If you want social media marketing to grow your blog, business, web traffic, and customers you need a solid social media content strategy. Your social media posts create the impression your audience has of you. Your content strategy on social media can take you toward reaching success and the lack thereof can be the cause of failure.
Why do you need a content strategy on social media?
Are you posting on social media? Do all your social media updates serve a purpose? No?
That is what a content strategy can do for you.
If you define a content strategy on social media, you can make sure that every post, and every update works towards reaching your goals.
When I started with social media – I would not call it marketing at that time – I had no clue what to post. I did not know how to use my social media content to all add up and multiply success. I ended up posting a mix of stuff ranging from news content, some content from my niche, to some attempts at funny images and videos.
What I lacked? A solid social media content strategy that took into account my reasons to be active on social media, my potential audience, and what they would like enough to follow me.
With a content strategy for your social media, you answer all the important questions before you create and collect random posts. It will become much easier for you to stick to a routine and stay consistent. And only with consistency can you find social media marketing success.
Consider your social media content strategy as your guidebook. It tells you what you need to do and when you need to do it. And this starts long before you take action on a social platform.
Goals – Why are you posting on social media?
The “Why” are you doing it and where do you want to get with it are the most important questions to ask BEFORE you start. Everything you do on social media (well, almost everything) should contribute to reaching the goals you have with it.
This influences all other parts of your content strategy on social media. Your actions, your topics, your content: everything needs to consider how it can contribute to your success.
Some of the most common goals for social media marketing are:
- increasing customer acquisition
- increasing brand awareness
- drive conversions
- increase customer retention
Setting goals for your social media marketing is a two-step process:
- consider your overall marketing goals
- set goals for your social media activity that will contribute to reaching your overall marketing goals
Goals make you focus more on what you want to reach and the question if you your social media content or social media posts will contribute to reaching these goals.
Your audience – who are you trying to reach?
All people are different. It matters who you are trying to connect to. Your content strategy on social media is going to be different if you are reaching out to teenagers or elderly people, young parents or people in their first job.
Before you can choose the social networks you are going to use and think about the content you are going to create for your social media activity, you need to be sure who your target audience is and what makes them your target audience.
Think about factors like age, location, interests, demographics, income, family situation, and more. Everything that is making them stand out as your target group can be a crucial factor for your social media content strategy.
You may be able to guess who your target audience is – if you already have some customers, you should consider using surveys or 1-on-1 interviews to find out what makes them your target audience.
The social media platforms – where can you reach your audience?
Although some communication and engagement aspects are similar, all social media platforms are different. They need different content, people engage in different ways, features are different – and the users are different.
While for more B2B oriented goals LinkedIn may be your first choice, if you want to reach a rather young audience you may want to check out Instagram or TikTok. While the latter two ask for more visual content, Twitter can be used with more text-based post types.
You need to consider your goals, your audience – and the content you are able to create for your social media activity when you are choosing your social platforms.
In their social media trend report for 2021 Hootsuite asked “What social platforms do you consider the most effective for reaching your business goals?” – the results may help you to make your choice of platforms.
Whichever platforms you choose, keep in mind that it is smarter to excel at one or two social media platforms than try to be active on every single platform you can find.
The basics – Start with your profile
Before you jump into creating content, make sure you set up your social platforms for success.
Your profile should help your marketing efforts and not hurt them. Here are a few things you should consider:
- The profile image should be recognizable. Either a headshot or a branded image like a logo.
- Utilize the bio: Tell what people can expect if they follow you. You should also use the bio to inspire trust in your expertise. Add a link, either to your website or a landing page for a signup or offer. In some networks like Facebook or Twitter, you can also utilize the header image with some text overlay.
Post types – consider platforms and your preferences
The types of posts you want to use also play a role when you decide on the platform you want to use. If you choose Youtube, you need to create videos. If you use Instagram, you need to have an idea how to come up with multiple images, videos, and slideshows every week.
Twitter on the other hand will not be the best platform for videos. On Twitter, all post types are usable but conversations and text-based content will play a more important role.
However, for some types of social media content, you need to consider that they are more time-consuming and often “expensive” to create than others. You need to consider who is going to create the content, what content creation of certain types of content is going to cost – and how much time you need to invest in content creation.
A quick image with text overlay is quicker and cheaper to create than a long video for Youtube.
Data source: Sprout Social
You are getting closer to posting, but we are not there yet.
The crucial question is still not answered: What topics are the best to post on your social media channels?
The big mistake many beginner social media users make is posting too much about products, offers, and what they want their audience to know.
But it needs to be the other way round: You need to find something that your audience is interested in, something your audience WANTS to know.
You want people to follow your account. Why should they do that? Because you provide something they want or even need to know. You cannot start the conversation with your audience by constantly talking about your products.
As a rule of thumb, you can follow the 80-20 rule of social media marketing: 80% of your content should be informative, helpful and entertaining. Only 20% of your social media content should be promotional.
The key is to find topics your audience will love that are also closely related to your product and its use cases.
The best way to find topics for your social media channels is to listen closely to your target group. They will tell you what they want.
Find a schedule – set a calendar
Consistency is key to social media success. It is not about creating the one perfect post but about showing up and interacting with your audience on a daily basis.
To start your social media process, you need to define a schedule when you want to post on your social media channels and you have to make time every day to engage with your audience.
You should set a calendar with reminders so that you don’t miss your daily social media tasks.
- how often are you planning to post each week? At what times or days do you plan to post?
- Set your calendar for each post: Consider content creation and posting.
Engage – make a plan and stay consistent
Your social media content strategy is not all about the content you post. It is at least as much about engaging your audience around the content you post.
That means you need to find ways to interact with your target audience.
- You can search for conversations via keywords.
- You can comment on the posts of other people from your niche.
- Watch your notifications on the platforms and respond to engagement from your target audience.
Engagement is crucial and it is crucial that you do it on a regular basis.
The best way to make sure you engage with your audience is to find a daily routine and show up again and again.
Watch metrics – analyze and adjust
A social media content strategy is alive and needs to evolve.
You learn, people evolve, platforms change. You need to consider that.
Some assumptions you made while defining your social media content strategy will prove wrong. To identifiy the flaws in your content strategy on social media you need to measure results, watch your metrics and adjust your tactics.
The numbers you want to watch start with reach, impressions, likes and engagement on the social platform.
Which metrics you should watch also depends on the goals you have for your social media content strategy. If your goal is to increase your website traffic, you want to watch traffic from social media.and click-through rates.
Keep in mind that metrics you need to watch with change with your success. If you are starting out, you need to increase reach and followers. But these are not your goals for social media marketing.
Ready? Put your social media content strategy into action!
If you followed the above steps, you should now be ready to start your social media marketing.
You know what you want to achieve. You know your target audience. You have ideas for content types and topics. You have a schedule and a calendar. And you know that you have to show up consistently to engage on social media.
Now it is up to you to get started and keep going.