All Your Content is Social
Congratulations, all the internal meetings about your social media strategy, whether or not you should use social media, should your company have a Facebook page, are now irrelevant. There is no social media anymore. Woot. With the proliferation of content aggregaters (hootsuite, tweetdeck, etc..), and the rapidly increasing rate in which all content is shared, social media is no different than any other media shared on the web. It’s all just digital content now, and you can’t control where it ends up. Don’t want your content (think press releases) to show up on twitter? Tough, it was shared via twitter five minutes after it should up in someones email inbox, via RSS feed.
So whats a company to do? First, don’t worry about a “social media” strategy. I’m not saying that to de-emphasize social media. Facebook, twitter, youtube and LinkedIn are all gaining steam and users. Content is going to make it to Facebook, so you just have to deal. If anything, your focus on social media should revolve around PR and what to do should someone post anything negative or ask a question that needs answering. All that said, your strategy should revolve around content generation and the mediums with which you intend to share it. If it makes sense to post to Facebook or LinkedIn, then do it, before someone else does.
Second, more and more, people will be accessing your content from sources that are not your website. As a company it is important to understand what you look like off site. My favorite example of this is the Flipboard app for iPad (thanks to Jami Mullikin for the intro to Flipboard). It will give you a great sense of what you actually look like across the entire web. As it relates to analytics, increasing repeat visitors revolves heavily around relevant and fresh content. Organizations now a days need to be ok with that repeat traffic not living solely on their homepage, and this is why having a strong content strategy is so important.
Bottom Line: The only way to control your content is to generate it yourself and be the first to distribute it. What happens after that is out of your control.