Social media is a compelling and omnipresent truth of modern-day life. From personal entertainment to brand building, social media has the power to highlight your creativity and establishing your unique voice before the world. The massive fan following of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter makes them the perfect tool for brand building and awareness.
By posting informative and engaging content on social media channels and creating social media-savvy marketing campaigns, you can transform your brand into a household name!
However, it’s easier said than done.
To build a strong online presence and expand your brand reach, you must first create a rock-solid foundation by tailoring the perfect social media content strategy. And for this, you must look within – dive deep into your business idea. This is particularly important because when it comes to social media content strategy, there is no one-size-fits-all. The approach differs from business to business.
Thus, the first step to designing a social media content strategy is to understand and identify your business goals and determine who your target audience is. These two revelations will ultimately help you create customized content to reach the right audience segment using the most relevant social media channels for your business. If you are a beginner in digital marketing marketing, and want to gain expertise, check out our digital marketing courses from top universities.
Now, we’ll dive deeper into the actual process of creating the perfect social media content strategy for your brand.
How to Create a Social Media Content Strategy?
The key to creating a successful social media content strategy is to follow a step-by-step approach that is both actionable and quantifiable.
1. Set meaningful goals
Begin by chalking out your social media marketing goals. These goals should align with your business objectives. Social media marketing goals also vary according to business. While some companies may hope to increase brand awareness and boost leads via social media marketing, others might be more interested in increasing community engagement or web traffic. The trick is to strike a balance – you can combine a few goals that complement each other.
Thus, only you can figure out what you wish to accomplish via social media marketing. It is pivotal to the creation of S.M.A.R.T. goals. This means your social media marketing goals should be specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound. At the end of the day, whatever your social media marketing goals may be, just remember to keep it simple so that you can attain and measure them.
2. Identify your target audience
As a social media marketer, you have to ensure that your content can resonate well with the right people. But how to know who are the right people for your brand?
This is where research comes into play. You must conduct extensive market and social media research to identify your target audience and, more importantly, what they wish to see on your social media handles. To determine your target customer, you must gather relevant personal demographics, such as:
- Average income
- Job title and industry
- Pain points and interests
After you’ve figured this out, you must focus on social media demographics. This data will reveal which social media channels you must leverage and what kind of content you must publish. Here are some social media demographics that you must consider:
- YouTube and Facebook are excellent platforms for adverts, thanks to their high-earning user base.
- LinkedIn has a well-educated user base. Naturally, it harbors and promotes informative, industry-specific content that you will generally not see on other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
- Instagram’s fan following primarily consists of millennials and Gen Z. Hence, it is the perfect platform for promoting bold, fresh, and engaging content.
- Women dominate Pinterest’s user base, which boasts of having the highest average order value for social shoppers.
- Twitter is great for generating buzz in a few words!
3. Identify the core metrics for your business
Like any other digital marketing strategy, your social media content marketing strategy must also be data-driven. The correct data will not only help uncover valuable business insights, but it will also aid in formulating relevant marketing campaigns. The metrics that are crucial for creating a successful social media content marketing strategy include:
- Brand reach – This metric involves the number of users who saw and engaged with your social media posts. It also considers how far across your content is spreading on social media channels.
- Customer engagement – This metric involves finding out how many users interacted with your social media content out of your total target. It shows you how well your content resonates with the target audience and how much they are willing to interact with the same.
- Clicks – Tracking links is pivotal to understand how users are progressing through the marketing funnel. You must find out how many clicks the different content types are bringing through via various social media channels.
- Organic & paid likes – Both organic and paid likes are crucial to understanding the customer-brand engagement on social media platforms. While some channels like Facebook are great for paid ads, others like Instagram help bring more organic likes.
- Sentiment – Customer sentiment refers to how different users react to your content, whether they like, or dislike, or remain neutral to your social media posts. For instance, you must find out which customer segment is associating with your campaign hashtags, which customer segment is happy with a particular marketing campaign, which customer segment finds your campaign offensive, and so on.
With these numbers at hand, you can make more informed content marketing decisions.
4. Evaluate your competitors
When planning a social media content marketing campaign, you cannot afford to remain in a bubble – you must find out what your competitors are up to. One of the best ways to learn more about your potential competitors’ actions and plans is to conduct a competitive analysis.
A competitive analysis reveals industry stats like who are your top competitors, what strategies they are implementing, and whether or not those plans are delivering the expected results. This information will help you better understand the latest content marketing trends, tools, and goals. Thankfully, there are many third-party competitor analysis tools to help uncover in-depth insights about your competitors.
Another excellent approach to learning the secrets of your competition is to study the social media activities of potential competitors. Social media listening lets you search for relevant keywords like company name, account handles, trending hashtags, etc. This helps you understand what your competitors are doing and what people are saying about them.
