Is your entire strategy just randomly posting on your Facebook and Instagram pages?
You’re not likely to drive engagement or win more customers if it is.
You need a well-thought-out social media content strategy to create valuable, informational, or entertaining posts and distribute them to the right platforms and audiences for optimum engagement.
It can also help propel critical aspects of your digital marketing strategies, making it crucial to create a social media content approach that aligns with your overall marketing strategy.
While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to developing a winning social media content strategy, jump-start your efforts with the four time-tested tips in this guide.
1. Know your audience
Before creating your social media visuals, creatives, and other content, you need to know who you are producing content for: Your potential customers.
After all, knowing your target audience can help you:
- Produce content that can resonate with your viewers and potential customers
- Learn which social media channels your followers and target audiences use (and how they use these platforms)
- Determine when your target audiences are active on specific social media platforms
Start by creating (or revisiting) your buyer persona—a fictional yet data-backed representation of your ideal audience and customer.
A buyer persona can help you understand who your audiences are, their interests, demographics, and job titles.
It can also give you an idea on your audience’s preferred platforms and whether they align with your social media marketing channels.
Use HubSpot’s Make My Persona tool to create or refine your buyer persona.
Image source: hubspot.com.
The free and intuitive generator lets you create, customize, and share the buyer personas easily and quickly with your social media and marketing teams.
After creating and refining your buyer persona, use Google Analytics to understand your audiences’ demographics, such as gender and age.
Other ways to help you get to know your social media audience to create valuable, engaging, and timely content is to:
- Run surveys or talk to your target audiences directly through chat or calls to gather relevant data about them.
- Leverage social listening to know what audiences say about your brand, industry, related topics, and similar brands, including the tone and language they use.
The data can inform and shape your content strategy, helping you tailor your content to address your social media audiences’ needs, interests, and pain points.
It also helps to think of your audience using a user story approach—an agile strategy that looks at stated requirement ideas expressing what users need from a product (in this case, your social media content).
Reliable user story software allows you to communicate with stakeholders to determine their needs and find solutions.
You can use a version of this to get to know your audience and the social media content they want to see from your brand.
2. Get insights from customers with emoji feedback systems
An excellent tactic to know the best way to talk to and interact with your potential customers on social media platforms is by asking them directly.
Leverage easy-to-use feedback emoji software to make answering your feedback forms engaging for your customers.
For instance, Emoji Response lets you configure and design your feedback how you want, embed it onto your website, and gain valuable customer insights.
Image source: emojiresponse.com.
Use the software to collect and analyze your customer feedback data easily using emojis.
You can use the information to determine the best content types and styles your customers prefer to see on social media.
It can help you create content or use the right language and tone in your copy to connect with them better and boost your engagement.
3. Determine the content types to create for each platform
Understand which content types are likely to engage your target audiences on certain social media platforms.
Also, consider the content formats Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn users prefer, including the content types your competitors distribute on the channels.
Follow these tips and ensure your social media content strategy outlines the appropriate content formats, types, and ideas for each platform.
- Video content. Create bite-sized product demos, educational clips, behind-the-scenes footage, or answer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) through videos.
Video posts can work well and help you drive engagement on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
For instance, if you sell organic food products and help customers live healthy lifestyles, post Instagram Stories about the top work-life balance examples to help you raise brand awareness while encouraging engagement.
- Images. Share branded graphics, high-quality photos, User-Generated Content (UGC), and other visual content to help draw your followers’ attention to your content and brand.
For instance, Nikon has a dedicated Instagram account for its annual Nikon photo contest that displays the best photo entries from participants.
Image source: instagram.com.
Contests such as this are excellent ways to engage audiences and raise brand awareness, while getting tons of UGC.
- Text-based posts. Use compelling Instagram descriptions, catchy blog post headlines, and story-led captions to draw attention to your written content.
Doing so helps hook your audience, giving them a good reason to keep reading (especially for long-form content).
Use robust content management software to streamline storing, sorting, and accessing your content items and creatives.
4. Follow and implement design best practices
Maintain your social media content’s quality and ensure consistency by following general design rules and setting your own guidelines.
Start by establishing guidelines for writing your social media posts, including the following.
- Emoji use. Determine how you’ll include emojis and which ones to use and not use. Also, specify which content types to include emojis since using one isn’t always appropriate for all social media posts and platforms.
- Hashtags and keywords. Provide guidelines on the necessary hashtags and keywords to include in your social media content. It can help boost your content’s searchability and visibility.
- Copy length. Set a general standard to specify how long your copy should be for each social media platform.
- Formatting and writing style. Create basic standards to ensure consistency around using the oxford comma, em or en dash, other punctuation marks, and spelling variations (among others).
Also, create guidelines to ensure visual content consistency by considering the following.
- Color schemes. Set guidelines on the specific colors (and color palettes), including the proper proportion, for your social media content and other creatives.
- Logo use. Provide standards or rules for using your company logo, including variations to use in certain content.
- Image sizes. Follow the specific image dimension and size requirements and recommendations from each social media platform. For instance, Instagram Stories are shot in vertical format.
You can also set your own dimensions to optimize your social media images.
If you work with a social media marketing agency, provide a style guide and your design best practices to maintain content and visual design quality and consistency.
Solidify your social media content approach
Creating an effective social media content strategy can take some elbow grease and some tweaking as you go along.
However, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Instead, get a good head start by jump-starting your efforts with the tips in this guide.
Marc lives and breathes writing. He writes just about anything and everything under the sun from digital marketing, web development, and cryptocurrencies among other things.