If you own a business, you need to have a presence on social media. But beyond that very vague statement, what steps should you actually be taking to make it happen?
Here’s where having a thoroughly thought-out, perfectly planned content strategy can really come to your aid. Here are 10 steps to follow when creating your content strategy.
Define Your Goals
What are you looking to achieve from your social channels? Don’t skimp on the details here – the more specific the better. Realizing your targets will get you another big step closer to actually reaching them. Remember that every channel is different and has a different audience, so create separate goals and expectations for each individual social network you’re on.
Research Your Competitors
A little recon can do your brand a world of good. Looking up what your competitors are doing on social can yield lots of info – what you should be mimicking (in your own way), what you should be avoiding, and finding the holes that they’ve yet to discover, so you can make your mark.
Hone Your Brand’s Identity
Social media is a great place to reinforce branding. If you don’t know what your brand is, though, you won’t get far. Deciding early on what your business’ unique story, voice and other guidelines are is a crucial step to make before you actually start creating content. Just as important as your copy, your visuals say a lot about your brand. Choosing the right cover photo for your Facebook page is no trivial thing – it says a lot about you. What about the visuals you share? Do they fall in line with each other or are you going to share other page’s content?
Map Out Your Editorial Calendar
A hugely important step, here is where you put pen to papaer (or fingers to keyboard) and nail down when and where you will be posting your content. Decide which channels will get what, and when. A good way to go about it is to map out one month at a time, with a more general view of the year’s important posting days, holidays and sale seasons.
Decide Which Platforms to Be On, and Which Tools You Need
Which social media platforms should your business have a voice on? If you’re already on Facebook, should you also be on Twitter? Are you thinking of starting a blog? Should you be pinning things to Pinterest? While you should probably be on the major channels like Facebook, and your business should definitely have a blog, you might want to consider using an online tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to help you schedule your posts in advance.
Determine Resource Allotment
Time to talk numbers. How much money are you ready to invest in your social efforts? Will you put money towards promoting your posts on Facebook? Will you pay to upgrade your online scheduling app to meet the needs of your business? Have you considered hiring someone to help manage your social channels? These are important questions that you need to ask yourself if you want to properly budget for the year.
Once you’ve nailed the other steps down, you should be ready to start pressing the ‘publish’ button on your different channels, or actively schedule posts on your third party content management app. Fire away!
Monitor Your Content and Reply to Comments
On social media, the ‘set it and forget it’ won’t cut. A big part of having healthy, active channels is replying to any and all comments, feedback, questions, and more. No interaction is too small – thanking someone for retweeting your content could potentially earn you a loyal follower.
Analyze and Optimize For Best Results
Think you’re done now that you’ve scheduled your content and answered comments? Afraid not. If you really want to ace your social game, you’ll need to pay attention to how your posts perform. How many likes did your last Facebook post get? Are people sharing it? Most social networks provide analytics and insights for business pages, and you should definitely be combing them regularly in order to understand what’s popular, and what isn’t. From there, you can optimize your content and see your numbers go up.
Consider Promoting Your Content
Once you’ve tested the waters, you might want to put some dollars down to get more eyes on your content. Facebook is a great place to start – it’s set up so you can zero in on your target audience, and maximize your investment.
If you don’t have the time to create your very own content strategy, contact us to get started.