Over the last 10 years, social networks have evolved into being a necessity for businesses. Every business you know now has Facebook and Twitter pages, and they are all creating content.
In the rush to get on board, many small businesses have skipped the intent and goal-setting phase and jumped right into creating the actual content.
The result? Diminished effects.
Why are you on social media? If your answer is that you have to be, and you don’t have a predefined intent or goals, it is time to step back and reevaluate your social media presence.
Content is at the core of any successful social strategy, and is usually intertwined with the goals that you wish to achieve on social networks. Here are four critical social media content strategy questions that can help you connect with goals and succeed at social.
Reevaluating Your Social Media Content Strategy
What Content Can I Use to Engage Consumers, Access New Markets and Recruit Top Talent?
You need content that resonates with three key audience groups:
Conversion rates for repeat consumers are anywhere between 60 and 70 percent against 5 to 20 percent for new consumers, according to a CMO report. That means that you can more than double your revenue by engaging existing consumers, and social networks form an integral part of making that happen.
About two thirds of the world’s population is accessible via social networks. If you are looking for new markets to tap to grow your business, these networks can help you.
LinkedIn is known for its efficiency in aiding recruitment, and Facebook recently introduced a Job Posting feature. Many global businesses like Deloitte and Cisco are now seriously recruiting via social and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be.
The content targeted at each of the above mentioned groups is likely to be fundamentally different and unless you are consciously focusing on each, your content won’t prove very effective.
For each of these target groups, you need the following types of content:
- Industry news — so you can help your targets stay updated with the latest,
- Opinion pieces — so you can establish your brand personality and expertise,
- Resources — so you can provide value to your prospects and a taste of your brand experience.
Along with original content created by you, you should ideally curate content from the best sources in your industry for your social media audience.
What Content are my Competitors Using to Achieve Their Goals? What can I Learn from their Social Media Content Strategy?
The best part about the digital world is the transparency. You can easily identify what your competition is doing to acquire consumers, before you waste money and time trying it by yourself.
Several analytics tools feature that functionality as competitive research and bench marking. Alternatively, you can also use Google Alerts to monitor keywords in your industry and see what you can learn from the latest mentions.
Another option is GrowthBot, which lets you directly ask question like “What keywords does XYZ.com rank for?”, and you can then plug into a Google search, find the ranking posts and take cues from them to create your own content.
You shouldn’t restrict yourself to competition, because other companies targeting your audience and top publications in your industry can give you just as great content ideas and inspiration.
For instance, gyms and yoga retreat homes are entirely different businesses, but they target the same audience. They can both create content about organic food and healthy eating.
What Networks are my Colleagues, Partners and Prospects On? Who are They Connected To? What Should They be Saying to Further my Company’s Prospects?
Colleagues and top level executives hold a special power in being active on social networks. They can give off an air of accessibility and make prospect consumers and employees feel connected to your company.
Further, social media users have lost trust in brands and are placing more trust in their immediate social connections, who can be your colleagues, partners and consumers.
If you identify people like that who can represent your business and advocate it on social networks, you will have powerful word-of-mouth outreach that your company can lean on.
An important part of activating these advocates is understanding the content that works when shared by them.
You can create unique URLs, using Google’s URL builder and share them with your advocates. If they convert, you will see the same URLs picked up by Google Analytics or the analytics tool that you are using.
What Software Can I Use to Collect, Organize and Manage my Social Media Content?
According to the social media marketing trends in 2017, more small businesses will invest in marketing automation software and software usage will go mainstream.
There are several tools available to help you manage your social media content online. You need to find tools that can suggest content (to cut down time needed to find great pieces manually), store content online (so you don’t waste time uploading and downloading your files), and schedule them to your social media accounts (so you can manage your content in advance).
Google offers several free resources that let you store content online and share it with teammates and involved parties.
For instance, you can use Google Docs, Sheets and Slides to create blog posts, graphs and infographics and eBooks respectively. You can store images and files using DropBox and share them with your social media managers.
Some social media management tools eliminate the need to visit multiple websites to manage that process.
Before you jump into creating content, it is a good ideas to analyze your intent and goals, and structure your social media marketing plan to achieve desired results.