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Using a "POEM" to Improve Your Social Media Strategy

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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, a small business social media site.


Appreciate this article, keep up the good work...
business strategy as well as on the social networking business,we must marketing methods better and more creative to attract customers.
thank you i see you ve ry funny
This is a concise and precise article. It reminds small businesses like ours to persevere in harnessing the use of social media tools to improve our image and visibility to our potential and existing clients. It will also be helpful if some kind of government grants are given to support small businesses.
Appreciate this article, keep up the good work...
Thank you very much, very good article with me. I have a better understanding of the business strategy as well as on the social networking business. Near future I will apply what they learned on SBA. Thank you very much. [This post was edited to remove a link. Please review our Community Best Practices for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you.]
Very true that social media has been playing pivotal role in establishing & promoting business from every front. But believe that understanding the importance of social media & its usage needs to be proper, else it can play a spoilsports too.
I think small businesses need to take a look at the Manta report that clearly shows that the majority of small businesses are not making a positive ROI on their social media efforts. Small business are flocking to social media but the trouble is, no matter how much time and money they spend, they still cannot crack the code. Most local business need to return to classic micro and local marketing strategies instead of expensive shiny new widgets and systems telling them "Yes they can!"
Your advice is very generic. I run a business pouring concrete. Social media is not really a tool that fits my type of business from what I can tell. Owned media is fine but there is not a lot to say about concrete. Also, if I were to say something that is eye catching it would apply to the whole United States not where I work. For me to compete nationally just to pick up local business is not a good investment. Ismael Ismaels Construction
Good Article for terms of Social Media


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