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The 10 Commandments of Social Media Content Marketing

In 1997 the first social network was created called sixdegrees.com and was the forerunner of the modern social networks that started to gain traction in 2002.

The 10 Commandments of Social Media Content Marketing

The first of the modern next generation social media networks that followed in 2002, had the the funky name of Friendster, which to my ear sort of sounds like a hybrid cross between a “Friend” and a “Hamster”.

As with any good idea it was quickly copied (“ripped off” is another phrase that comes to mind) and MySpace was created and launched in 2003.

This social media network dominated for the next 5 years as teenagers became addicted to the interactive and multimedia rich, self publishing web platform that allowed them to share music, content and information with their friends.

The addictive power of the social network was on display to many parents as dinner tables around the world were deserted by teens after gulping down their meat and potatoes, as they rushed off to their computers to continue their “MySpacing

In 2008 Facebook surpassed MySpace and became the dominant social network.

Since then we have seen the rise of the “smart phone” connecting people to the web without wires or a desk bound computer.

This mobile social web has allowed everyone to become a publisher no matter where they are.

The Information Tsunami

At a conference in 2010 Eric Schmidt the then CEO of Google stated

Every two days, we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003

This information includes content such as emails, tweets, Facebook updates, Photos, YouTube video uploads and text messages.

Social networks have largely contributed to this tidal wave of  information and content

  • Videos Uploaded to YouTube – 48 hours of Video uploaded every minute and YouTube receives 3 billion views per day
  • Photos Uploaded to Facebook – 250 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day
  • Tweets on Twitter – 200 million tweets per day
  • Email – Over 100 trillion emails a year or more than 300 billion emails a day
  • Text Messages in 2011 – more than 7 trillion

Many teens are averaging over 3,000 text messages per month.

Much of this is content is not of great quality in fact it is estimated that 89% of all emails are spam.

So as a Social Media marketer, business owner or CEO, how do you harness, focus and take advantage of this information and content “Tsunami”

Is Traditional Marketing Broken?

If you want to get serious about social media marketing for your business or organisation the foundation of any focused effort is having great content to publish and promote.

Other terms for this marketing approach are

  • Inbound marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Pull marketing

These all provide a description for an alternative paradigm to traditional marketing that is all about interruption marketing including telemarketing, cold calling and traditional advertising that pushes messages “at” you.

Technology now allows us to block calls, skip channels on your TV or record and watch later.

The secret behind content marketing that is published and promoted on social networks including blogs, Facebook and Twitter is attracting loyal tribes of readers and viewers.

This allows you to attract and pull customers to you that will engage, read and view and then buy.

The 10 Commandments of Content

Here are 10 building blocks that you need to include in your plans for marketing your business on an increasingly social and mobile web.

1. Get Focused

Who are you speaking to? Provide content that communicates with your customers and prospects in a language they understand.

2. Create Goals for your Content

What are you trying to achieve– capture emails, provide leads, nuture prospects or improve your visibility to search engines.

Do you want to make the content so entertaining that it makes your brand memorable and remarkable and do you want the message to become viral. A funny video may achieve this.

When designing your content make sure it is not content for contents sake, but is assisting you in growing your business

3. Become a Publisher

The democratisation of publishing and marketing means that you now don’t have to wait for your local printer to print off 10,000 marketing brochures and then organise them to be letter boxed .

Now you can write a blog article, email it to your “opt in” subscribers, tweet the link to your Twitter followers and promote it on Facebook.

4. Solve Problems

Everyone has problems and helping your customers and prospects solve them will take them from interested readers to raving fans. Write content that shows people how to fix their problems that are relevant to your industry and market.

5. Include Calls to Action

Don’t forget to include calls to action with your content. It could be to subscribe, share or register for an eBook or whitepaper.

Creating small calls to action will lead prospects towards the ultimate goal for any business and that is to put some money down or place an order.

6. Talk like a Human

Corporate speak was invented by copy writers but a while back people started switching off.

Being “Authentic” is the new black and being real is the “new marketing” that is a message that cuts through

7. Show What Works

Case studies that “show” how your product is used are much more effective than “telling“. Create content that showcases how other customers are using your product and services to achieve success.

Nothing like a bit of “social proof” to create credibility, trust and action.

8. Have some Fun

The original 10 commandments didn’t mention having fun but it helps enormously to present you and your company as having a sense of humour. This doesn’t mean making every piece of content a comedy act but lighten up and show your other side.

Orabrush YouTube Video – This companies use of humour and social media helped them sell 1 million toothbrushes that reduces bad breath.

9. Publish Everywhere

Publishing was expensive and just placing an ad in your local newspaper could cost you thousands.

Now you can publish on dozens of social networks at no cost within minutes. Despite there being thousands of social networks, publish on the social media channels that are used by your customers.

Make your content ubiquitous – place it everywhere from hub (blog or website) to outposts (Facebook, YouTube and Twitter) where your customers hangout!

