We keep hearing people banging on about content; singing its praises and outlining how important it is for your digital marketing efforts (especially when it comes to social media). In fact, I too regularly preach about how content is paramount for helping you engage your audiences and succeeding online.
But for some people, content and content marketing are daunting. This is especially true when they know they need to be taking the time to produce and share content, but haven’t actually made any headway in this area.
As with everything you do for the benefit of your business, your social media content efforts need to be based on a solid strategy and an action plan. So your focus inevitably needs to be placed on defining and creating these first.
Why do you need a Social Media Content Strategy?
Simply because if you don’t, you will not only risk seeing your efforts fall by the wayside, but you could even find that your content initiatives are actually detrimental to your business.
Remember, social media started out initially as a place for people to stay in touch with their friends and loved ones, as well as engage in conversations about topics that interest them. And while it’s grown into something much bigger than that, if you start churning out content that doesn’t make sense for your target audience and isn’t relevant or useful, it can have the effect of driving people away.
Moreover, if you constantly blast your followers with a stream of content that’s only really serving your own needs, like product pitches and marketing messages, they’ll soon hit the ‘unfollow’ button.
Learning and understanding what people wants in terms of content is paramount and that’s where your Social Media Content Strategy comes in.
Fleshing out your Social Media Content Strategy
First and foremost, your Social Media Content Strategy needs to be aligned with your business goals and complementing them at all times. If it’s not, your social media content marketing efforts will largely be in vain.
Start by thinking about and answering the following questions as they will inevitably help you flesh out your Social Media Content Strategy:
- What am I trying to achieve on social media?
- How does this align with my core business goals?
- Who is my target audience?
- What types of content do they like/dislike?
- What are my competitors currently doing when it comes to content on social media?
- What trends are currently hot in my industry/sector/niche?
- What types of content will I create and publish?
- Who is going to produce my content?
- How frequently will I post?
- How am I going to measure the success of my content?
- How will I optimise and improve going forward?
By answering these questions, you’ll steadily start building a Social Media Content Strategy that is not only based on your audience’s’ needs and current market sentiment, but also one that’s aligned with your core business goals.
Don’t worry, this needn’t be complicated. It’s merely a way of ensuring you stick to what you’re supposed to be doing and only posting content on social media that will truly resonate with your audiences and encourage them to engage with you.
Let’s look at one of the bullet points above in more depth to give you a better idea of how this all works.
Who is my target audience?
This question can (and should) be broken down even further. Consider the following:
- Who is my ideal customer?
- Where are they hanging out online/social media?
- Where do they go for information?
- What types of content do they like/dislike?
- What are their values and fears?
- Whom do they trust? (think influencers, brands, etc.)
- What are their pain points?
- How can I solve those pain points?
All of the above questions will enable you to start going beyond mere demographics and actually create accurate customer personas. These personas can then be used to fuel and drive your social media content marketing initiatives.
Only when you’re absolutely confident that you’ve established who your ideal customer is can you begin practically thinking about ways to create and curate purposeful, engaging content. In other words, my advice is to not jump straight in head first.
Top tip: never ever create content for the sake of creating content!
If you ever find yourself thinking, What can I put on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram today? Take a step back and review your Social Media Content Strategy and action plan. That’s because you should never be struggling for ideas because when you do, you run the risk of posting stuff for the sake of it and that’s never beneficial (to anyone).
In the next (second) part of my Social Media Content Planning, Scheduling and Repurposing series, we will be looking at goals and Content Planning (your action plan) in a lot more depth, including how to set meaningful goals and covering things like content calendars, as well as optimising your content for social.