Content is the heart of any social media strategy. Neglecting to create valuable and engaging social media content will leave you extremely frustrated with your results. While creating a social media content strategy isn’t rocket science, many brands miss the mark in delivering what users want from companies engaging on social channels. To create a social media content strategy, brands absolutely must create content that users WANT to consume.
So, what do consumers want from brands on social media? A recent study has interesting findings:
- 72% of consumers want discounts or sales
- 60% of consumers want posts that showcase new products / services
- 59% of consumers want posts that inform
- 56% of consumers want posts that entertain
- 49% of consumers want posts that inspire
- 41% of consumers want posts about company happenings.
By understanding what users want to see in their feeds, brands can begin building a content strategy that will generate social media success and business impact. When building out a content strategy, we recommend approaching it in 3 phases: Planning, Publishing and Measuring.
In the planning phase, brands should keep in mind what they have to offer as an entity and present those elements through the lens of what consumers want. In short, process what makes your brand special and present that story with elements of education, entertainment inspiration and provide value. You should always align your social media content strategy with these concepts. While it’s tempting to always talk about what YOU offer, be conscious that there is more to the conversation than just your brand. Consider the 3rd party sources you might want to include in you content plan and don’t be shy to showcase likeminded and noncompetitive branded content.
Once your planning is wrapped up and you know what your overarching messaging is, you will want to draft content in an organized way. We highly recommend employing a Social Media Content Calendar. content calendar allows you to set a visible plan on what kind of content is going to be published and when.
When building this calendar, there are a few elements we highly recommend:
- Day – This tells you which day of the week the content will be published
- Date – This tells you the date the content will be published
- Topic – This tells you the topic of the content piece. Very useful when trying to ensure your content strategy is dynamic and diverse – its easy to accidentally be repetitive.
- Message – This is the copy of your post. Be sure to spell check!
- Notes – This section allows you to put reminders, hashtags or anything else that you might need to remember when it comes to publishing your content.
- Image – Place the link to the image that goes with your copy here. We typically use Google Drive to host these files. You might store the images locally, which is fine. Just place that location here!
Once your social media content calendar is set, you can now begin to publish. We recommend social media management platforms like Sprout Social to schedule content in advance. Very useful! It goes without saying, but after your content is published you will want to keep an eye on engagements and reply appropriately.
Sure, Planning and Publishing might seem like the only two actual steps in planning a social media content strategy, however, to optimize your efforts you must measure as much as possible. In this phase, you will want to take a top-level view at your data for a set time period and determined which content performed the best. A key thing to keep in mind here is that different content pieces might have different objectives. For instance, a meme that is meant to entertain should be judged by engagements whereas a post that links to a blog post should be judged by clicks. For those new to social media measurement, here are the key performance indicators we recommend tracking when it comes to analyzing your social media content strategy:
- Impressions – The amount of times people saw your content.
- Engagements - The amount of reactions, comments and shares your content wins.
- Clicks – The amount of times links in your content get clicked.
To improve ANYTHING in work (or life) we must measure it. Measuring your social media content strategy gives you the ability to optimize against what is working well and remove content that isn’t resonating with your audience.
Now that you know how to put together a social media content strategy, do you want to learn how to track social media ROI? Checkout this awesome tool!