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How to set a social media content strategy

We are here to get your social media content strategy firing on all cylinders!

A social media strategy is a To-Do-List of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve on each platform. It helps you create an action plan and analyse successes or improvements needed.

If you try to cut corners, tackling your content just as and when needed, without taking the time to put together a solid strategy, you will find that your social efforts lack direction and don’t deliver the results you expect to see. However, it isn’t always easy to know where to start, especially if you have never put one together before.

There is no need to panic. We are here to help with this easy to follow guide.

 

Clear social media goals

First things first, you need to create clear and concise goals and targets. You need to know where you want to be and what you want your business to achieve. They should be the core of every message and idea that you have. Each member of your team should be aware of the goal you are working towards and that should be woven throughout all of their work. 

A great way to help you get on this journey is to use S.M.A.R.T targets.

S – Specific. The more specific you can make your targets or goals the more you and your team can understand how they will get there and what the mission is

M – Measurable. How will you measure the outcomes of this? What variables will help you measure your success?

A – Attainable. Is your goal attainable? Do you need to rethink your goal and make your level of success more manageable? 

R – Relevant. Does it reflect you as a business? When you think about this goal is it in light with your brand and your company’s tone, vision and values?

T – Time Bound. You need to implement a deadline. If you don’t set a deadline to revisit and revise the strategy, you will keep pushing it off further and the goal will slip from your grasp. 

An example of a smart target could be:
‘Increase our engagement on social media over the next six months’

It is specific: you are wanting to engage with your audience. 

It is measurable: you can use social media analytics and measure the engagement 

It is attainable: allowing the team 6 months to monitor the growth and work on the strategy provides a focus long-term.

It is relevant: it is a simple goal that reflects you as a business wanting to reach your customers and engage with them.

It is time-bound: having that six months deadline means you are adding accountability to your goal. 

When your aim is refined using this technique, it becomes the anchor for all of your focus and decision-making. It helps with your content creation, tone of voice, visuals required and you will start to see actions falling in line with your goals. 

 

Know your social media audience 

The second step in creating a social media content strategy is knowing your audience.

An exercise which is really helpful when trying to understand your target audience, is to create an audience profile.

  • Who is your ideal target?
  • Who are they?
  • How old are they?
  • What’s their gender?
  • What’s their job role?
  • Where are they from? 

These are just a few of many questions you can ask yourself when creating your audience profile. As a marketing agency, we often ask our new customers to explain to us who their target audience is. You will be surprised how many times we get the same answer: everyone!

In reality, when your audience is ‘everyone it really means it’s ‘no-one’. You cannot target the whole world. Invest time and resources in creating a profile. This in turn will allow you to tailor your content accordingly. 

Once you are armed with these insights, you will start to see patterns within your content. You will be able to understand when your audience is most active, on which days and platforms. Gathering this information will allow you to tailor your social media strategy and sense check your S.M.A.R.T targets.

Social media is fantastic for giving away insights to your page audience and their activity. Some platforms more than others. You can learn so much if you just know where to look. So here you go …

 

A quick guide to each social media platform’s insights

Facebook is effective for both B2B and B2C, different content formats and ad targeting. Facebook Insights is a powerful tool for those wanting to track the interaction on their business page. It can provide a wealth of information about your content and audience: you’ll be able to determine the best time of day and day of the week to post, and what type of content is most popular.

Twitter is not for every business with its fast moving nature. It is growing in popularity for customer service goals and speaking to your audience in real time. In the analytics section, you can clearly see each tweet and their impressions, as well as average engagement rate, growth in followers, profile visits and mentions.

LinkedIn is perfect for B2B, helping businesses to showcase their expertise. It is popular for thought-leadership pieces and has a strong focus on long content types. LinkedIn insights are great for breaking down each post individually, showing you reactions and impressions to each one and also if you have gained any followers following the post. It also has a decent audience demographics, where you can view your page followers by seniority, industry, company size, function. Additionally, you can find out how many people viewed your page or clicked on your ‘visit website’ button.

Instagram is becoming the first choice for B2C, being great for engagement and UGC. Instagram insights are available as long as your profile is set as a business account. The insights homepage shows a summary of data for the content you’ve posted in the last 7 days or 30 days. It reveals the total impressions, reach, and profile views within that data range, as well as website clicks and call-to-action button clicks.

TikTok is the growing platform for lifestyle-focused B2C brands. The analytics for each post shows everything you need to know about its performance, including number of plays, likes, comments and shares. The platform also tells you where your audience found your content as a percentage split and shows where your video traffic is coming from by country.

 

Posting content bespoke to each social media platform

There is a tendency to just blast the same message out around all platforms. If you do this, don’t worry, you are not alone. However, you should be asking yourself what’s appropriate for each channel you are present on. Often the content can be reworked, reworded and reused across multiple channels, but what’s good for one channel isn’t always good for the rest. 

