How to Create a Social Media Content Strategy

In this article, you will learn how to create a social media content strategy.

The content you publish on social media platforms has the power to make your brand a household name and turn your followers into fans. This kind of impact is only possible if you have a solid social media content strategy in place. It's not enough to show up on every platform and sporadically inform your audience when you have the time. To stand out on social media, you need to define specific goals, create engaging posts that align with those goals, and deliver the content on the right platforms. Then you can measure your results and refine your strategy over time.

There is no cookie-cutter social media strategy that guarantees success. Your strategy will vary depending on your industry and your audience. However, there are specific steps you should take to develop a plan that has longevity and helps your brand and business grow.

Let's take a look at the steps you need to take to create a social media content strategy.

How to Create a Social Media Content Strategy

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How to Plan Social Media Content Strategy

The first time someone asked me to create a social media content strategy, I had no idea what to do. Since then, I've learned that the simpler the better. If you can stick to the basics, you're on your way to success. A social media content strategy for your small business will help ensure that your social media marketing efforts contribute to your overall business goals. To help you get started, here are 6 steps to create your social media content strategy for your small business:

1- Identify and set goals

Establishing clear social media goals will help shape the rest of your strategy, serve as defined metrics to measure your progress, and increase your chances of success in this area.

To get the best results for your small business, align your social media goals with your overall business goals. Use these goals to determine the type of content you will create as part of your overall strategy. In general, there are nine social media goals that will help you maximize social media performance:

1- Increase your brand awareness.
2- Drive traffic to your website or landing page.
3- Generate new leads.
4- Increase revenue (by increasing registrations or sales).
5- Create a community around your business.
6- Boost brand engagement.
7- Increase media mentions.
8- Increase social customer service satisfaction.
9- Increase positive conversations about your brand.

We recommend keeping your social media marketing strategy simple by focusing on two or three goals - the ones that best fit your company's current needs.

Whatever goal you choose, make sure it's truly aligned with your company's goals, otherwise, it can be easy to ignore social media and see it as ineffective, when in fact the social media strategy simply needs to be tailored to the company's strategy as a whole.

2- Define your target audience

How to Create a Social Media Content Strategy

Everything is more effective when you can speak directly to your target audience in a language they use and understand, even saying things they've already thought about or talked about with friends.

A great way to define your target audience for social media is to create marketing personas. Personas are fictional, descriptive profiles of people in your target market. If you've never created personas, it may feel like you're writing fiction, but these tools can be very powerful when you're trying to figure out what type of content best fits your audience.

When creating a buyer persona, start by looking at your potential customers' demographic information (age range, location, occupation, income, etc.) and their psychographic information (behaviors, attitudes, lifestyle preferences, personality types, interests, hobbies, etc.). Don't forget to also include their needs and challenges for more depth.

Creating these personas allows you and your team to remember the people behind the data and customize your content for them.

3- Identify the best social media platforms

It's normal to see large businesses and corporations have an account on every social media platform, but small businesses with a team of only a few people? That would be a challenge. Instead of trying to have a presence on all social networks, focus on the networks where your target audience is. By choosing the right social media platform and tailoring your key messages to each one, you'll be able to better connect with your audience.

To help you choose the right social media platform for your business, check out this list of top social media sites in addition to information about where your target audience spends their time, your brand identity, and the type of products and services you offer will help you determine which platforms will have the most impact for your business on social media.

It's worth noting that each social media platform has unique features tailored to certain types of content. Twitter is ideal for conversations and current events, while LinkedIn is more suited to sharing professional and career-related information. So keep that in consideration when making your choice.

4- Plan and create content

Creating high-quality content that resonates is one of the key pieces of a successful social media content strategy. The content you create plays an important role in achieving your business and social media goals. Your social media posts must be aligned with the purpose of each social media platform and its audience. Again, a good understanding of your target audience will help. Examine your buyer personas and consider:

- What are their goals and challenges?
- How can you help them solve them?

When it comes to planning content, we can't stress enough the positive impact that using a social media content calendar to plan your posts can have. It will help you narrow down the details of what you need to post and ensure that everything works towards your business goals.

A content calendar also helps you plan your posts ahead of time, and you can optimize the timing of your posts based on when your audience is most likely to see and engage with them.

5- Promote and distribute your content

How to Create a Social Media Content Strategy

Your social media strategy goes beyond what you post on your social media platforms. Planning and publishing your content is just a small part of a successful social media strategy. A good strategy is finding ways to actively distribute your content so that it is seen by as many people as possible. When you establish a content distribution strategy, you are getting your posts shared more widely.

If you run an active blog, add share buttons to your posts so your audience can spread your content to their subscribers (like the ones you see at the left of this post!).

You can also encourage your audience to engage with your content by asking a question and encouraging them to share their answers, either on social media or in the comments section of a blog post.

Having others share your content is also great social proof. Your social media content strategy should include responding to or replying to people who share your content.

By recognizing when your audience is active and sharing your posts at the right time, you can reach more people. If you're only posting on social media the minute the content goes live, you're missing out on a unique opportunity to maximize your audience.

Different social media platforms also have their own ways of helping you maximize reach. On platforms like Twitter and Instagram, using hashtags is a great way to spread your content. Hashtags help you reach people who not only follow you but who also follow a specific trend or interest. On LinkedIn and Facebook, join groups relevant to your industry and share content when it relates to the conversation.

Another good distribution strategy is to network with bloggers and content creators in your niche. Other brands will be more likely to share your content with their audience if you have a relationship with them and will reciprocate. Remember, anything you share with your audience should always have value to them and be related to your brand.

6- Track and measure performance

How to Create a Social Media Content Strategy

It's important not to skip this step: once you've done the work of creating and sending your content, tracking your analytics allows you to see which piece of content resonates most with your audience and whether your content is helping you achieve your social media goals.

For example, you may notice that video content is working better than photos or vice versa, and you can adjust your content strategy based on the data you observe.

There are a lot of social media metrics available. Instead of looking at them all, focus on the ones that support your goals. For example, if your goal is to increase traffic to your blog posts, it's not wise to focus on likes on Instagram.  

Instead, dig into the data that directly aligns with your goals. Here are some of the most important social media metrics you can use to track your performance:

- Awareness: The number of times people have seen your content, as measured by impressions and reach.
- Engagements: The number of reactions, comments, clicks, and shares your content gets.
- ROI: Conversions and referrals from external sources.

Each social media platform has its own analytics tools to help you measure these metrics. It is also recommended that you use Google Analytics to see which social media sites are driving the most referral traffic to your website. Here are five meaningful Google Analytics reports to help you boost your social media marketing plan.

Using your goals as an anchor can help you adjust your strategy with precision. By measuring analytics each month, you can make small changes to continue optimizing your social media content strategy.

What Makes a Good Social Media Content Strategy?

A good social media content strategy always includes time to interact, ask questions, and connect with the people you're trying to reach. In addition, algorithms take into account your level of interaction when posting to your audience.

Social Media Content Strategy Summary

The key to any successful strategy is adaptability. Effective social media content strategy planning is an ongoing cycle. Social media evolves quickly, and new tools or features are launched regularly. While the tips above will help you stick to the basics, it's important to review and adapt your social media content strategy throughout the year to better reflect new goals, tools, or plans.

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