Lee Groeger - 07/22/2020
Reach and connect with your audience online by following these six steps for a successful social media content strategy.
If your company is not regularly putting out valuable content online, you have yourself a problem. Without a strong digital presence, you are missing an opportunity to “show up” for your prospective customers. How substantial is this missed opportunity, you ask? Well, 63% of shopping occasions begin online, so, pretty huge. To that end, it is imperative that companies and brands across industries, and of all sizes, employ a robust social media content strategy.
Word-of-mouth referrals are still alive and well, and are truly one of the most reliable ways to grow a business. But today, 74% of consumers rely on social networks to help inform purchasing decisions. To put that in perspective, nearly four billion people worldwide use social media—that’s more than half the population.
Adding to that, a Hubspot report found that 71% of consumers are more likely to make purchases based on social media referrals. All this is to say that social media channels present touchpoints where you can reach, connect, and foster relationships with targeted audiences by delivering content that attracts, resonates, helps, and inspires them.
The great news about all this is that, as an organization, you can create and control the content on your social media pages—but you should not do so flippantly. A strong social media content strategy is developed strategically, to achieve specific objectives.
These six steps are foundational to a successful social media content strategy.
The last thing you want is someone coming to one of your pages only to see the last post was from weeks, months, or years ago. If you have social media pages, keep them populated. The best way to determine what frequency works is by tracking post engagement and designing a schedule around high performing days and times.
Creating a content calendar is a tried and true way to ensure you are hitting all your messaging points on a frequent, consistent basis. By creating a calendar of prepared posts ahead of each week or month, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your content strategy is in place and timely. And because social media is fluid, you can add or change things as needed, on the spot.
Remember, though, that every social media community has its own ecosystem, so be sure to customize posts accordingly, per platform.
Define your objectives
Social media is a tool used to accomplish a goal, or a set of goals. The following is certainly not an exhaustive list, but common goals include raising brand awareness, driving traffic to your website or other online entity, cultivating existing or new customer relationships, and generating leads. Whatever your goals are, ensure that every post you create works toward achieving them. To learn more about how setting social media marketing objectives leads to success, read this blog post.
As Facebook has evolved, its mission has become focused on making the time users spend on the platform more valuable and meaningful—in other words, quality over quantity. To that end, its algorithm prioritizes the content a user sees based on the amount of time they spend with it. Ultimately, what this means is that, just because a user is following your page does not mean they will see everything—or anything—you post. There are two ways to earn their views: keep them engaged organically (e.g., comments, reactions and shares), and target them with paid ads.
The content you want to earmark for paid posts should emphatically support one of your business objectives, and ideally have a strong call to action that you can track, such as visiting a website or filling out a form. Facebook ads offer a lot of benefits, from built-in audience targeting tools to lead generation programs to pixel tracking, audience metrics and more. And you don’t have to spend much to move the needle, especially if you have a smaller corporate footprint or a niche audience.
Analyze, adjust, repeat
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of measuring post performance. At minimum, utilize each social media platforms’ analytics to evaluate what types of posts are performing well (e.g., whether videos garner more activity than photos, or posts about a certain topic consistently outperform others) and what days and times users are most engaged. That data should inform your content mix and timing in the immediate future, and should be monitored and adjusted as needed.
Call for backup
After writing, researching and reviewing a calendar, share it with someone else—ideally someone who understands your company voice, mission, and audience. If someone like that isn’t available, even an extra set of eyes to catch a typo or to serve as an impartial sounding board can be a huge help.
Make it routine
Social media offers a unique opportunity to reach your constituents with both mass and targeted messaging. As such, this is an area that must be continuously nurtured. Done properly, implementing a successful social media content strategy requires a significant investment of time, which, in truth, is one of the leading reasons companies retain us as their social media agency!
Just like keeping lead records updated in a CRM or assembling monthly reports, creating social media calendars should be routine. Whether you appoint or hire someone internally or bring an agency on board, hold them accountable for content strategy, execution, and management.
Social media has become so interwoven in the fabric of daily communication that its value can easily be taken for granted. Before this sector emerged, if a company wanted to get the word out about something, the channels at their disposal were advertising (expensive), press (not guaranteed), and packaging (complicated and possibly inappropriate). Eventually, this grew to include websites and microsites, but none of these touchpoints has offered such a breadth of options that allows for constant, evolving, and responsive communication.
These resources are literally at your fingertips; take advantage of them! And if you need guidance or assistance to make sure your social media strategy is on point, 3E PR is here to help. Email me with any questions!