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Social Media Content Strategy: A ‘how to’ guide

TT often I see brand pages haphazardly shouting randomly at their communities, who obviously have no strategy directing their social media efforts and who probably began their foray into social media after someone in a meeting shouted: “HEY WE NEED TO BE ON SOCIAL MEDIA, JUST BECAUSE”.

Without a social media content strategy, you are essentially moving in circles. If you have no clear goals defined and no paths to success mapped out, then everything you do on social media is wasted.

The guys over at Social Media Examiner (PS check them out, they are amazing) created this rather extensive guide containing 26 tips to take your social media content strategy to the next level.

I’ve repackaged the guide into these easily digestible bite-sized chunks, for the full guide, be sure to check out SME’s original post (and stay tuned as I’ll be exploring these further over the next few weeks).

#1: Align Content Development With Social Media Metrics and Goals

Simply, why are you using social media? The answer to this question will direct all of your content creation. Whether it’s generating traffic, generating revenue, creating a following or generate interactions, it should always be in the back of your mind.

#2: Beef Up Your Content Strategy With a Big-Brand Mindset

Emulate the big brands by doing the following

  • Find where their customers talk and “go deep.”
  • Create content that people want to talk about.
  • Use social media to listen to customers.

#3: Concentrate on Increasing Daily Updates

Post 5-10 times per day on Twitter and 1-5 times per day on Facebook.

#4: Delve Into Data From Social Media Channels

There’s a LOT of social data available. With Step 1 in mind, you should be able to find relevant metrics (like commonalities in the most engaging types of content).

#5: Engage in Real Interactions

Social media is better than TV or print because the audience can talk back. USE THIS AMAZING FEATURE AND ENGAGE IN REAL, AUTHENTIC CONVERSATION!

#6: Follow Facebook’s Changes

Facebook is constantly changing and the only way to get the jump on competitors is to be the first to change your strategy accordingly when these changes happen. Read social media blogs and news sites EVERY DAY!

#7: Get Acquainted With the New Google Analytics Social Reports

Use social analytics to identify which social channels your content is performing most successfully on.

#8: Help Users Find Your Content With Hashtags

Hashtags are incredible. Use them to tag your content so relevant audiences can find it easier.

#9: Introduce Content With Infographics

Visual information is MUCH more shareable than text, exploit this.

#10: Justify Frequent Updates and Posts

Compare your engagement rates with competitors to justify the need to allocate more time to social media.

#11: Keep Klout in Perspective

Klout is stupid but it can give you some useful insights. Use it wisely and take it for what it is.

#12: Look to the Future of Social Media

Stay abreast of new social media developments so, like in step 6, you can get the jump on competitors. Read, read, READ.

#13: Make Your Blog Mobile-Friendly

You know where people are going to be seeing your content? In their social feeds. You know where people will be seeing their social feeds? On their smartphones. If your blog is not mobile optimised, you’re gonna have a bad time.

#14: Network in All the Right Places

Know your audience, know what networks they frequent. Posting content in a channel that your intended audience is not is bad for everyone involved.

#15: Outsource Content Development as Needed

Know what you want to achieve, know if you can achieve it internally, outsource as necessary.

#16: Present Your Human Side With Photos

Share real photos of the real you (and your brand). Your audience will be super relieved to know that you aren’t a robot.

#17: Question Readers for More Engagement

Ask authentic questions to spark conversation. Beware though, as a LOT of brands’ questions sound extremely contrived and inauthentic.

#18: Replicate Your Brand Identity From Platform to Platform

Ensure your brand is consistent across all platforms!

#19: Strengthen In-Person Events With Social Media Promotion

Real life (IRL) events are a potential gold mine for brands. Ensure you maximise your efforts during such events.

#20: Talk With Team Members to Keep Up Momentum and Morale

Social media is more fun when played as a team. Set goals, reward achievements, maintain morale and you will thrive.

#21: Use a Conversational Tone to Engage Readers

A stiff boring tone belongs in the 90s. Write like you’d talk, it’s easier and more enjoyable to read.

#22: Visit a Number of Search Engines to Find the Perfect Image

Don’t just settle for the first image that you find, the extra effort will go a long way.

#23: Widen Your Writing Style With Online Tools

Crazy Egg have a great set of tools to improve your writing

#24: (E)xpand Your Article With Relevant Tips

What’s the best way to provide value to your audience? Make their life easier with tips!

#25: Yield to Your Customer’s Journey

The customer journey is different in every channel, do some research do ensure your content is optimised for the channel that you’re posting on.

#26: Zero In on Your Customer’s Interests and Needs

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, social listening is incredibly important. The best way to find out what content to create is to listen and find out what content your audience needs.

Be sure to read Social Media Examiner’s post for a deeper delve into the above, or stay tuned over the next week as I expand on some of these tips.



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