As social media has evolved and impacted how consumers discover, interact with, and share information, content is no longer just something on your blog.
In addition to your regular website, you must be willing to use extra channels—social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn—if you want to remain relevant in today's industry.
Nevertheless, a key element of your entire marketing strategy is surely your social media content plan— based on which you have to create content that benefits your target audience.
To discover how to create a bulletproof social media content strategy for your brand, why you need one, and how to evaluate the effectiveness of your plan, continue reading this article.
How to create a top-notch social media content strategy
How to create a social media content strategy in just 6 steps
2.1. Set your social media goals
2.2. Do your research
2.3. Select your target platforms
2.4. Create engaging content
2.5. Schedule your content ahead
2.6. Measure your performance
1. Why do brands need a social media content strategy?
Not only does social media content strategy save you a lot of time, but it also supports your overall efforts and brand objectives.
By following a social media content strategy, a brand can reach their target audience, build brand awareness and reputation, generate leads, and ultimately increase revenue.
1.1 Reaching your target audience
Once you clearly understand your target audience’s needs, you will be able to deliver exactly what it wants to see from you and share content that it can relate to and engage with.
And as long as potential clients identify with your values and like what you're posting, they will be more likely to give your products or services a try.
1.2 Building brand awareness and reputation
Content can attract new customers.
In fact, 1 in 3 consumers use social media to discover new products and brands.
Since social media is widely used for brand-consumer engagement, brands need to build up their online presence to gain greater visibility and establish a name for themselves.
1.3 Generating leads
In today's buyer landscape, marketers have come to rely on content to engage prospective customers.
If you’re a B2B company, building a social media content strategy is crucial for lead generation.
Marketers and brands need to be perceived as experts in their field and the quickest way to do so is to become a reliable go-to source for people in your particular area of interest or industry.
But for this to happen, your content needs to inform, inspire, and be sharable.
1.4 Increasing revenue
Investing in providing high-quality and informative information to viewers can unmistakably increase sales.
When you put yourself out there and communicate with potential customers directly through social media channels, you can increase website traffic and the likelihood of potential clients becoming loyal customers in the future.
Social media networks frequently roll out shoppable features that help marketers ease the purchasing experience.
As a result, your social media content strategy should use shoppable content to influence potential customers' purchasing decisions and eventually boost sales.
After learning the benefits of having a social media content strategy for your brand, let's look at how to develop one that will set you apart from the competition.
2. How to create a social media content strategy in just 6 steps?
The days of creating social media profiles and posting random stuff in the hopes of seeing results are long gone.
Today, social media is an integrated aspect of a company's overall marketing plan.
Regardless of how big or small your business is, having an effective content strategy in place is crucial to reaching your target audience.
And while taking the time and resources needed to develop such a complex plan can be overwhelming, we're here to give a helping hand.
Let’s see what it takes to create a successful social media content strategy.
2.1 Set your social media goals
Determining your goals influences how you prioritize your content and prevent wasting your budget on methods that won't bring results.
According to our study on The Life of A Social Media Manager, the primary social media goals of social media managers are increasing brand awareness, growing the brand’s audience, and connecting with the audience.
Depending on the goals you set, you will need to work your social media content strategy around them.
You may use our examples below to identify your own brand goals and decide on what kind of content you want to create.
Remember that it is essential that you align your social media goals with your larger business objectives to achieve the best results for your brand.
2.2 Do your research
To achieve a successful social media content strategy, there are two main things that you’ll need to research first:
Who is your target audience?
The key to success on social media is understanding your audience and what they want to see.
Creating buyer personas is a fantastic way to pinpoint your target audience for social media.
Personas are fictional, detailed profiles of individuals who are part of your target market. You can give information about your audience’s age, location, income, occupation or industry, interests, behaviors, and so on.
The good news is that you can eventually find most of this information in the analytics sections of many social media networks, which will help you identify the right people to address.
If you don’t know where to start, you may want to use our template to sketch out your ideal buyer persona.
Who are your competitors and what are they doing?
Conducting a competitive analysis lets you understand your competitors' identity, strengths, and weaknesses.
If you’d like to have a more visual outlook on your competitors’ best assets, you may use our table below.
Mapping out their features can help you recognize opportunities.
To create a more comprehensive competitive analysis for social media, you may want to try using our following template.
This way, you’ll see exactly where to direct your social media efforts.
If you’d like to know how to calculate the engagement rate for different social media platforms, you can check out our article—where we explain it all.
Alternatively, you can use a free engagement rate calculator to find out how well other brands are performing.
Don’t forget that you may also use social media listening tools to track online brand mentions, identify trends before your competitors, and handle communication crises.
2.3 Select your target platforms
Being on more social media platforms has its obvious advantages.
More visibility increases reach, which increases sales.
The more online platforms your products are available on, the more potential customers you reach, and the more likely they will make a purchase.
However, you don’t necessarily need to be active on all social media platforms simply to check that out.
You only need to be on the platforms that are relevant for your target audience.
This is why it is so important to evaluate your target audience, understand the buyer persona and establish your brand identity.
For example, an auto repair shop most probably won't find its crowd on Instagram.
