The key to most great things in life is planning. And this is just as true for social media. When planning your social media content, things to consider include your business objectives, brand position and strategy, and the audience you are targeting. Nailing this, and ensuring they align with your objectives, will ensure your social media voice is heard through all the noise.
1. Create a list of goals and objectives
The first step towards a long-term social media strategy is to set your content goals. Having goals in mind will help you start planning out the type of content to create. Have you really sat down and considered what your end goal for being on social media is? Are you on social platforms to gain brand awareness and be top of mind for your audience, or are you after direct sales, or both? It comes down to your business and brand, and how you want to position yourself in the marketplace. Start by understanding your current position, and how social media is going to help you reach your end goal.
2. Establish a workflow
OK, now that you’ve gathered this information, it’s time to start sketching in the bones of your daily, weekly and monthly social media cadence. How often do you need to post and which social media platforms will work for your business? Refer back to your goals and objectives. Who are you trying to reach? Some of your target audience may frequent Facebook, however others may be on LinkedIn and Instagram. It may mean a different tone, message and image for each target audience and platform, depending on what you’re trying to achieve. Take some time to research.
3. Create a content calendar
At this point you’re probably overflowing with ideas, right? Take some time to go through that old ‘misc’ folder and start pulling together some targeted posts. A social media content calendar is a great way to plan and schedule posts in advance. Look ahead at events that may be coming up – and how you could leverage off these. Planning means you can work towards keeping your message consistent, and in line with your brand voice and business objectives. If you aren’t sure what to write, and what copy works well, start thinking about the story behind your brand – and be authentic. A real story still always sells well.
4. Use scheduling software
It can be useful enlisting the help of scheduling software when planning your social media content in advance. While you can schedule posts on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn work differently. Ask yourself if you’re available to post in real time. If the answer is ‘no’, then making the investment in scheduling software may be the way to go. There are often plenty of extras too, like being able to set up applications which have all your past and present ‘link to bio’ URLs available for Instagram followers. This keeps everything in one place, and saves you needing to manually change your link in bio each time.
5. Analyse how well posts perform and adjust
By using this framework, you will be able to create content that is engaging, resonates with your audience and, more importantly, generates leads/sales. By conducting a social media audit using tools like Facebook Insights, you can get an idea of emerging patterns. Go through this data and see which posts get the most engagement and reach. What was it that grabbed people’s attention? Perhaps the content, or was it the image? Short copy v long copy, video v static image. You’ll get a good idea pretty quickly of what works and what needs improving. But sometimes, it’s simply trial and error, and may be a case of testing the waters to see what your audience is after, and where the value is.
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