But First: Download Your Free Social Media Content Strategy TemplateFor a head start, grab your social media content strategy template below: After you’ve gone through this post, put your researcher’s hat on and fill in this template. It’ll give you a ready-to-execute social media content strategy in no time.
Social Media Content Strategy: 12 Steps To Take TodayLet’s get into the weeds now:
1. Understand Your AudienceBefore you get your social media gears shifting, know who you are talking to. This is important so that you can:
- Create content that resonates with your target audience
- Understand which social platforms your audience uses and how
- Figure out when your target audience is active on these platforms
- Use Google Analytics to understand audience demographic
- Talk to your target customer
- Research the channels your audience uses
- Use (mainly listen) social channels
2. Conduct A Social Media Content AuditNow review and write a list of all the social networks you’re using. Ask yourself:
- Which of these channels are performing best?
- Which channels can you add or remove from your strategy?
- Am I paying consistent attention to the channel? If not, consider keeping it to try new strategies to make it work.
- Are my competitors using this network and driving positive results from it? If so, what is something that you aren’t probably doing right?
- Do I need to prioritize this channel? Is my audience still here or have they moved to another platform?
3. Conduct A Social Media Competitor AnalysisStudy what your competitors are doing on social media next. Kick things off by identifying your top competitors. Unsure who your competitors are? Take to Google and search for a keyword that describes your company. Example: time tracking software. Repeat the same by searching on social media. This will give you a list of businesses to study. To this end, work out which social channels they’re using (simply visit their site to see which networks they use). Then, review each channel to see which ones are the top-performing ones for them. Once you have a list of competitor channels that are killing it on social media, start taking notes on:
- The content they are posting
- How they are engaging with their audience
- Whether they’re partnering with influencers or industry experts to promote themselves
4. Establish What Content You’ll Create For Each NetworkBy now, you’ll be having a solid idea of what sort of content works well on each channel, what content your audience prefers to consume, and what your competitors are doing. Take what you’ve learned to document the content you’ll produce for each channel: Text posts. These could be story-led, educational long Instagram and LinkedIn captions or short educational tweets. You can also repurpose blog content to create Twitter threads. Video posts. These could be bite-sized educational clips, product videos, a video showing your team at work, or one that answers questions customers frequently ask. You can also try branded GIFs for brand awareness and engaging your audience.
Images. These could be branded graphics, tweet-sharing Instagram posts – even images sharing customer reviews. Source
What is Biteable? Why would we tell you, when we can show you? pic.twitter.com/rULOqs5e9G— Biteable (@biteable) November 13, 2020
5. Determine Your Content’s Purpose For Each NetworkLet’s talk goals next. Ideally, tie all your social posts to a purpose. It could be anything from:
- Product promotion
- Content distribution
6. Establish Your Brand Voice And ToneNot only is writing social media copy essential but the way you write it (read: the voice and tone you use) is critical for engaging your audience. So an important next step is to document how you’ll communicate on social. Go back to the research you did on your audience and competitors. Look for how your audience talks online to create a brand voice that resonates with them. You’ll also want to look at your competitors’ tone and voice to determine how you can be yourself and stand out from the crowd – all while resonating with your target buyers. Now, write down the voice, tone, and vocabulary (‘pooch’ instead of ‘dog,’ for example) you’ll use. Pro tip: Draft brand engagement guidelines here as well. This is essential so you and your team are clear on how to respond to comments, messages, and any negative reviews/feedback. For inspiration, see how Innocent Drinks maintains their tweets’ voice when replying to comments on their content: Source
7. Note Down Copy And Design Best PracticesHaving brand voice guidelines ready will help you or any colleague who takes up caption copywriting. So set similar standards for other nitty-gritty details now. Start with creating guidelines for your social post copy. Decide on:
- Emojis: If you’ll add them and how you’ll add them and which ones are off-brand.
- Copy length: How long should your social post copy be for each network.
- Hashtags and keywords: Which ones to add and how many?
- Writing style and formatting details: Ideally, link your style guide here. Don’t have one? Create basic standards for consistency around spelling variations, using em/en dash, oxford comma, and other punctuation marks.
- Logo usage: Which variations are okay to use.
- Color scheme for graphics: Which colors to use and in what proportion.
- General or specific style-related guidelines: Use enough whitespace, for example.
- Social media image sizes: The correct dimensions for Stories, graphics, and videos on different social channels.
8. Settle On Team ResponsibilitiesA social media content strategy is only as good as its execution. And, execution won’t be a smooth-sailing ride unless you clearly define each person’s role in putting the strategy into action. So the next step? Defining team responsibilities. Agree on:
- Who will write tweets and captions for your social networks?
- Who will design graphics and other visuals (particularly, if you don’t have a designer onboard)
- Who will be creating or polishing behind-the-scenes content that team members submit?
9. List Content Curation Sources And Repurposing GuidelinesSince it’s too much work creating new content for your social channels all the time, two tactics can help: curating content and repurposing it. Let’s look at content curation first. This involves sharing audience-relevant content from other sources. Curating content helps you in a handful of ways:
- Helps you develop relationships by sharing others’ content
- Fills your content bucket by supplementing content creation with curation
- Puts you forward as a value-offering business instead of a self-centered brand
- Feedly. Curates content for you based on pre-selected keywords and sources.
- Buzzsumo. Gives you an inside look at content that’s trending on social and is worth a share.
- Which content should you potentially repurpose and on which social channels? (Example: sharing newsletter content on LinkedIn).
- How to reuse content based on your audience’s expectations for specific platforms. (Example: don’t copy and paste, highlight only key takeaways from a blog post in a Twitter thread).
- How to add your call-to-action (CTA). What are some CTAs to explore? Should it come at the start or end? Will you add it in the comments?
10. Set Your Social Media Posting ScheduleAgain, you’ll need to revisit what competitors are doing and what your audience expects to get an idea of the ideal publishing frequency for each network. To get you started though, here’s data on how often to post on social media: Alternatively, let ReQueue do the heavy lifting. Simply add your social content to the tool and it’ll automatically reshare your posts.
11. Manage Your Social Media Strategy On A CalendarPut all your plans into a social media marketing calendar so you can post by a set schedule. Spreadsheets are a great way to start planning out your social calendar. But if you’re looking for something more advanced – visually appealing, collaborative, and easier to manage then CoSchedule’s Marketing Calendar can help. It can also easily integrate with the rest of CoSchedule’s Marketing Suite. This way, you can assign social media content creation tasks to team members while setting deadlines and preview how much content you’ve in the pipeline. Here’s more on creating an effective social media calendar to get started with this task.
12. Measure PerformanceAnd, finally: determine Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) based on the goals you set. Then, track them over a defined time to understand how well you’re doing. Now, for how to track these metrics:
- Use in-built platform analytics. Familiarize yourself with the analytics of each network you use. Here are resource guides:
- Leverage Google Analytics. Log in and select Acquisition, then Social.