other hand, if your business is known for providing fun products, you'll want fun and entertaining content.


This is where understanding your audience comes into play. You have to know what your audience wants and expects from you before you can build a content strategy around it.


Now for that Concept…


Here’s what you need to succeed in using social media to find new customers and engage your followers, and it’s not a secret: POEM.


That’s Paid, Owned, and Earned Media. Essentially, it involves diversifying the types of content you publish through social channels. Let’s dive into each.


Paid media:


This comes in the form of sponsorships or advertising on third-party sites to better reach your audience.


Owned media:


You likely already have and are using your owned media, or the channels that you create and control. They include (but are not limited to) your company blog, your YouTube channel, all social profiles, and your website.


Earned media:


Here you let your customers and the press spread the word about your business. It’s also known as word of mouth. If you’re doing a good job of marketing your business (and offer stellar products or services), your fans will do the legwork.


So by combining all three, you reach a wider audience and help grow your fan base on social media. Let’s look at an example. If you create a whitepaper on "10 Ways to Start a Business" that you give to new email subscribers, you’re off to a good start with your owned media.


Only no one’s downloading it.


So you invest in paid media and place an ad on Facebook and Twitter to get your whitepaper in front of more eyeballs. Because it’s so inherently valuable, once people download and read it, they share it with their followers, resulting in your earned media.


So you see how the three forms of media can play together nicely and help you increase your base of influence.


Before you give up on social media altogether, I encourage you to revisit your content strategy (or maybe visit it for the first time) and determine a way to fit in paid, owned, and earned media into the equation.

About the Author:

Anita Campbell

Guest Blogger

My name is Anita Campbell. I run online communities and information websites reaching over 6 million small business owners, stakeholders and entrepreneurs annually, including Small Business Trends, a daily publication about small business issues, and BizSugar.com, a small business social media site.