Lately, I’ve been putting a lot of thought into what makes an effec­tive con­tent strat­egy for our social com­mu­ni­ties. Through­out this eval­u­a­tion, sev­eral seem­ingly uni­ver­sal themes have emerged that I believe are worth shar­ing and poten­tially debat­ing among other B2B (busi­ness to busi­ness) mar­keters. Nar­rowed to five, these strate­gic imper­a­tives should be looked at as a start­ing point, or guide, to build­ing a loyal, engaged com­mu­nity through social media:

1) Be fast, and some­times first. Iden­tify and share con­tent with your com­mu­ni­ties that is timely. Given that the half-life of most con­tent is roughly 12 hours, you have less than a day before what­ever you’re shar­ing is no longer rel­e­vant. In addi­tion, while it’s not always real­is­tic to think you’ll always be the first to pro­mote a good story, it should be a goal nonetheless.

2) Be rel­e­vant. Source the most rel­e­vant and author­i­ta­tive con­tent rel­a­tive to your audi­ence, and con­tin­u­ously eval­u­ate and improve where you’re sourc­ing that con­tent from. What you share is only as good as your sources, so make sure you’re stay­ing on top of who and what makes great con­tent for your communities.

3) Be insight­ful. Pro­vide your own unique point of view. Demon­strate orig­i­nal­ity, and sep­a­rate your­self as a leader in your cat­e­gory. Your audi­ence will con­tinue to come to you as a source of knowl­edge if you con­sis­tently put out infor­ma­tion that brings new or insight­ful ideas to the table.

4) Be inter­est­ing. Rep­re­sent your orga­ni­za­tion in a way that shows off its per­son­al­ity. Make sure you are always adding valu­able infor­ma­tion to an ongo­ing con­ver­sa­tion or that you are start­ing con­ver­sa­tions that your audi­ence wants to join.

5) Be oppor­tunis­tic. Being pre­pared to iden­tify and act on rel­e­vant and mean­ing­ful ways to insert your­self in the con­ver­sa­tion. Pre­pare ade­quately to be able to act quickly on infor­ma­tion that is of value to your audience—essentially, plan for spontaneity.

What do you think of these prin­ci­ples? Do they res­onate? Am I miss­ing some­thing? Dis­cuss in the comments.