Do you reinvent the wheel every time you tackle your company’s social media content? Or do you have a well-oiled, reproducible system to feed your social platforms regularly with compelling content that reaches your goals? Here’s how to streamline the process:
Define Your Goals. To quote Yogi Berra, “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.” Goal setting is a critical first step to getting where you want to go.
Develop a clear vision of what you want to accomplish. Do you want to generate leads? Drive traffic to your website? Develop brand awareness? Influence brand advocates? Improve search rankings? Learn what motivates your buyers? Grow your email list? Reduce customer service calls?
There are a lot of reasons to use social media, most of which don’t include making an immediate sale. If you don’t know where you’re trying to go … well, you might not get there.
Categorize Your Content. Next, brainstorm the types of content that might be a natural fit for your company. These might include:
- Links to newsletters, blogs, videos, articles, research reports or podcasts
- Customer testimonials or success stories
- A behind-the-scenes look at your company, from your employees to your fulfillment processes
- A demonstration of your products in use
- A poll on something you’d like feedback on, such as newsletter topics or a product you’re thinking of carrying
- Answers to common customer service questions
- Contests or promotions
By developing editorial “buckets” to fill regularly, content ideas emerge much faster than they would starting with a blank slate.
Develop a Calendar. Once you’ve brainstormed a variety of content ideas, block out an editorial calendar for the upcoming weeks or months.
It can be helpful to focus on a different concept for each day of the week. For instance, Monday might always be a video; Tuesday, a featured customer; Wednesday, a behind-the scenes look at the company; and so forth. The details will depend on your particular circumstance, but filling pre-determined editorial “buckets” makes it easier to develop ideas, and provides your readers with consistency.
Delegate Responsibility. One reason that social media posting often gets short shrift is that no one is responsible. It’s an afterthought the business owner or marketing manager does “whenever there’s a chance” – which is almost never.
Not surprisingly, this approach doesn’t lead to particularly effective results. The good news is, you don’t have to do it all yourself. If it’s too much for any one person to handle, divide it up. Once you have your content “buckets” and editorial plan, delegating becomes infinitely easier. If you can’t do it all in house, farm out some or all of it. (Yes, it’s one of the many services we offer!) Consistent implementation is a necessity for generating results.
Rinse and Repeat. After several months following your social media plan, take a step back and review how it’s working. What’s the most popular type of content? What insights are you gaining into your customers? How do your results measure up against your goals? Objectively assess what’s working and what isn’t, and modify your strategy accordingly.
Social media marketing offers many benefits, but only if you tend it regularly. Develop a plan and a system for doing so, and you can reap the rewards with a minimum investment of time.