The year is 2022 and it’s no longer acceptable to post on your business’ Instagram account once a week and consider that your Social Media Strategy. If you intend to use one of the largest platforms available to reach new audiences while meeting your business goals, then you’re going to have to be far more intentional about what, when and how you’re pushing out content on Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and more. By creating a social media content strategy and sticking to it, you’ll be most efficient with your time and more purposeful with your posts.
Sure, you might argue that every brand out there has a presence on the socials—and that is totally true. But that simply means you need to figure out how to differentiate your brand and use these tools for storytelling, selling products, connecting to audiences and more. So, here’s the Social Studies Guide to creating a social media content strategy for your brand.
Why should I make a social media strategy for my brand?
Understanding the reason why you’re making this strategy will help you understand how to make it successful. The whole point of creating a plan of action around your social presence is that it will force you to first identify your goals and then assist you in finding ways to meet those goals.
There are a number of reasonable objectives you can chase with your social strategy, including drawing in new followers and building a new customer base, driving traffic to your content (and eventually your website) or drawing in more revenue. But the most important thing is that the goal you choose is attainable for your brand and it makes sense for your business at this time. These targets can certainly change over time, and likely will as your business begins to grow, so make it a habit to revisit your social media goals, track your success and see what new benchmarks can be added.
This might all sound like quite a bit of work and a lot of planning, in addition to quite a lot of thought and effort from your team, but it’s the right move for brands who want to remain competitive. And it’s also a great tool to support your core business and keep an eye on success.
Got it. So, how do I make a social media strategy?
- As you might’ve already picked up from the previous section, you’ve got to identify your goals. And you must make that step one, since it will help you determine what the results of all your entire plan will be. Map out your KPIs as well. Then keep both your goals and KPIs top of mind at all times; nearly all of your content should be centered around meeting these. Those goals can include growing an audience, boosting engagement among your community, driving sessions to your site and also converting shoppers.
However, keep in mind that your social strategy should also work in conjunction with your marketing strategy, your PR strategy and so on. These different arms of your business should exist in harmony and compliment each other. This will provide a well-rounded approach to reaching your customer and will also allow for you to soak up the benefits of a halo effect, when you find a massive success in one area that can spill into the rest.
- It’s time to get familiar with your audience—both current and potential. Dive into not only their age breakdown, but also their location, gender, interests and more. It’s possible to use free tools currently at your fingertips, such as customer profiles from previous purchases or Google Analytics, to provide a clear idea of who’s shopping with you. If you already have social media accounts, check out the analytics pages on those apps and take stock of it all, including what time of day your followers are most engaged and what day of the week they’re most active, too. Then, take time to discover the content your audience wants and needs, in addition to the content that they’re currently resonating with. Whether that’s videos, infographics, memes, or more, the more information you collect about your audience’s interests, the better. You should also figure out which social platforms they use most often and let that information dictate which of the platforms you will dedicate the focus of your social strategy on.
- Don’t discount the content you already have! Take a look at your grids or boards now and analyze them. Figure out what worked versus what was a flop—and consider getting rid of the pieces of content that didn’t do too hot. Then go back and take a look at the posts that did perform. What was it that caused them to get hundreds of likes? Why did that one Reel get so many comments? Pick apart even the tiniest of clues to start understanding what your audience likes to engage with and what will cause them to simply swipe away.
- Now, start to visualize the content you want to create and dream big. We think it makes sense to include some out-of-the-box ideas in addition to some of the lower lift posts that you know will be easier to create. These bigger ideas will serve as a great test to see what resonates with your audience, so long as you can carefully weave them into some of your more traditional content. Feel free to make a massive, unedited list that includes a ton of ideas that you’re confident could work, those that you think could take off and so on. However, don’t forget to tie all of these content ideas back to your key goals making sure they support your bottom line.
- Here’s where you’re going to take that messy list of ideas and start putting it into real concepts. Begin to plan your content and slot it into a content calendar. Keep editing and tidying up as you go. For example, figuring out which post makes sense to go live on a Monday, deciphering the week you want to align your new product launch with your big influencer Instagram live and which post feels genuine but still brand authentic for Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and beyond. This organization will help you visualize with a focus on the long term and will also make it infinitely easier to share concepts with your teams before they goes live—that way you can loop in your marketing team or your PR team when major posts are going up or sense check the tone of a caption in relation to your other content.
- Once your content strategy is live, the work doesn’t stop! You should be continuously reviewing what worked and what didn’t, then pushing yourself to always improve the content you’re creating. How can you grow followers week over week? What posts will generate more engagement than the months before? Here at Social Studies, we suggest Testing, Learning and Optimizing on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. As we said earlier, the more info you continue to gather on your audience—and what’s catching their attention—the better off you’ll be!
Whatever size your brand is or what product you’re selling, a social media content strategy is a great idea for you. Once you put this guide to use and start viewing your new strategy as a vehicle to help your business grow, you’ll understand how important this is for your brand’s bottom line. And start seeing the success from all that hard work and planning.