Using social media is a way to keep your customers engaged with your brand. Your biggest followers would regularly like to see what you’re up to, and what you’ve got in store for them. While it sounds like fun to go on social media every once in a while, any social media marketing company knows creating content and maintaining your social presence can be tough. To ensure your brand’s marketing thrives on social media, you’ll need to employ a content plan.
Lucky for us, social media is a relatively new and constantly changing medium, which means there are a lot of strategies to test for content marketing. There’s no blueprint for what works well all the time, but there are strategies that have proven to be effective the more they are optimized.
It all starts with an objective. When you’ve got a specific goal, you’ll be able to formulate your actions based on what you want to achieve. Let’s say your goal is to gain new followers for your brand as you keep your current followers updated on what you’ve been up to. Your content plan should be built around the idea that you want to reach new audiences while promoting your brand.
Formulating your content plan objective
Whether it’s driving ROI and sales, generating prospective clients or customers, or establishing brand loyalty, your goal is the driving force of your content plan. This objective can be further specified per social media platform like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, or any other channel (which I’ll delve into more later).
Your social media goals should be as detailed as possible. If your brand is on Instagram, you could set goals like “by December, our account should have gained 400 new followers” or “our target number of likes for the posts this month is 350.” But don’t aim too high! Keep your goals at an attainable level.
Additionally, your goals on social media should be in line with your actual business goals. If you’re looking to increase brand awareness or brand loyalty, your social media accounts should help you achieve those aims as well. There’s only one direction you should be looking at, so be consistent with your aims.
Specifying which platforms your brand will be on
Once you’ve figured out what your goals will be, the next thing to take note of is which social media platforms to be present on. Every platform functions differently. For example, the content you plan on posting may be appropriate on Facebook but not YouTube.
Similarly, just because there are many available social platforms, being on all of them won’t necessarily increase your brand’s exposure. It’s all a matter of knowing on which channels are appropriate for your brand. So you can create a longform post about office productivity on LinkedIn, but longform might not be the most appropriate content on Facebook.
There’s no limit to how many platforms you can be on either. You can be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube if it suits your brand and the content you post is appropriate on the platform. So your brand can post a video on Instagram that’s shorter than ten seconds, while your videos on YouTube can last up to ten minutes. It’s all about knowing how the audiences on each platform behave, as well as how you can create appropriate content for each platform.
Seeing how your competition is performing on social media
Your competitors are likely on social media as well, and seeing their performance is as vital as knowing your social media goals. Take note of your contenders’ content—photos, videos, or status updates they post, how often they post, how many followers they have per social media platform, and what social media channels they’re on, and how many people engage with their content including likes, comments, and shares.
Once you have all this information, brainstorm methods of creating content that’s more relevant and captivating than your competitors. Think about how often you should post compared to your contenders, and how consistently you should post.
Creating compelling content
This is always easier said than done. There’s a lot of thought put into creating content, but letting your creativity fly. At the end of the day, what matters is finding what works well for your target audience. Create different kinds of content—photos, videos, GIFs, text posts, and so on.
Make your content open-ended. Instead of constantly promoting your products or services, let your audiences engage with your content. Ask them for feedback or throw in a question—people love to share their insights.
Post content as often as possible. The more you post, the more your brand gains exposure on social media. This particular process emphasizes why planning your content ahead is essential. Some businesses can’t keep up with the demands of posting frequently on social media because they don’t have a content plan and post everything manually, which brings us to…
Scheduling your content
What content plan would be complete without specific dates and times of their intended postings? You can create an Excel sheet for your content, including the date and time of each post.
The great thing about this is you don’t have to do anything manually. There are many tools available to help you schedule your content that’s easy to use and can save you time for more important matter. Some examples include Tailwind for Pinterest, Tweetdeck for Twitter, Later for Instagram, and Hootsuite for Facebook and Instagram.
Social media is a real-time niche. So if you’re not servicing your followers today, you’ve got plenty of competition that’s ready to take your place. Posting original and compelling content often should become second nature for your brand. The more frequently you promote your content, the more exposure your brand gets online.
Don’t worry about overwhelming your audiences. At the end of the day, it’s about having the right followers and not a lot of followers. The right audiences will be thrilled to see your posts.
Lastly, planning, creating, and scheduling your content ahead can make it easier for your brand to maintain an online presence and consistency. It’s a challenging job, but you don’t have to go through the processes alone. There are many social media optimization services ready to assist your business’ content marketing.
Jessica Madrazo is the Operations Director of Coffeebot, a digital marketing agency that offers SEO services, social media marketing, lead generation, affordable web design and other general virtual assistant services. She has been in the outsourcing industry for years, and has helped small businesses from different parts of the globe reach their goals.