When it comes to creating a successful social media content strategy, it can feel like there’s an endless amount of options and platforms to choose from. But don’t let that overwhelm you, because with a little bit of planning and a lot of creativity, you can build a strategy that will help boost your brand awareness, increase customer engagement, and drive sales.
Eight steps to define your social media content recipe
Think of your social media content strategy like a recipe for success. Just like a recipe, if you don’t have all the right ingredients and a clear understanding of what you’re trying to achieve, your dish (or in this case, your content) will fall flat.
But with the right components in place, you’ll be able to whip up something that’s not only delicious, but will also leave your customers craving more.
1. Understand your audience’s platform & content preferences
The first step in this journey is to understand your audience’s platform and content preferences. Think about it: you wouldn’t serve a steak to a vegetarian, so why would you create content that’s not relevant to your audience?
By identifying your target audience demographics, researching their interests and behaviors, and creating buyer personas, you’ll be able to create content that resonates with your audience.
So how do you do this? You may already have an idea of who your target audience is. Perhaps it’s busy professionals who are looking for a way to save time. Maybe it’s families within a 50-mile radius of Boston who are looking for outdoor activities. Or it could be coffee lovers who want the highest-quality beans to brew in their French press.
If you don’t know who makes up your audience, dive into your analytics. See who resonates with your content, products, or services. Or think about who might have the problems that your business solves.
Then, get to know that audience. Talk to them in person. Send out surveys via email. Conduct social media polls. Find out information about where they spend their time online, what types of content they like to consume on social media — livestreams, image-based posts, audio, links to long-form blog content, etc. — and what piques their interest.
Finally, turn that information into buyer personas, which are essentially made-up characters who are similar to the average member of your target audience. For example, you could have a persona named Josh, who is a 35-year-old father of two, makes a middle-class income, lives in the Boston area, and goes on hikes every weekend.
In the future, when you make decisions about social media, you can reference these personas to ensure that every move you make meets their needs.
Learn more: this article is specifically tailored to ecommerce, but can help any business choose which social media platforms are right for them.
2. Define your success metrics and goals
Once you have a clear understanding of your audience, it’s time to define your success metrics and goals. Just like cooking, having a clear finished product in mind will help you navigate the recipe.
Identifying overall business goals and setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) steps along the way is crucial for success on social media. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are metrics you can use to objectively measure results. These can help you understand if your efforts are truly working or if you need to make adjustments.
Common KPIs for social media include:
- Audience growth
- Engagement rate
- Conversion rate
- Return on ad spend (ROAS)
- Add to carts
3. Develop a content theme that sets you apart
In today’s crowded social media landscape, it’s essential to have a content theme that sets you apart. Think of it like a fashion statement — to work, it has to be unique and memorable.
To be successful, your company needs a unique selling proposition like a new material, service style, or ingredient that competitors don’t have. Maybe you have several. You can lean into this key difference to form the basis of the subject matter for your posts. Just like creating buyer personas, you may want to map our personas for competitors that also serve your target audience. Include your own company and see what makes you different.
Regular brainstorming sessions — where anything goes — can help get ideas flowing. Then simply pick the best and leave the rest.
Finally, don’t forget to listen to your followers. Ask them for their ideas and award prizes for the top ones. Explore trending ideas that other companies are using and see if you can adapt them to your unique selling proposition and target audience.
4. Establish a publishing frequency and content calendar
Establishing a publishing frequency and content calendar is crucial for keeping your content strategy on track.
Your frequency might be dictated, in large part, by the platforms you choose to use. For example, Twitter lends itself to multiple updates every day. On Facebook, you might not want to post more than once every day or two.
This guide breaks down how often to post per platform.
You also want to vary the kinds of posts you make (quotes vs stats vs photos, etc.) and you don’t want to just start thinking of ideas 15 minutes before you’re supposed to post. This is where having a three-month content calendar planned in advance can help you stay organized and ahead of the game. Then you can create similar posts in bulk and spread them out on your calendar for efficiency.
Jetpack Social can help you schedule social media posts from WordPress in advance so that, once you know what you want to post and when, you can automate publishing. This is how professional social media managers consistently release new content — even while they’re on vacation.
5. Create content that resonates and connects with your audience
Remember that audience research you did earlier? Here’s where it will really come in handy! Create social media content around the topics that your audience will find helpful and interesting.
This, of course, will look different for each individual business or blog. But here are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Answers to questions commonly asked by your customers or followers
- Behind-the-scenes glimpses into your life, business, or processes
- Tips and tricks for using your products
- A live Q&A with your audience members
- Gift ideas that incorporate your products alongside related items from other companies
- Giveaways and contests that reward loyal followers
- Fun ways to celebrate quirky holidays
- User-generated content that showcases how your audience uses your products and services in their everyday lives
- Articles from similar websites that relate to your business or industry
Interesting, eye-catching graphics can go a long way toward improving engagement. You should set aside some of your social media budget with the help of a professional designer. For efficiency, they might be able to create unique templates you can modify yourself. These are great for quotes, stats, and quick text-based statements. Choose your professionally-designed background, add your text, and go!
You can also use tools like Canva to help you make your own designs without expensive software.
