Developing a social media content plan may look easy to a layperson. On the outside, one may think of it as planning how to post content on Facebook or Twitter. It is no wonder businesses that do not understand social media want to pay little or batter trade for social media/influencer service, yet there is more to developing a social content strategy than it meets the eye.
What is a social media content plan/strategy?
A social media content plan is the steps businesses take to optimize their social media profiles to realize its full potential. From followers, competitors, analytics, content, the audience, A/B tests, and resources.
Factors to consider if you need to develop a successful social media content strategy.
1. Approach content strategically, even on limited resources
Merely publishing content on social media won’t do you justice: but being sensible with the content and social media channels you use. Your success will depend on creating content that fits with your business goals and resources at your disposal before making a step into social media. Also, remember that adopting/relying on every social media channel is not a recipe for social media success.
2. Dig the past to find what worked well and which content you should add to your social channels
Testing is the most integral part of social media management, especially when starting. It helps you find which content works and which don’t.
For example, if in the past quotes worked best for your audience, you can always revise and bring it back if you had changed your content strategy.
3. Engage in social auditing and monitoring.
As noted earlier, social auditing and social monitoring involve listening to what online users say about your brand online. It also involves finding what people say of competitors. To succeed at social auditing or monitoring, look into:
- Your social networks especially those that your brand performs better. Monitor your audience activity in these places to find what works with the audience.
- Content types. Here, you look at which content resonate with your audience. Find if your audience is more align to videos, images, or texts.
- ROI brought by campaigns. If you did a campaign, you could engage in social auditing and monitoring to find if it bore fruits and determine if the set goals are generating any results. You can collect this data in some spreadsheet form for future reference. Additionally, you can gather data from social media dashboard/analytics or SW tools.
Here is a list of social monitoring and auditing tools to use
a). Brandwatch-Crimson Hexagon
This tool offers three distinct services for social media monitoring: Audience, Vizia, and Analytics. The analytics software collects and stores information providing companies with data and means to specific information and analyzing their presence online.
Provides social media products that help brands priorities social media interaction and connection with the audience. HubSpot products help in building and sharing content, making campaigns, monitor interactions, compare performance and keeping records of your leads visit.
Netbase analytics software is not only for social analytics but also for protecting your brand, boosting campaign performance, and improve crisis management. With Netbase, you will find deep consumer insights in real time, scale operations at your convenience, and receive expert insights that will help you gather in-deep customer experience data.
d). Agora Pulse
Agora Pulse comes connected with all social media networks enabling teams, businesses, and agencies harness social media and content naturally while keeping a tab on what the audience does on your social networks.
Cision is mainly for PR communicators giving them the power to distribute meaningful content, find influencers, and measure impact. Cision AI allows you to perform analytics, monitoring, watch customer behavior, and discover the right influencers.
f). Sysomos now Meltwater insights
Sysomos comes full of powerful standalone apps designed to make one’s job easier. It provides insights to brand marketers that generate results by turning social data into actionable insights.
g). Simply Measured
For data-driven social media managers, Simply Measured brings robust analytics through storytelling. It allows managers to measure, learn, inform, and optimize data solutions providing advanced listening and monitoring, analytics, and management of your social conversations, connections, and campaigns.
Note: As you conduct your social media auditing and monitoring campaigns, ensure you have information on:
- Demographics. Which groups resonate well with your content and why.
- Engagement statistics such as likes, comments, share, and others.
- Publishing metrics like when is the best time to publish that your audience will be available to connect.
- Traffic origins whether referrals or direct and the browsers or gadgets your sources use.
- Tweets if you find the most success on Twitter
- Top performing post and the least performing content and how they impact your audience.
4. Identify which content performs best to your audience
Unlike before when more was better than less on social channels, users are becoming more definite on what they chose on social media. To find which content performs best on your social channels, dig deeper into the past: or do an audit to see which content receives the most engagement, likes, and shares.
Look into the top performing post in your social channels which can be videos, gif, educational, or promotional content to add into your content plan. The key is determining what to do while experimenting for the future.
5. Revisit your goals
As a business, you are on social media for a reason. It may be to drive sales, increase traffic to a blog/website or to grow your audience. If you have zero goals for being on social media, then social media won’t work for you.
Audit your performance, benchmark and come with strategic goals for using these platforms.
6. Develop the buyer persona
Here, find who your buyers are and how they use social media: what interests them, why are they on social channels, what are they talking about, and how are you connecting and engaging with them. Having a clear picture of your buyer persona, plus goals will help you develop social media campaigns and content that will lead to effective use of social media.
7. Watch your competitors and how they are using social media
There are many ways to watch for competitor activity. One way is to conduct competitor analysis or benchmarking for the competitor’s website and social media accounts. It can also involve auditing:
- How many followers competitors have.
- How engaged are their followers?
- Which of their content performs best?
- How is their content?
Watching competitors will help you fill gaps and add what is missing in your social content strategy.
8. Consider your resources
Here, you analyze the structures in place for producing content and who handles content production. Is there a team managing social media content, copy, images, gif, or video? Do you outsource these services or can your team support the organizations content production and marketing process?
Analyze the size of your team. Is it a one man’s show or do you have a dedicated team to look into your social media operations? Think about the resources they have for work and how you can prioritize content for different social media platforms especially those that work in your brand’s favor. Audit your channels and content to find which performs best for your audience and priorities your team for them.
10. Conduct a split test
Other than auditing and monitoring, benchmarking, and competitive analysis, test your content and social media channels. In that content plan, play around testing different content types to find which tickle with your audience.
11. Build a social media calendar
It is easy to implement the above strategies as they are, but social media cannot work without a proper content calendar such that once you have understood what works, you can come with a plan of how to engage the audience and what content you will produce each week or month. Another advantage with a content calendar is that it helps you develop rules and guidelines after conducting audits on how to create content for an online audience.
12. Be creative with your social content
As social media platforms become crowded each passing day; stand out with creativity and having the buyer in mind. These two factors together with quality content are what will make you overcome the biggest challenge today on social media – getting ahead over all that noise!
Building a strategic content plan can take a lot of resources and time planning for each social channel. But having the buyer persona in mind, doing competitive research on what’s working and experimenting will lead to your social media activities paying off.