How to build an effective social media content strategy

Social media is a great way to build your brand and bring customers to your business. It's a place where you can engage directly with followers and potential leads and help them transform into paying customers. If you use social media, you already know that creating content takes a lot of effort and money. However, with so many businesses vying for users' attention, great content is essential for building engaged communities and achieving corporate goals.

An effective social media content strategy will help you build an interactive community engaged with the idea behind your brand, its services, and products. This guide is an attempt to walk you through all steps of the planning, creation, and measurement phases. Get inspired by real-life examples of companies that use a variety of tools to grow their online communities. Learn how they measure performance using Facebook Business Manager and Google Analytics.

Creating a great content strategy seems like an overwhelming task if you’re doing it manually, but the most effective strategy requires following a clear process. The first thing to do is to define your objectives: why are you creating content on social media? Then, your strategy should tell you the type of content to create and how to schedule it.

Let’s get started...


1. Knowing how to plan your content:

Social media content strategy is a broad term and can be defined as a set of formal processes, tools, and practices for managing content to create the most effective interactive experience for your intended audience. Content strategy demands creativity and research that leads to better social media engagement. Social media content includes both visual and written aspects, from short text-based posts to in-depth reports. All this material should address three overarching goals:

Ø  Your content should be representative of your brand image.

Ø  Your content should resonate with your target audience.

Ø  Should assist you in achieving your business goals.


2. Define and list your objectives:

Tomorrow’s social media policies are set today. That said, solid social media content strategy planning is a must for any business if it aims to create a lasting social media presence and avoid the blunders that come from hastily created strategies built on impulse and guesswork. And thus, defining and listing down your objective is of utmost importance to achieve desired results.

The following are some of the most common social media marketing objectives for content marketers:

Ø  Improving brand recognition.

Ø  Lead generation and conversion.

Ø  Building and developing brand image.


3. Define and Establish your target audience:

Reaching the right audience is key to delivering a compelling and relevant piece of content. If you had to describe your target audience in one sentence, what would you say? Are they more likely to be male or female? What's their average age? Where do they work and what do they like to do in their spare time? Audience analysis, measurement and understanding are the pillars of any effective social media campaign.


4. Audit your online presence and social media accounts:

Social media isn’t the easiest marketing channel to master, but it’s a must for businesses that want to stay relevant in today’s digital world. Making your way through all the buzzwords, acronyms, channels, and influencers can feel daunting at first. But an audit of your social media efforts will help you realize what has worked and what hasn’t. Going through an audit is great for your business because it gives you a clear picture of where you stand and what the next steps should be. It can also save you a lot of time in the future.

From marketing perspective, the goal of this exercise is to make sure that moving forward, you only put time and resources into platforms and strategies that make sense for your brand. You don't want to waste money on something that doesn't provide value to your customers or has no return on investment (ROI).


5. Plan your content and schedule your posts:

Before you rush into creating your next piece of content, you need to ask yourself: “What platform will this work better on?” This question will help you choose the type of content in order to reach your audience.

The following types of content perform best in their respective platforms:

Ø  Video and curated content on Facebook.

Ø  High-quality photos, quotes, and short videos on Instagram.

Ø  News, blog posts, and GIFs on Twitter.

Ø  Job listings, industry, and company news on LinkedIn.

Ø  Infographics and photo guides on Pinterest.

After you’ve created a lot of engaging content, the next question is probably when to post it. One of the challenges of managing your online content is thinking through exactly when to post it. Facebook and Instagram both allow you to analyse such information through Insights. For Twitter, take a look at a free tool such as Tweriod, which tells you the best times to tweet.


6. Manage engagement and analyse your performance: 

It's easy to focus on the content for your social media post, without considering the responses you'll get. Many brands make the mistake of only joining the conversation when problems arise – they answer, delete, hide or report unfavourable comments and posts.

How you respond to your followers’ reactions to your content is just as important as the content itself. Following a dynamic online community can sometime be time consuming and emotionally fatiguing. But managing your engagement will be the most rewarding experience in your entire content and brand management process.

Analysis is one of the best aspects of social media marketing since it allows you to learn and improve your approach. When you are running a niche blog, you want to make sure that you are attracting and retaining the right readers. Having an analytical approach will help you improve content and reach your target audience.

There are many different solutions for analysing online performance and gains. While there are lots of great analytics tools out there, one in particular offers the most complete package for any company looking to dive deep into their data: Google Analytics.

A solid social media strategy can be the foundation for creating meaningful content that attracts loyal followers on any platform. Once you have that base in place, it’s only a matter of taking your strategy to the next level with tools and techniques that are optimized for specific platforms and provide additional analytical data and monitoring capabilities.