6. Leverage automation to save time and increase efficiency
Automation is crucial to making the most of your social media content efforts. Think of it as a personal assistant — it can help you save time and increase efficiency, allowing you to focus on the most important tasks.
Jetpack Social is a convenient and powerful way to automate your social media posting on WordPress, enabling you to automatically post your site’s content on social media and schedule posts in advance, all with just a few clicks.
With Jetpack Social, you can write once, and post everywhere, making it easier than ever to increase efficiency and save time.
7. Promote and distribute your content
Promoting and distributing content is an essential step in a successful social media strategy.
Utilizing paid promotion for maximum reach, partnering with influencers and other brands, using the appropriate hashtags and keywords, reposting and repurposing content on different platforms, and measuring and analyzing the success of your content promotion efforts for adjustments are all key parts of this process.
8. Measure success and make data-driven decisions
Measuring success and making data-driven decisions is crucial to any successful social media content strategy. It’s like a report card — it helps you understand what’s working and what’s not, and allows you to make adjustments and improvements accordingly.
Utilizing analytics tools set up to track your KPIs so you can make data-driven decisions for future content is all part of this process.
Before you add your next set of posts to the social media content calendar, analyze your KPIs by type of post and don’t be afraid to mix things up, re-evaluate results, and continue to make changes.
Common social media content mistakes to avoid
- Not having a clear content strategy. Establishing a direction for your strategy maximizes the effectiveness of your posts.
- Not understanding your audience. The more you tailor your social media content to the needs of your audience, the more effective it will be.
- Not being consistent. Post regularly so your followers know what to expect, and so you stay on top of the social media algorithms.
- Not using visuals. Images, graphics, and videos help your content stand out in followers’ social media feeds and often help present information better than words alone.
- Not measuring and analyzing performance. Learn what’s working and what isn’t so you can make the most of your time and money.
Nine tips to elevate your social media content strategy
1. Bulk create your content
Creating content in batches can save you time and ensure consistency in your messaging and branding. Set aside specific time slots to brainstorm and create content — this way you can focus on the creative process without the pressure of a deadline looming. It also helps you mix up different types of content — images, videos, Q&As, promotions, etc. — to keep things interesting.
2. Prepare and schedule social media posts in advance
By scheduling your social media posts in advance, you can ensure that your content is being published at optimal times and avoid the scramble of trying to come up with something at the last minute.
3. Use automation tools
Utilize tools like Jetpack Social to automate your social media posting and schedule posts in advance.
4. Build personas
Creating personas allows you to gain a deeper understanding of your audience and create content that resonates with them on a personal level.
Instead of seeing your followers as numbers, you can imagine them as friends and community members. This can help you create more empathetic, memorable, and effective posts.
5. Take note of your best-performing social media posts
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! By identifying your best-performing social media posts, you can replicate the approach and format for future content, leading to increased engagement and performance.
6. Use A/B testing
A/B testing allows you to compare different variations of headlines, images, and other aspects of your posts to see which ones resonate best with your audience. By doing so, you can amplify the most effective version for more efficient ad spend. Plus, you’ll have empirical data to inform your future post creation.
7. Use hashtags strategically
Hashtags help increase discoverability and reach. Use them strategically to increase the visibility of your content and reach new audiences. For example, Instagram will provide several uses next to hashtag suggestions as you start to type. This gives you an idea of what people are already searching for. Including branded hashtags that your audience never uses might look cute in the post, but it won’t help anyone discover your content.
Learn more: How to use hashtags on social media.
8. Prioritize engaging content formats
Polls, quizzes, and live streams are particularly engaging because they require participation and allow people to contribute — often anonymously — in real-time and see results.
Videos are still as powerful as ever. Though they’re usually more expensive to produce, they’ve become the go-to for the masses over things like radio and books for a reason. The same goes for social media.
9. Be consistent with your brand’s voice and visual identity
Consistency is like a signature — it increases recognition and trust. You can create a list of phrases and words that your brand should both try to use often or never use at all. You can also create a brand book with example voices or compare your preferred brand voice to well-known characters in pop culture. If there’s more than one person on your team, these things can help your team speak with one consistent tone.
By implementing these tips and utilizing the right tools, such as Jetpack Social, you can make the most of your social media content strategy and achieve your business goals.
Frequently asked questions
What are the benefits of having a clear social media strategy?
A clear social media strategy can help you work with consistency and more effectively boost brand awareness, increase customer engagement, and drive sales.
How can you determine which social media channels to use?
Determining which social media channels to use can be done by researching your target audience’s demographics and platform preferences, as well as identifying which channels align best with your overall business goals.
What makes good social media content?
Good social media content is engaging, visually appealing, relatable, and relevant to your target audience. It should also contribute to your overall business goals and align with your brand’s tone of voice. If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are 23 social media post ideas that will help fuel your content strategy.
Jetpack Social: The #1 social media automation plugin for WordPress
Jetpack Social is a WordPress social media plugin that makes it easy to plan, schedule, and automatically publish your posts. With Jetpack Social, you can write once and post everywhere, saving you time and increasing efficiency.
It’s a simple yet powerful tool that can help you automate your social media content strategy and take your content to the next level. With over one million posts shared every day, Jetpack Social is a tried and tested tool that can help you make the most of your social media efforts.
To learn more about Jetpack Social and start using it today, visit https://jetpack.com/social/
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