2.4 Create engaging content
It’s time we get to the fun part—creating top-notch content.
While content creation may seem like a breeze to non-marketers, it can actually get quite overwhelming.
When creating posts, social media managers should aim for quality over quantity.
Brands need to understand that the overall goal of content creation should be to inform, educate, and entertain—without being overly promotional.
If you’ve decided which platforms to leverage as part of your strategy, but lack content ideas, you might want to take a look at the few resources we gathered and get inspired.
Content ideas for different social media platforms:
- 12 Instagram Post Ideas You Should Try in 2022
- Instagram Reels Ideas for Brands Across 10 Different Industries (+Examples)
- Instagram Story Ideas to Engage With Your Audience
- 11 TikTok Content Ideas for All Businesses
- 7 LinkedIn B2B Content Ideas for Social Media Managers and Small Business Owners
- 15 Facebook Post Ideas to Increase Engagement
- 12 Twitter Content Ideas to Engage Followers
- 50 YouTube Video Ideas for Creators To Get Inspired
Even though you don't have to reinvent the wheel, posting the same content across all social media platforms won't help your brand much.
Cross-posting can help social media managers save time and energy.
However, working with already-existing assets and editing them into specific platform-friendly formats is much better.
If you're still unsure why you should adapt your content to each social platform, you might want to check out our article "How will repurposing content help you increase your brand awareness".
Tips for social media content creation
Small businesses particularly are under a lot of pressure to provide engaging social media content.
This is why, when creating content, you should keep these things in mind:
🗓 Be consistent
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get as much engagement as expected. Be consistent with your postings. The more content you share, the more chances you have of getting discovered.
💡Offer additional value
Brands need to offer valuable information. Every post should have a purpose and aim to evoke an emotion in your audience. Your posts must be either educational, motivational, promotional or entertaining.
👋 Show your brand personality
Be flexible and show your viewers what defines you as a brand. This way, your audience will feel more connected to you and more likely to become loyal customers.
2.5 Schedule your content ahead
Before starting any campaigns, you have to decide on how frequently and at what times you will post content to key social media platforms.
SEO Guru Semrush recommends:
The easiest way to monitor your postings and see how your feed will look is to create a social media content calendar and plan ahead.
To make content planning easier, you can use our example of a weekly content calendar.
Marketers may also use scheduling tools to automate publishing to social media platforms from a single dashboard, saving significant time.
Recommended for you:
9 Budget-Friendly Social Media Scheduling Tools for Solopreneurs & Small Businesses
A good social media strategy, however, includes much more than just planning and publishing your content.
Social media management—which includes finding ways to engage the audience and responding to inquiries—should also be a part of your social media content strategy.
2.6 Measure your performance
After accomplishing all these steps, it's time for the last and probably most important one: evaluating your progress.
3. How to know if your social media content strategy is working?
Now that you've created and shared your content, you will need to conduct a social media audit.
Keeping track of your metrics allows you to determine which type of content resonates best with your audience and whether your content is helping you in achieving your social media objectives.
Based on the platform you chose to leverage, you might want to look into what metrics to use and how they can indicate your content strategy's success:
- Most Important 14 Instagram Metrics Marketers Should Be Tracking in 2022
- TikTok Metrics You Should Be Tracking in 2022
- Top 10 LinkedIn Metrics to Track in 2022
- Top 10 Twitter Metrics and How to Measure Them
- Top 11 Most Important Facebook Metrics to Track and Monitor in 2022
- What Are the Most Important YouTube Metrics You Should Include in a Performance Report
3.1 Tools to measure performance
You may measure relevant KPIs using the built-in insights and analytics dashboards each social media platform provides.
Additionally, you might want to try a social media analytics tool that integrates all relevant social metrics and KPIs into a single dashboard.
A third-party tool makes collecting and evaluating data easier and may provide a better performance overview.
Tracking performance depends upon the goals that you set in the first place.
If, for example, you want to boost engagement and verify if your engagement rate meets the social media standard for each platform, you might want to check out the data we gathered in our social media industry benchmarks study.
To help you stay ahead of your competitors, each quarter, we compile some free comprehensive social media benchmarks reports across 16 industries.
If you're interested in knowing if your performance exceeds the industry average, you can check and download our insightful global data here.
3.3 Social media reporting
Once you've gathered all the information, you may use reporting as a tool for retaining clients and proving the value you provide.
Reporting is one of the most important and valuable aspects of social media marketing—and it needs your full attention.
In your report, you can use the data to compare postings, social media marketing campaigns, and marketing tactics.
You may continually reassess your approach towards your social media content strategy by testing new ideas to see what works and doesn't.
If you’re unsure how to keep track of your progress and what to include in your social media report, you might want to check out our article—How to Create Social Media Monthly Reports for Your Clients—first.
Content is the future and the now.
And it all comes down to how you present, advertise, provide, and distribute social media content through the platforms it was designed for.
Marketers who neglect to include a social media content strategy in their approach will fall behind.
More inventive businesses will begin to take market share away from their rivals who don't see the value of constantly advertising high-quality content.
Putting a social media content plan in place will essentially help you stand out from the competition, boost brand awareness, and increase revenue.