3 Simple Tips for Creating a Social Media Content Strategy
As the age old saying goes, content is king. In fact, with regards to social marketing it’s everything! A company’s content is what will set them apart from others in their space, and is the sole reason why people will want to connect with them in the first place. With this said, it is extremely important that companies spend adequate time determining not only the types of content they’ll want to share, but configuring a long-term strategy for creating and distributing this content as well.
The following are 3 simple, yet very crucial, social media tips for when creating a company-wide content strategy.
Sounds simple enough, but one might be surprised at how often companies will launch a new social media profile without first considering their content. Specifically, what it is that’s going to be created, when, and by whom? This might not seem like a major problem, but the small inconsistencies that spawn from this lack in strategy and organization is what many have claimed to be the downfall of their social media efforts. Therefore, organization is key.
In your efforts to become organized, you’ll likely have to address one or more of these issues:
Who is on your content-creating dream team?
First and foremost, begin with outlining who, within your organization, is going to be involved in the project, what their role is going to be, and what will be expected of them. This is important. The strength and value of your company’s content is only as strong as the people responsible for creating it. I suggest picking only the very best, and forgetting the rest.
Additionally, depending on the size of your social media efforts, you may wish to segment your team in two; one for conceptualizing and creating social media content, and another for posting and monitoring the community responses that occur because of said content.
What kinds of content will you create? How is it to be created?
Once your team has been established, the next step is to come together and collaborate on content ideas. Figure out which information is most relevant for your community, and then brainstorm the different ways to deliver it. For example, if your company uses multiple social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest, than determine how your content will be received within each of these individual landscapes. If content delivered in these ways makes sense to your company and the end user, than proceed.
However, if you only have one channel to worry about, say a blog for instance, then in this example you should figure out which writing style is best for the content you’re trying to share. For instance, would your blog post be better received as a funny narrative or is it better suited for a detailed white paper? Should it include visuals such as photos, an infographic, or maybe even a cartoon? These elements and others will need to be addressed.
Which team members are to be responsible for each of your projects?
You now have your team. You now have your approved content ideas. The last step is to pair the two together. Determining which content project is be assigned to which team member is something only you’ll be able to decide. After all, who else knows your team better than you? However to help you make these decisions, consider the following:
- When is the project deadline? Who can meet this deadline?
- Is the content supposed to be clever and witty, or dry and serious? Who can meet these demands?
- Which person has the most interest in the topic?
- Which person has the strongest background in the topic?
- Which person has the necessary skills and training to complete the project?
I’m sure there are other factors to consider, but you get the point. Pairing the right project with the right team member or members will be key to the success of the project.
Additionally, depending on the size of your company’s social media efforts, you might wish to segment your dream team into the following roles: project managers, writers, graphic artists, videographers, photographers, etc. The idea is to assign content projects to a single manager and allow him or her to collaborate with the necessary team members. If you find your needs greater than this, you can always increase the number of project managers or even individual teams to fit your needs.
My second tip for creating a solid content strategy is again simple enough to understand, but much harder to implement. Once you’ve got the logistics of your content strategy in place – who, what, when, how, and why – the very next step is making sure they remain in place. To do this, I strongly recommend hosting ongoing meetings. How often? As often as it makes sense to do so. In most cases I’d recommend once a week, but certainly no less than once a month.
Your meetings should have three primary focal-points:
- To discuss the statuses of pending content projects.
- To create new ideas for future content projects, and assign them.
- To review the performances of past content projects.
Furthermore, a “Content Calendar” or an official timeline for your projects is also worthy of exploration on your road to remaining organized. A timeline is as it sounds – a detailed breakdown for when a company plans to publish specific projects. Calendars can be weekly, monthly, or quarterly, and should mirror company events such as sales, promotions, and seasonal focus points, as well as holidays and industry happenings.
Depending on your company’s individual needs and the complexity of your social media projects, your calendar can be anything from a physical calendar with notations on it to a digitally hosted calendar with access for every team member to a spreadsheet with every detail included.
The last tip that I want to share is to be flexible in every way possible when it comes to your social media content strategy. While it is important for your team to be organized and have a firm strategy in place that dictates what’s expected and when, it’s just as important to understand that disruptions will occur and that teams will need to adjust, often on the fly.
Social media strategies have to remain fluid in the sense that some projects will need to be bumped to make room for more timely and important pieces of content. For example, should a new industry trend, hot topic, or even a social/cultural/economical related event occur, you’ll likely want to adjust your strategy to include this new event, rather than moving forward with a project that was originally scheduled weeks or even months previous. Being flexible enough to remain timely and relevant in your industry will be an important part of your company’s social media efforts.
As with any other marketing initiative, social media marketing isn’t something that companies should dive into without first giving the entire process a lot of consideration. Instead, companies will want to give forethought to the ideas I’ve outlined above, and specifically to getting organized, remaining organized, and being flexible when developing a long-term social media strategy. Creating and distributing the right kinds of content to the right kind of audience isn’t something that just happens. However, following my 3 tips and a few others will help.