Tips for Developing an Effective Social Media Content Strategy
Social media is an integral part of any brand strategy. With 4.62 billion people using social media, brands that create and share content on these platforms have a better chance of cashing in and reaping the benefits.
There are many reasons to make the most of social media platforms. Not only do they help you curate a strong organic online presence, but effectively using social media helps you to nurture community and conversation around your brand.
Ecommerce marketers know that the old saying “content is king” still serves as the faultline running beneath all effective marketing strategies. Content is how you tell your story, share your vision, stand out from the competition, and provide space to educate, entertain, connect, and ultimately convert.
Social media can also be the perfect place to share, as even if you have the world’s best content, it means nothing without a platform that invites engagement. Here’s how to develop a great social media content strategy that hits the target.
Know your goals
An effective social media content strategy starts with knowing your goals. Without having an actionable plan of what you want to achieve from your content strategy, you run the risk of just throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks.
When you have a set of specific goals in mind, you can align your content to achieve exactly what you want. Here are some goals you could be looking for when building your content strategy:
- Building brand awareness
- Getting more reach for your business
- Encouraging engagement with your community
- Driving website traffic
- Growth in conversions and sales
Many of these goals will cross over and support each other. For example, all of the above steps are aligned with the overall goal of boosting sales for your ecommerce company.
Know your audience
Along with knowing your goals, you also want to foster a deeper understanding of your target audience. Familiarity with your audience is essential when it comes to curating a marketing strategy as it always helps to know who you are talking to so that you can create content that connects.
Designing buyer profiles, checking your demographics on Google Analytics, and knowing your customers online behavior patterns can all help you to create a plan. For example, it helps to know when your audience is more likely to be online, so you know the best times to post.
Know your content
If you’ve posted on social media in the past, you can conduct an audit of your platforms to see which content has been working the best. This will help you with the planning phase moving forward as you won’t be wasting time and valuable resources creating content that no one cares about.
You can tally up the engagement, likes, shares, comments, etc., for a range of posts and see if you spot patterns emerging. Maybe your target audience prefers video to text, or perhaps they like humor as opposed to heartfelt. Do they engage more with longer posts or short ones? This also gives you the chance to audit your content and check that you have been creating a consistent thread for your audience to follow.
Create a coherent calendar (and stick to it)
Putting together a social media calendar can be time-consuming, but it does save you time in the long run. Mapping out your content a month or two in advance means that you visualize and organize your posts in a helpful manner. This way you will be able to see where the gaps are, whether your content types are unbalanced, and whether you’re posting too much on one platform rather than another.
It also gives you the chance to get ahead of the curve and have your content readied in advance. This prevents late or sloppy content, inconsistent posting, and means you can automate your posts where necessary.
Use a solid mix of content styles
It’s worth remembering that you don’t have to start from scratch when it comes to content creation. You may already be sitting on a gold mine of content that you can repurpose and reshare.
The important thing when building your ecommerce content strategy is to ensure you have a good balance of content. There are many different kinds of content, but most will fit into one of the following four categories:
- Educational – showcasing the why behind your product or service
- Promotional – sharing offers and call to action content
- Inspirational – showcasing your brand personality
- Entertaining – sharing relevant content that encourages engagement
A great content strategy will offer a well-balanced selection of the above types of content. But whether fun and entertaining or serious and educational, all your content should carry a thread of your brand voice so as not to confuse customers.
There are many avenues you can take with your content, here are some popular kinds of brand content that can be shared on social media:
- Blog posts
- Articles (third party and inhouse)
- Video stories
- Testimonials and reviews
- News and updates
- Memes and gifs
- Product information
- Offers and special events
Share on the right platforms
Once you have your content calendar and a good amount of content created, you can then start to share and distribute it on your social media sites. Certain social media sites are better aligned with certain content, and so it also helps to understand which kind of content is fitted to which platform.
For example, Instagram is great for inspirational content, images, stories, etc. LinkedIn is better for more educational content, and Facebook and Twitter can be good for encouraging conversation.
You can cross-share content across several platforms, too – just make sure to tweak the language and presentation for each. Use hashtags with Twitter, activate sharing buttons, and create compelling captions.
Knowing how much content to share and how often to update is another important element. You don’t want to be so sparse that people forget about you, but oversaturating can also lead to less engagement. Once a day or five times a week is considered to be a good measure.
Measure and tweak consistently
An effective social media content strategy is an ongoing project. By measuring your progress and tracking engagement results, you can see which content is working and which is falling flat.
This will help you in fine-tuning your social media content plan moving forward. Knowing which metrics to look for can put you on the path to social media success. You should analyze the reach of your content (how much it was seen and how far it reached). You should also measure how much engagement it inspired (likes, comments, clicks, shares). Finally, you can follow which content led to return on investment and higher engagements.
If you need help mapping out a great social strategy, reach out to our team.