10. Create Multi-Media

Not everyone likes reading, in fact the younger generation generally reads and views content in many formats including online videos on YouTube. The social web is about rich multi-media that engages interest and communicates visually and not just the “written word“.

Publish your content in several different formats and media types that your customers will like and enjoy. Some examples of these are video, audio (podcast), photos, whitepaper, info-graphics and eBooks.

I know I have 10 commandments listed here but I am sure that you may have discovered some more.

How have you used and optimised your content for your social networks and marketing?

Look forward to hearing your stories.

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Jeffbullas's Blog


  • Andy Corman

    Thanks for the content.  The AC Trash Hauling crew has embraced and is continuing to improve social media presence.  This will certainly help.

  • Anonymous

    Really great points… er… commandments here 🙂
    Seriously though, we’ll see amazing advances in the creation, diversification, delivery and analysis of content marketing in the coming year. I know we’re super excited to see what happens! 

  • Hi Jeff,

    Excellent tips!

    Having fun is the starting point. Carry tension and you will ignore each step. You lack focus, you forget to include calls, you don’t share. When light, you attract each ideas.

    Make your focus laser like. Target your market. Share your content and more importantly, share the content of your buds. This is the quickest way to leverage your presence. Help out a group of friends, some will help you, you reach into whole new audiences because you gave freely. Sow. Reap.

    Thanks for sharing Jeff!


  • That is so true, Jeff. With smartphones, mobile web has really become a driving force behind social content. It’s simple, convenient, and fast to publish. One thing I learned before I became a bestselling author and long before Inc Magazine voted my company as one of the fastest growing companies is that when reaching out to customers it makes a lot more sense to be authentic and simple. That connects easily with customers and is a value add for them.

  • That is so true, Jeff. With smartphones, mobile web has really become a driving force behind social content. It’s simple, convenient, and fast to publish. One thing I learned before I became a bestselling author and long before Inc Magazine voted my company as one of the fastest growing companies is that when reaching out to customers it makes a lot more sense to be authentic and simple. That connects easily with customers and is a value add for them.

  • Hi Jeff, awesome post! Always been such a big fan of your blog!

  • Rick Allen

    Commandment number one should be something like, “48 hours of content a minute, and you were to saying??? Helloooo! You really think you’re going to compete?” (Imagine a slightly sarcastic Almighty etching this one in stone.)

    While your competitors are busy trying to get their message heard, wise marketers should try finding new ways to listen, then build one-on-one relationships with those customers based on what they tell you.I know, I know. For years I’ve been fascinated with ways to reach the masses. But masses don’t even have a credit card. Individuals do.I’m not going to stop trying to reach people with my message, but I am going to put a LOT more focus this year on shutting up and listening, and on building relationships. The most dynamic thing about the current revolution isn’t our ability to push out more quality?? content, but in our ability to listen to the customer.Those smart enough to use this approach will find their customers providing all the quality content necessary.In 2012 the most important content will be white space, and the most important sound is the sound of 2 ears listening.

  • Patricia Bleck

    #4 speaks to me. Demonstrate that you care about readers and their problems and have the ability to provide solutions. They will be drawn to your content Ttbecause it is compelling.

  • Great list, Jeff. I agree with Patricia, #4 is a great commandment. I want to know that a business cares about me and not just my money, and helping me solve problems is definitely a way they can do that. 

  • On the create multi media commandment…You can do this in one post. My blogs that have been rich in photos and hyperlinks have always done better than the ones that weren’t. You can also include a video in a written blog post. It gives people options to consume information in the way they’re most comfortable. 

  • awesome i agree

  • I love the post and I definitely agree with the thoughts you have shared. I think in today’s generation is all about being creative and developing traditional stuffs to stuffs that were fully accepted in today’s time.

  • Cecilia

    Great wrap up! I think that one of your content goals should be focus on building the relationship with your existing customers/followers. It’s great to build your brand on the social media, but being social also means engaging with your customers with relevant content. 80% of what you share should be about others, not yourself. But who has time to look for relevant content that is not yours but is still specific to your niche? It is very hard, but there is a great tool that can help you get the ball rolling with relevant content for you to tweet. It’s called ZootRock.

  • Susan Suehr

    It helps to be in the place of helping people change.

  • I’m not surprised to see this is an older post– it seems that you always are a few steps ahead of most people. In any case— this advice is still great for marketers to heed today. Sharing– thanks, Jeff!

  • Jhoanna Stanners

    Jeff Bullas, I am your one of the many number one fan! As always for your post, this one should never be missed. Insightful and brilliant! Thank you for sharing

  • Hi Jeff

    While this is applicable as marketer-to-client, I think it’s even more powerful if we apply these lessons to our own business building a brand around our content marketing. Great post.

    #5 (Call to action) and #10 (multimedia) I think are often overlooked.