If you’re serious about using social media to build your brand, posting random content at whim is not going to cut it. As with traditional marketing, social media marketing requires a strategy. An effective strategy is needed to capture and retain the attention of your target audience. Once you have their attention, anything is possible.
Here’s a brief outline of the planning process:
1. Decide the aim of your social media account
The first thing you need to understand about social media content marketing is that nothing is random, or rather, nothing should be random. Your content should be tactical and created with the intention of achieving a goal.
It is a good idea to write this goal down and share it with your entire team. Think of it as a description of your page. If you had to tell someone what sort of content your page has in a single sentence, what would you say? Is it a place for your audience to get inspired? Is it a platform to showcase your products?
Your goal will act as the foundation for all social media content. Always refer back to it and ask yourself if the proposed content ideas align with it.
2. Create content pillars
Content pillars are the categories in which all your posts can be divided into. They are paths that lead to the same destination (the goal).
Take a look at the content on our Instagram page and you’ll notice that our posts can be divided into two main pillars: work and culture. Every post under these pillars works towards building our image as an agency that does great work and has fun in the process.
3. Determine your execution style
Having a consistent and distinct visual style is important for visual-centric mediums like Instagram. It helps your content stand out and reinforces your branding in the online sphere.
You want to be consistent without being too repetitive. Here’s a tip: identify a design element in your branding – it could be a part of your logo or the interior of your store – and use it as a motif in your posts. Check out how ESORA uses wood, an element heavily-featured in its restaurant, as part of the backdrop for its Instagram posts.
Longchamp uses its iconic bold black-and-white typography to introduce visual consistency.
4. Plot social media calendar
A social media calendar is the monthly publication schedule for individual posts. This calendar will indicate when to publish and what to publish.
Be tactical in your scheduling. Posts should be timely and coincide with any notable events. Let’s say there’s a popular movie coming out and you want to promote merchandise featuring its characters, you should time your posts to coincide with the hype. In other words, ride the wave.
5. Improve your content
Always return to your published posts to see how they’ve fared in terms of audience engagement. Take a look at your best and worst performing posts to gain insights into what sort of content your audience likes. Use these insights to improve future content and boost engagement.
A social media content strategy is a must to maximise the benefits of the medium for your brand. Businesses have to be prepared to commit for the long haul. It’s not about immediate results but gaining the trust of customers and turning casual buyers into loyal fans.