You can’t ignore social media’s power. Daily, 500 million Tweets flutter into cyberspace. Facebook has billions (yes, billions with an s) of users. Sixty-percent of Instagram’s billion users find new products on the platform. LinkedIn generates 46% of social media traffic to B2B websites. Ninety-percent of Pinterest’s 250 million monthly users make weekly purchase decisions within the platform.
The Numbers Can’t Lie
Social media is one of the most effective ways to connect with and expand your audience. On social media, your brand can be itself, hang out, and interact almost like a real person. Your brand can make authentic connections with individuals (or other businesses) in your target audience with clever content marketing. On social media, marketing doesn’t need to feel like advertising. It creates a sales-soft space where people can relax and just get to know your brand.
Social Media Marketing Is More Than #NoMakeupSelfies — It’s Content Strategy
If you’ve ever thought a successful social media marketing campaign means posting selfies first-thing in the morning, then think again. Content marketing on social media requires forethought, channel customization, and clever appeals to your audience’s emotions. Sure, maybe you can become incredibly popular with a viral video of a new puppy, but odds for success are better if you have an actual plan (but please don’t let this stop you from adopting dogs).
With a social media strategy, you can identify which platforms generate the most traction for your brand and find out what content inspires the most audience engagement. You’ll have a plan, talent, and tools in place for publication and for measuring the results of every post, campaign, and platform.
Create a Social Media Content Strategy in 8 Steps
1. Identify and Document Your Goals
Align social media goals with your business’s goals. Use social media to generate more leads, spread brand awareness, or drive traffic to your website.
2. Determine the Right Platforms
Every platform’s different. Look into statistics and demographics on various channels to determine which will be most effective. For example, B2B companies do best on a professional network like LinkedIn, rather than a network like Snapchat where the audience is quite young.
It’s also smart not to spread yourself too thin. Maintain a strong presence on one or two platforms, instead of an ineffective presence on several.
3. Outline a Content Creation Process
If you’re working alone or with a team, determine the process for idea generation, content creation, formatting, and publication. Designate roles and responsibilities and stick to a schedule.
Content creation depends heavily on your brand. Make sure your content communicates your brand consistently across channels. Focus on content designed to inspire an emotional reaction and trigger audience engagement, whether through storytelling or immersive content.
Be sure to focus on tailoring content to specific channels, too. For example, video and infographics perform well on certain platforms, while audio or written content do better on others.
4. Research Content Optimization
Remember SEO. Research keywords, include metadata, and insert plenty of links to authoritative sources. Try to participate in popular conversations and answer frequently searched questions.
5. Make a Publication Schedule
Keep a publication schedule that documents what you’ll post, where, and when. Research high-traffic times on the platforms you plan to use. Then pay attention to your impressions and engagement metrics to determine what days and times are most effective for your audience.
6. Plan to Be as Engaged as You Want Your Audience to Be
The unique benefit of content marketing on social media is the opportunity to respond to your audience’s response — something you can’t do with a billboard or television commercial. So, take advantage of this, be prompt with responses, and have fun with your audience while remembering to maintain your brand voice.
7. Implement Measuring Tools
Be ready to measure engagement, views, click-through rates, lead generation, or any other metric that might be valuable to you.
8. Don’t Be Afraid to Revise Your Strategy
If you don’t get the results you want, don’t be afraid to change your strategy. Keep what’s working, do more of it, and try out new ideas.
Remember to Find a Talented Content Team
Whether you’re creating content from scratch or turning old ideas into new ones using modern media, you’ll need a team of talented creative types to do the dirty work. On WriterAccess, you’ll find thousands of pre-vetted, proven successful writers and strategists. Learn how to narrow down the pool and choose the best talent to help you achieve your unique content marketing goals.
Jennifer G is a full-time freelance writer and editor with a B.A. in creative writing from the University of Montana. She enjoys researching and writing creative content to engage readers and developing professional voices for clients across all industries. She specializes in medical, health, veterinary, and financial writing. Having worked nearly thirteen years in finance, Jennifer applies her experience in the banking industry (marketing, social media management, consumer and commercial lending, customer service, accounts, and bookkeeping) to her writing work within the industry.