How to Create a Social Media Content Strategy
Content is at the heart of any social media strategy – neglecting to create valuable and engaging social media content will leave you extremely frustrated with your results.
And while creating a social media content strategy isn’t rocket science, many brands miss the mark and fail to address what users are looking for from businesses when engaging with social media. social networks. To create a social media content strategy, brands must absolutely create content that users want to consume.
So what do consumers expect from brands on social media? A recent study has some interesting results:
- 72% of consumers want discounts or sales
- 60% of consumers want posts that showcase new products/services
- 59% of consumers want publications that inform
- 56% of consumers want posts that are entertaining
- 49% of consumers want posts that inspire
- 41% of consumers want posts about company events
By understanding what users want to see in their feeds, brands can create more effective content strategies, which will help maximize your social media success and business impact.
When developing a content strategy, we recommend approaching it in three defined phases: “Planning,” “Publishing,” and “Measuring.”
During the planning phase, brands need to keep in mind what they have to offer as an entity and present those elements through the lens of what consumers want. In short, address what makes your brand special and showcase that story with elements of education, entertainment inspiration, and added value.
You should always align your social media content strategy with these concepts. While it’s tempting to always talk about what you offer, realize that there’s more to the conversation than just your brand.
Consider what third-party sources you might want to include in your content plan, and don’t be afraid to feature like-minded (and non-competitive) branded content.
Once your planning is complete and you know what your overall message will be, next you’ll want to write the content in an organized fashion.
We strongly recommend that you use a social media content calendar. A content calendar allows you to set a visible plan for what type of content is going to be published and when.
When building your calendar, there are a few things we highly recommend:
- Day – This tells you what day of the week the content will be published
- Date – This tells you when the content will be published
- Topic – This tells you what the content item is about – very useful when trying to ensure your content strategy is dynamic and diverse (it’s easy to be accidentally repetitive)
- Message – This is the copy of your post – be sure to spell check
- Remarks – This section is where you can include reminders, hashtags, or anything else you might need to remember when it comes to posting your content.
- Image – Place the link to the image that accompanies your copy here. We usually use Google Drive to host these files, but you can store the images locally which is fine. Just put that location here
Once your social media content calendar is set, you can then start posting. We recommend a social media management platform such as Sprout Social to plan content in advance. Very useful.
It also goes without saying, but once your content is published, you’ll want to keep an eye on engagement and respond appropriately.
Of course, planning and publishing might seem like the only two real steps in a social media content strategy, however, in order to optimize your efforts, you also need to measure as much as possible.
In this phase, you’ll want to take a high-level view of your data for a set period of time, to determine which performed best. A key thing to keep in mind here is that different pieces of content can serve different purposes – for example, a meme meant to entertain should be judged by engagement, while a post that links to a blog post should be judged by clicks.
For those new to social media measurement, here are the KPIs we recommend tracking when it comes to analyzing your social media content strategy:
- prints – The number of times people have seen your content.
- Engagement – The number of reactions, comments and shares of your content is gaining.
- Clicks – The number of times the links in your content are clicked
To improve anything, in work or in life, we have to measure it. Measuring your social media content strategy gives you the opportunity to optimize against what works well and remove content that doesn’t resonate with your audience.
These are the fundamental steps you need to put in place for an effective social media content strategy. There’s obviously plenty of depth to each, and you can go as deep as you want, but without some level of planning in place, you’re simply not going to maximize your social media marketing results.