When it comes to growing your community/following on social media, having a content strategy is paramount. Without a strategy, success or failure is just a matter of luck– and you risk having all your efforts going to waste. If you don’t know how to create a content strategy, or you want to be pointed in the right direction, I’m here to help.
What Is A Content Strategy?
With more users than ever online, it’s not enough to just show up on every platform and sporadically update your audience when you have the time. That’s where a content strategy comes into play. To stand out on social media, you have to define your specific goals, create and plan valuable posts that align with those goals, and then distribute your content. After you’ve done all that, you measure your results, and tweak your strategy accordingly.
Define Your Mission and Goals
The first step toward long-term social media success is to define your mission. This is a brief statement that makes it easier to focus on what’s important, and tune out what’s not. Your mission statement should articulate why you’re on social media, and what you hope to accomplish there for your business.
Next up are your content goals. These will help you plan the content you need, and define how you need to measure your success. Is your goal to convert more of your followers to customers? Getting more traffic to your website? Engage more? Whatever it is, you need to define it.
Research is the key to understanding what content will resonate the most with your followers. Begin by performing a social media audit to have a concrete starting point. An audit will paint a clear picture of your current efforts by examining content gaps, metrics, and your typical practices. You can learn more about social media audits here. Some other things to do during your research phase are:
Ask your followers what they want to see from you: Create polls or quizzes on Instagram Stories
Get to know your audience: What are their interests, what’s their age and gender, where are they from
Look into competition: Take note of their overall strategy, which posts are performing the best for them, and how they're using it to their advantage. This information can reveal where you're lacking, and other people are succeeding- leading to newly defined areas of opportunity.
Don’t forget to treat each network as a unique audience, as they may be very different.
Plan your Content
Consider what types of content you’ll share on which networks, and how often. Be sure to incorporate what you found in your specific content research, as well as current trends. Even though you’re posting on several different networks, make sure your overall tone and brand voice remain consistent. An easy way to make sure your brand voice remains consistent is by using pre-designed templates.
Next, create a guideline for how often you want to post- this should be tailored to your industry. Find a content calendar that works for you. You’ll need to know exactly when you want to publish your content on each of the platforms you want to use. This could be as simple as using your phone calendar, or having an app like HootSuite or Sprout Social.
Don’t forget to also plan out your hashtags, caption lengths, and times of the day you're posting.
Distribute Your Content
What good would this whole strategy be if you didn’t distribute it! Now it’s your time to shine. With everything planned out, all you need to do is hit publish (or if you’re using an app to post for you, sit back and watch). Shift your focus on interacting and monitoring the response you get from your posts.
At the end of all this, you need to know how well your content has performed. Return to those goals you set at the start of the content strategy plan, and see what’s changed and whether you’re hitting your targets. Either keep on rocking it out with your current strategy, or hit the drawing board.
This can be a lot of work, especially if you're focused on other aspects of your business. If you need help developing a content strategy, feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation.