Creating content for all your social media platforms can be a daunting task. If you’ve been creating and posting content regularly, you might feel like you’ve already used all your good content ideas.
You don’t want to repeat yourself. You don’t want to bore your audience. But posting regularly is the key to a successful social media strategy, right?
You know that you have to post something. But the question is, what?
It can all feel a little overwhelming, especially if you’re a one-person content team, and if you’re creating ad-hoc content when inspiration strikes, it probably is overwhelming.
The trick is building a system that helps you reliably produce content that makes sense for your brand and resonates with your audience.
What’s Your Value?
In his book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, Gary Vaynerchuck boils down the core problem of using social media to market your business.
He says, “[m]arketers are on social media to sell stuff. Consumers, however, are not. They are there for value.” Put another way, even if they like your brand and your products, people don’t want to be sold to.
You have to balance your goal — selling stuff — with your audience’s craving for more and more valuable, entertaining social media content.
So you have to ask yourself: “What value am I offering my followers — besides trying to sell them something?”
Here are a few questions that can help crystalize your value:
- Who are my followers? Demographics are a good starting point, but go beyond that. What topics are they interested in? What other brands or products do they purchase? When do they use social media? How do they use social media? Why do they use social media? Who else do they follow?
- What content works for my audience? Take a look at your publishing history. What were your top five highest-performing pieces of content? Why do you think they resonated? Be sure to consider not just the topic of the content but also the format. You should also look at your competitors’ content and ask the same questions.
- What content didn’t work? The other side of the coin: What didn’t work? Again, look at your publishing history and find the five least engaging pieces of content you’ve posted. This part can be difficult, but be honest with yourself about why they didn’t resonate. Do the same thing with your competitors’ content — what didn’t work for them? Why?
- Has my engagement changed over time? Looking back, do you notice any engagement trends? Are there patterns in your content that might explain the trend?
- Am I using the right channels? It’s easy to default to Facebook and Instagram because they’re so large, but is that where your core audience is? More importantly, is that where your core audience reads about and discusses topics or themes related to your business? The point is to spend time creating content that’s built for digital environments that already facilitate engagement with your audience. Meet your audience where they are — don’t try to recreate it.
Understanding what value you offer is the key to building out a detailed social media content strategy that’s full of engaging pieces of content that your audience can’t resist.
Establishing Your Pillars
When we build content strategies with our clients, we focus on establishing content pillars that emphasize their expertise and offer something to their audience. These pillars — usually four or five — might include your business, education, current events in your industry, and lifestyle.
Here are a few examples of what content pillars look like and how to incorporate them into your social media content strategy.
Your first priority is to talk about your business, but as we mentioned earlier, it’s important to talk about your business in a way that resonates with your audience and gives them value. You have to talk about more than just your products or services.
People want to know about the people behind your brand, what your brand is doing in the community, and if your brand is making news.
Education and Current Events
This category is to show the audience your expertise within your industry. You have so much knowledge about your industry and the problems you solve every day, why wouldn’t you share these willingly with your customers?
Content continues to be king and the more value you bring your customer, the more trust and respect you will gain from your followers and customer base. And guess what? That will help generate revenue!
This segment is on a case-by-case basis, but every brand should have a human element to its content strategy. Depending on your brand and your voice, this segment of content is focused on driving engagement.
There could be a comedy component, a compassionate component, or the “feel-good content” humans bringing out their best versions of themselves.
Diversifying your social messaging strategy with these pillars of content break down the complexities of finding out what you should write about and gives your audience a variety of content to enjoy.
Contact us if you’d like to learn more about how we build a social media content strategy to complement your business and take the stress out of deciding what and when to post.