We see social media content all the time: from videos and pictures to blog posts and polls; it’s everywhere. There’s a vast ocean of content on the internet. Some of it’s useful, and some of it’s not: for businesses, it’s essential to secure the relevance of your content and prevent it from getting washed up without ever making an impact. It’s easy enough to say it, but how do you actually do it? Well, strategy is the answer. For content to be impactful, you need to craft and execute it strategically. How’s your content strategy, and should you brush up on your skills?
To craft a sound and effective strategy, you need to be asking a lot of questions. What’s your main objective? For example, if you’re looking to improve your reach and recognition with Gen Z, a considerable part of your strategy should centre around this – you need to do your research. Do some digging and find out which platforms your audience spend the most time on, and target these accordingly. Remember: an excellent social media content strategy shouldn’t focus exclusively on social media either. It should also be working alongside your organisation’s general content strategy (if you have one).
What’s a Social Media Strategy?
A social media strategy will outline your goals, the tools you’ll use to get there and the metrics you’ll use to track your progress. You should also consider defining the roles within your team so everyone has their own clear, personal goals.
The truth is, there’s no magic, secret ingredient to make your content strategy pop, but there are a few things you should be doing:
Track The Most Meaningful Metrics
With metrics, it’s easy to get carried away by measuring followers and likes. Although these can give you a good grasp on your engagement rates, they’re nothing more than vanity metrics, and you need to be getting your teeth into the good stuff. These will differ depending on the socials you use, but looking at click-through rates and cost-per-click metrics is a good start.
Data, Data, Data
Don’t base your strategy on assumptions. Use reliable data instead. For example, do you still think Facebook is better for reaching boomers than millennials? Wrong. According to the Pew Research Centre, they still outnumber the baby boomers on this platform. Companies also leverage social media analytics to help them grow; for example, Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods use big data analytics to understand how customers shop and how suppliers interact with the grocer.
Social Media Listening
Keeping up with your competitors is essential, and social media listening can help you. You’ll be able to track and analyse trends, not just within your brand, but your whole industry too. By finding out what consumers are saying about your competitors, you can get tips for improving and making your brand more appealing to a broader audience.
Churning out content at a rate of knots without a plan won’t get you anywhere. To get the most out of your content, you need to make sure it’s impactful and relevant. How? With a schedule. Create a plan that lists the dates and times you’ll publish to each channel, and make sure you’re posting at times when your users are most active.
You should also strike a balance between content: you’ll need the occasional spontaneous post, and you should also determine how each piece of content will support your business growth. For example, how much of your content will drive traffic back to your website? How much will support lead generation goals? How much will talk about your company culture?
Remember: we all make mistakes, even with the most polished of strategies. Once you’ve started to gather a heap of data, you’ll gain valuable insight that you can use to tweak your system even if you fail. As social media continues to evolve, you could experience many changes, like new networks and shifts in demographic. These aren’t all doom and gloom, and they don’t have to destine you for failure. Content is essential but learning how to get it out there effectively is even more valuable. Know your brand, know your strategy.