You need to delve deeper into understanding the platforms you are using and tailor-make plans for each of them individually. This may sound like a lot of work, but often, if the audience is similar, then the message can be recycled but just adjusting it slightly. Just be cautious with your messages, and don’t spam content for the sake of it. 

Pro tip: Don’t worry about being on every platform. If it’s not suitable for you then don’t invest the time, effort and energy producing content. Focus yourself on your key areas and work within those to really excel and understand the market.

 

The content for a social media content strategy

We have now reached the content part in our guide to creating a social media content strategy. Social media content is king and that crown isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. But how do you cut through the noise?

Everyone is producing, photographing, tagging, sharing everything constantly. You and your business need to cut through that noise with your content. It needs to be better. It needs a hook to make someone stop, read, watch, listen. On average, desktop users tend to spend 2.5 seconds on any piece of content on a social media platform, compared to mobile users who spend about 1.7 seconds. So give them something to hold that attention, get them to stop the scroll! 

There is a fantastic range of content types and we always suggest experimenting with them as much as possible. Social media loves it when you post a variety of content. They want to see you trying out all their features and they will reward you by showing it to your audience or showing it to people outside of your audience who they think might be interested. 

At this stage of your strategy, you will have some idea of the content you want to share and key messages you want to push. Now you can start to look at the different types of content you can make use of and different posting methods. 

Our top tip is to start with your key messages and look at creative ways these can be shared. You don’t need to use these every single time, that would be quite overwhelming. But keep some of these in the back of your mind and deploy them from your arsenal at will.

 

Different types of social media content 

User Generated Content – this is a fantastic method of growing and engaging with your audience and if you want to find out what makes this such a powerful tool, check out our guide! 

Live Streams – ‘Going live’ is the new normal. This is a great way to engage with your audience, to create some buzz around a new product launch, and the algorithm loves it so much that it notifies your followers (as long as you don’t do it every day, so use it wisely).

Videos – Video is the future of social media. More and more users are turning to create videos. Thanks to our portable devices, it’s never been easier to be the next Steven Spielberg. (Check out this incredible apple ad shot entirely on an iPhone by American filmmaker David Leitch who directed John Wick and Deadpool.)

Thought Leadership Content – Thought leadership content is often the kind of content you find while browsing LinkedIn. It can be a great way to give away insights, expert advice or opinions on popular topics, helping you grow your audience based on the quality of advice they would receive. 

Contents & Competitions – This is a superfast way to grow your brand, especially if you have to put very little into it. However, be warned that there are a lot of professional compers lurking on the internet so you will probably see a huge rise in your data one month only for it to drop off when they don’t win the prize. 

Quizzes & Polls – Your audience wants to be involved. That’s what social media is all about, quizzes and polls can range from jovial office disputes over milk first or coffee first, to asking for feedback on designs.

Questions – A great way to let your audience pick your brains. Usually, when people want to ask questions they can stem from, how did you create ____? to What’s your favourite movie? So be prepared for a full spectrum of results. 

GIFS & Memes – If you’ve been online for more than 30 seconds you’ve probably seen a meme somewhere. These are short, sharp, related images with captions designed to amuse you. But can your business really use memes as a method of content? Check out this blog about using memes in your content.

Testimonials & Reviews – This follows a very similar journey as the UGC. Reviews and testimonials are a great way to shout about all the great work you’ve been doing and how impressed people are with you while trying to remain a little humble. A great resource for this is TrustPilot. 

Case Studies – Case studies outline the incredible work you’ve been doing. You’re offering a little bit of unique insight into what’s been happening behind closed doors and showcase your business offering by answering that particular customer pain point and how you solved it.  

Carousel & Slide Decks Guides – Carousels, slidey decks, connected posts. There’s a million names for these & everyone uses them. And with good reason, because visually they’re so aesthetically pleasing. People can’t resist sliding through the graphics if designed correctly, or browning an image gallery. 

Influencer – Influencers are a growing trend that are becoming a prominent role within social media. If you’ve heard the term ‘word of mouth is the best form of marketing’ this is where influencers come in. They often are paid to promote your products or services in an authentic personal way which helps sway their massive audience and push your products.

 

Make sure to schedule your social media content

Now that you have your goals, your audience, know which platforms to use and the content type, it is time to get it all scheduled in. We recommend using a social media scheduling tool (Sprout, Hootsuite, Later) The level of organisation and the timesaving capabilities that come with software like these can be game-changing. 

However, if you don’t want to invest in a scheduling tool, we have created the perfect monthly template for you to easily download and start using. You can even upload into Google Sheets and create a collaborative document that your whole team can work on in different areas. 


So we’ve done it. Your social media has been saved!

However, there’s still more to do! Now that your content will be going out consistently you will be collating some really interesting metrics data which you can use each month to understand your successes or improvements needed. You will be surprised at how quickly you will learn to recognise patterns and trends within your content. 

 

If you still need a few pointers or are looking for some additional support, make sure to get in touch with a member of the +24 Marketing team. Also, give our previous blog a read on why you need a social media content strategy.