With your personal social media accounts, you might post whenever and whatever you please. Maybe that means posting every day for a week and then not posting anything for four months. While that might cut it with your friends and family, customers want more from the brands and businesses they follow. That’s why creating a strategic social media content plan is a critical component of your overall marketing strategy.
After all, the thing about social media is that your competitors are already on it. If you’re not using your social media accounts to boost your visibility, grow your brand, and attract business, your competitors are reaping all of those rewards instead.
That being said, we know just how daunting it can be to start or grow social media accounts. But it doesn’t have to be as scary or as overwhelming as it seems, especially if you follow the seven steps in this social media plan we’re sharing with you today.
But before we answer “How do you create a social media content strategy?”, let’s first talk about what makes a this content plan effective in the first place.
What is an Effective Social Media Content Plan?
More than anything, a social media content strategy needs to meet your objectives for creating one in the first place. Do you plan to use social media to attract new clients? Are you hoping to gain a bigger platform to boost visibility and brand awareness? Do you want to use your social media followers for lead generation?
Whatever your goals are, reaching them is what makes this content plan effective. Not to mention, your plan needs to be attainable, realistic, doable. If you set out with a plan to post ten times a day on each platform when you’re already swamped with other tasks, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Instead, think of how much time you can realistically devote to social media for your business and start from there.
Steps for Creating a Social Media Content Plan
Now, once you have that covered, it’s time to create a specific plan to help you reach your social media goals.
Goal setting is so important in the process of creating a social media content strategy that it’s worth talking about even more.
We mentioned your goals need to be realistic and attainable. A big part of that means ensuring you have enough time to devote to reaching them. If not, you need to consider outsourcing your social media services to the pros. This gives you a LOT of time back to focus on other things. Meanwhile, your business is getting a bigger online presence and you’re getting the sales to show for it.
But regardless of whether you’re the one putting the work into your social media content or you’ve outsourced this job, your goals are still important. Are they measurable? How will you know when you achieve them? How will you track your progress?
For this, you’ll use KPIs or key performance indicators. As far as social media is concerned, this can be things like tracking your follower growth week over week. Or it could be how many leads you’re getting from social media versus search engines, ads, word of mouth, or any other way.
Get crystal clear about your goals and intentions for your social media content strategy, then move onto getting to know the audience that will help you achieve these goals.
Get to know your audience
You could create the best social media content in the world, but if it’s not in front of the right eyes, it won’t make an impact. That’s why you need to get to know your audience so you can directly target them with your content. What are their pain points? What platforms do they use? How old are they? Have they shopped from your brand before?
Once you’ve done the research to figure out your target audience’s demographics, it’s time to decide not only what kind of content they’ll best respond to, but also where they’re most likely to come across that content.
We cover the nine steps to follow for finding your target audience on social media in this post. Don’t miss it!
Choose the platforms you will utilize
If your audience is primarily in their 70s, chances are most of them won’t be found on TikTok. But maybe your target audience is teenagers. In that case, TikTok can’t be missed!
But that being said, there’s a wide range of demographics across the biggest social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Each of these are worth including in your social media content strategy. But if your resources are limited and you can’t commit to managing several platforms, be sure to research which platforms your target audience is most likely to use.
Determine the type of content you want to create
We’re going to talk more about this in a minute, but part of creating your strategy includes choosing what type of content you’ll share. On virtually every platform, you have a number of options. For example, you could choose to just post images on your main feed on Instagram. Or maybe you want to incorporate stories, live videos, polls, and other content on this platform.
Create a posting schedule
Now you know what your goals are, who you want to reach, the platforms, you’re going to use, and the type of content you’re going to share, it’s time to plan out exactly when you’re going to share it.
We recommend creating a social media calendar at least a month in advance. Included in this calendar should be not only which platforms you’ll be posting to and what you’ll be posting, but also the exact time this content will go live.
To optimize this step of the process, find out when people are most likely to be online and engage with your content. Many platforms have built in metrics that tell you this automatically.
Or, you can check out this article from Hootsuite for the best time to publish on different platforms.
Double-check your content before it goes live
We’ve all heard of major brands that have made social media blunders that caused them a lot of business. We don’t want this to happen to you!
That’s why it’s important to proofread or double-check your content before it goes live. It can be incredibly handy to schedule your posts out a month in advance. But just remember, a lot can happen in a month. The content that seemed like a good idea two weeks ago, can suddenly be considered tone-deaf depending on what’s going on in the world.
So, in addition to making sure your content is grammatically correct, optimized, and properly formatted, make sure it’s also current.
Track your progress
Part of making sure your plan is effective means keeping a close eye on how it’s performing. Create a spreadsheet to track your metrics, and make sure you pivot when something clearly isn’t working.
Types of Content to Use in Your Social Media Strategy
Now, back to the type of content to use in your social media content strategy.
Your social media strategy, as we mentioned, needs to be something that’s attainable to give you the best chance of reaching your goals. Depending on the resources available to you, this might mean you can’t choose from every single type of content that’s out there.
Instead, focus on the ones that suit the platforms you’re using best. At the same time, consider what kind of content your audience is most likely to engage with. Finally, keep an eye on what kind of content has historically performed best.
Depending on all of these things, these are some of the content types you’ll have to choose from:
- Written content, including blogs, eBooks, guides, and articles
- Video stories
- Picture stories
- Live video
No matter what you choose, make sure the content makes sense not only for the platforms you use, but also for your brand and what your audience wants from it.
Consider Your Overall Digital Marketing Plan
Although it’s an incredibly important part of it, your social media content plan is only part of your overall digital marketing plan.
These seven steps will get you off on the right foot, but it’s also important to consider PPC, Facebook ads, SEO, and other aspects of your digital marketing strategy. But we’re here to help with all of this! Blue Water Marketing in Stuart, Florida is your one-stop-shop for all of your digital marketing needs. Give us a call today at 1-772-521-5862 or click here to request a free consultation.