Also, you can directly figure out what kind of social media posts are working best with users and which type of content is delivering maximum impact. This data will help you understand the focus areas that you need to incorporate in your social media marketing campaigns.
5. Create engaging social media content
Now, you have enough data at hand to create a well-structured social media content strategy. Here’s how to go about it in a stepwise manner:
Choose content themes and follow them consistently.
Content planning, especially the ones that go on your social media handles, is one of the toughest challenges for social media marketers. As a brand, you need to stay in touch with your audience regularly – you need to keep them posted and engaged. You can check out the Instagram feed of your competitors to see the themes they are focusing on. This will give you a fair idea of what your social media calendar should have.
The Instagram feed of Postmates is an excellent example highlighting consistent and engaging content theme – food.
Leverage video content to the fullest.
Short videos are one of the best social media marketing tactics right now. In fact, videos are great for capturing the attention of your target customers. You can create micro-commercial videos and short ads that can be both informative and visually appealing. Both short and long-form videos are dominating platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Use time-sensitive content – stories – to create buzz.
Stories are fantastic tools for harnessing the FOMO of your fans and followers. Facebook and Instagram stories are again the forerunners in this respect. Stories are short and snappy, and hence, easy to follow. You can get crafty with your stories to give your audience a sneak-peek of what goes on BTS (behind the scenes) for a more personal touch. By crafting interactive stories that your audience can relate to, you can stand out in their social media feeds, by default.
User-generated content is gold.
When you repost user-generated content, it encourages your customers and followers to interact with your brand. What’s more, it makes them feel valued. You can use the photos, stories, hashtags, etc. posted by your followers/customers to build credibility and boost your engagement rate.
Read more: Social Media Marketing Salary in India
6. Plan your timelines well.
Just as content creation is a core element of social media content marketing, so is content posting timeline. You must know the optimal time slots when your target audience is most active on social media platforms and ready to engage with your content. However, while deciding on your timelines to post content, you must consider both the factors – when the audience is prepared to interact with you and when you can effectively respond to them.
Try to figure out the best time to post content on your social media handles. If users engage with you but receive no response from your end, it will only harm your brand reputation. Thus, it is essential to put efforts into networking – prompt replies to customer queries, requests, and mentions show them that you care about your followers and customers. Look at this post, for instance:
How cleverly DoorDash has capitalized on a simple memory of a customer to remind her that it cares!
You need to create a well-oiled social media marketing team comprising of smaller units that focus on designated aspects of social media marketing. By choosing and utilizing the right social media monitoring tools, you can identify numerous opportunities to boost customer-brand interaction around the clock.
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7. Evaluate your strategies
Merely creating and implementing social media content marketing strategies and campaigns won’t suffice. After the implementation process, comes the evaluation stage. You must find out what’s working and what’s not working for your brand.
When you analyze the results of different content types and marketing campaigns, you can understand which ones performed better and which ones fell flat. Accordingly, you can segregate your campaign and content types, as top-performing, mediocre, and underperforming. This will help you to get a bird’s eye view of your social media activity.
Also, it is vital to monitor the metrics of your social media content marketing campaigns in real-time to make the minor and necessary changes for fine-tuning them.
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In light of the fast-evolving social media domain, it makes sense to invest your time and efforts in dynamic marketing approaches. Granted that social media marketing is mostly trial-and-error, you can always aim for the bull’s eye with these proven tactics and strategies to create a compelling online presence via social media channels.
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How to create a social media content strategy?
You need to keep four crucial factors in mind while creating a social media content strategy.
First, you need to properly research and find out what kind of content your audience relates to.
Second, you have to analyze the response that you have received on your previously posted content. Take note of things that you can improve in future posts.
You should also perform a competitive analysis. It is always good to stay up-to-date on what your rivals are doing. A competitor's content can also provide inspiration for your content.
Lastly, you need to consider your plans for distribution, i.e., the kind of content you will be publishing, the platforms where you will be posting them, and how often.
How to identify the target audience?
For any marketing strategy to be successful, the target audience has to be identified. Target audience research can help any business's content marketing, social media marketing, and SEO efforts.
Conducting market research aids in understanding all the facets of the market. Market research can be done through SWOT analysis that will help identify the organization's core strengths and weaknesses.
How to create engaging social media content?
Any content creator will tell you that you need to create new and engaging social media content to stay relevant.
To do this, you need to publish effective social media content, which means that your posts should serve a specific purpose. Using relevant headlines, captions and emojis, always attract more attention to your posts. Try to begin or end your posts with a clear call to action.
Using appropriate hashtags and mentioning other content creators, businesses or organizations also make your posts more engaging.