With 17,000,000 likes on its global Facebook page, 900,000 @Intel Twitter followers, and more than 44,000 subscribers to YouTube, Intel’s Social Media Center of Excellence is certainly living up to its name. In addition to the global accounts, Intel’s geo and country teams operate an additional 50+ international Facebook pages, 30+ supporting Twitter handles, and 14+ global YouTube channels.
Organizations such as Intel are beginning to look and operate more like media companies–a transition that doesn’t happen overnight. They’re evaluating topics and trends in real-time and creating a brand narrative across multiple networks. It takes a lot of content to fuel that many channels–and a dedicated team to manage the ideation, creation, and analysis of that content. More importantly, it takes a lot of quality content to generate engagement with audiences across continents and timezones, and for Intel engagement is a key metric.
In fact, Intel conducted a study benchmarking the Facebook engagement rates of other brands similar to Intel in size and standing. They found–much to their delight–that Intel came out on top with higher levels of engagement than any of the other brands. Intel also discovered that organic engagement (vs. paid) had steadily increased over time, confirming the right content is hitting the right audience.
But how does Intel come up with the “right” content, then find the “right” audience? What are they doing differently than those other brands?
About a year and a half ago, Intel got smarter about the way they create and distribute content.
We recently spoke with Jennifer Lashua, Global Social Media Strategist in Intel’s Social Media Center of Excellence, about the evolution of Intel’s content marketing strategy and why it’s been so successful. So what’s their secret? “To take us to the next level…and have more long-lasting relationships, deeper conversations, and more meaningful communications, we needed a social content strategy.”
Here are 9 best practices around Intel’s successful integration of their social media and content marketing strategies, which will help you target the right people at the right time with the right message:
Interview with Jennifer Lashua: 9 Best Practices for Building a Social Content Strategy
1. Make Your Case Internally
You need your organization behind you, especially the people at the top. So before you can gain the budget and resources you need to bring social and content successfully into your marketing strategies, you may need to market the idea internally first. “We drove a level of awareness internally around the fact that social is a viable channel,” says Jennifer. “There are very specific content types, formats, and topics that work well on social…It deserves the attention, budget, and resources to create content specifically for each of these individual networks.”
2. Establish Marketing Goals and Strategies
Before you even begin to plan your content, make sure you understand the larger marketing initiatives planned for the quarter and year. This will give you a better idea of what messaging you need to push, which content types make the most sense to support those initiatives across networks, and when those pieces of content should be completed. “We take the corporate marketing strategies and goals, and we match those up with what we know works on our social networks. From there, we start to ideate around different types of content, different themes, different streams of ideas and pieces of content that are going to work on the different networks.”
3. Maximize Your Most Popular Networks
“We maximize the networks where we have the largest presence. We have the largest presence on Facebook and a significant following on Twitter and YouTube, so that was where we placed our focus–creating content for those networks.” Where is your target audience, and where are they already talking about your organization? If you don’t know, find out. For retail, maybe it’s Instagram and Pinterest. For B2B, it might be Google+ and LinkedIn. Instead of wasting time and resources where you don’t have (or need) a presence, focus your efforts on the right channels with the biggest payoffs.
4. Leverage Internal Team Collaboration
At Intel, they have an editorial request form that feeds into their Kapost Editorial Calendar. “Anyone in the company who has a project, program or good idea that they think is worthy of some social attention can complete a form and their idea gets submitted.” The Center for Social Media Excellence then reviews, evaluates, goes back and forth with the person who submitted the idea, and if all goes well, uses that information to create new content. As an example, Jennifer points out that the jobs team is always providing excellent topics and content ideas around working for Intel, which also appeal to a broader audience.
5. Use an Editorial Calendar
Between internal collaborators and external agencies, it’s key to have one place where everything from the higher-level campaigns to the specific tweets and blog posts can be organized and planned. That’s where an Editorial Calendar comes in handy. “We have one place where everyone on the team always knows what’s going on, and has that roadmap for what’s happening across all of our social networks.” Without one, planning ahead will be a lot more difficult than it needs to be.
6. Share Content Around Popular Topics
Intel does an incredible job with sharing content their users find interesting and relevant. In fact, they’ve even built a tool to share and engage on popular content in real-time. Intel’s social platform IQ, a social integration and syndication tool, learns what users like and pushes the most popular content to the top of the platform. This content then feeds into social media promotion channels and is shared out to specific audiences.
7. But Don’t Forget About Content with Longterm Relevance
Trending topics are important, but it’s also critical to focus on content that will remain relevant to your audience for a long time. Not only will you be able to recycle it, but your audience will be able to revisit their favorite and most valuable pieces. For example, take Intel’s amazing campaign the Museum of Me. After connecting with Facebook, users move through a beautiful, digital museum displaying photographs, videos, friends, and updates pulled in from Facebook. By creating a fun experience that captivates users, Intel is still seeing engagement from this campaign. “It’s timeless. People are still finding it today, and it’s still as relevant now as it was over a year ago.”
8. Analyze Data To Discover What Content Works
Understanding what works and what doesn’t is key to the continued success of your content marketing strategy, and the best way to find out is by tracking and measuring key metrics and KPIs that align with the goals of your team, department, and organization. “The quarterly data analytics we run are pretty robust…and we use that to form the mold for the type of content we’ll create for the next quarter.”
9. Evolve Your Content and Social Strategy
Once you look at the data and evaluate how your content is performing across various social networks, you need to take a good hard look at your strategy. Determine what worked and why, then replicate those elements in your upcoming campaigns. If something didn’t work, learn from those pieces and avoid making the same mistakes. Most importantly, stay in tune with updates and changes to the networks and channels where your content lives. “It’s been a constant evolution because the networks are changing…As Facebook makes changes to its EdgeRank, that impacts the way that we create content to rank more highly in their algorithm. As Twitter introduces new capabilities like Twitter cards, we’re altering our content development strategies to match. For us it’s about being on top of things and knowing what’s going on…so we can get our content ready.”
Jennifer spoke on how Intel uses content marketing to drive success at the Content Marketing Bootcamp in San Francisco. If you couldn’t make it, check out her full presentation below and keep an eye out as we add more cities and a live webinar to the calendar!
In the meantime, learn more about using content to drive success by downloading Kapost’s e-comic book, Content: The Force That Moves the Buyer Down the Funnel.