Most businesses these days are ‘on’ Social Media. Some post regularly, some don’t know what they’re doing and others don’t have time or have simply forgotten they have accounts in the first place. Sometimes it can take a while to fully include Social Media in your Business and Marketing Plan as it can be quite overwhelming. Each platform has different formats, character limits and audiences to take into consideration and then there’s the actual content creation to go with it.
Like most things in business and life for that matter, the best Social Media results come from being consistent and organised which means lots of planning. This is why the need for a Social Media Content Plan is so strong, no matter how proficient you already are in your Social Media efforts.
Follow the 5 easy steps below and be on your way to creating a Social Media Content Plan designed to keep Social Media at the forefront of your Marketing activity without taking up too much of your time day by day.
Let’s start with a little creative brainstorm.
Whether it’s big brands or competitors, what sort of content sticks in your mind from other companies? ‘Innocent’ is an interesting brand to look at for this as you’ll rarely see them promoting their actual products. Most of their Social Media Content is just them chatting about the weather or what’s on TV. This keeps their followers engaged and communicating with them because they’re not pushing for sales. Of course, this is a delicate balance to master!
Next, think about how you’d like to see your brand, products or services advertised. Dream big and get creative if you can. Think about how you can get your key selling points across in a fun and Social Media friendly way. Are you going to do a Video, or perhaps some GIFs? How about an Infographic or Blog Posts. How about all of the above…
Turn Your Vision into Reality
It’s time to create that content.
How are you going to create your Social Media Content Plan? It’s best to decide early on where you’re going to map out and keep your copy, links, hashtags and creative in one place so it’s easily accessible for yourself or your team. This may be an online Content Calendar or simply an Excel Doc. Google Sheets is fantastic if you have several people using the plan.
Is your content going to differ from platform to platform? Because it should. You’ll need to identify key hashtags for Twitter and Instagram but not so much for Facebook. You aren’t going to be able to utilise links on Instagram as they won’t be clickable so are you going to update the link in your bio for each new post or perhaps tweak your call to action to direct people to your website / Facebook Page where the full post plus link is also going to be published.
Considering Tweets have an average lifespan of roughly 18 minutes, the shortest of all Social Media Platforms, it’s worth creating two or three Tweets from one piece of content where possible. This way you can schedule them to go out every other day or so and be sure to reach a bigger audience.
Now for the time-saving bit!
To make the most of your Social Media Content Plan, you need to ensure your content is going out when and where it should be. A Social Media Scheduling tool would be best for this. That way you can carry on with your day to day and still be drip-feeding content across your platforms.
However, remember to stay relevant online too. If there’s some #BreakingNews or something interesting that you want to share ad-hoc then make sure you do. It’s also a good idea to then go back to your Social Media Content Plan and add in what you’ve posted as a reminder.
Measure and Report
Is it working? Regular content is all well and good but you need to know if it’s working for your business. Are your followers sticking around to engage and is your reach growing? Perhaps some pieces of content have worked better than others – why do you think this is?
There are so many questions to ask and results to analyse so try choosing a couple to start with for each platform every month to gauge your success over time. Possibly: Number of Followers, Reach and Engagement. If you’re using links to your website in your posts (make sure these are trackable on Google Analytics) then how many link clicks are you getting each month and what is your Google Analytics data saying about it?
It’s important to remember that something may work once or twice and then not get as many results another time. This isn’t to say don’t try it again, but maybe it’s time to mix up the content calendar and try something new.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat!
How will you keep this Social Media Content ball rolling? Keep planning, scheduling and tweaking as you learn from your results. Repeat the brainstorm every now and then, discuss with your team, friends or family to get fresh eyes and ideas. Take risks (to an extent) with puns or videos, be sure to have fun with it but always come back to measuring your results to ensure you’re on the right track!