How’s your social media content looking? Is it a random mix of this and that or is it focused, aimed at the interests of your target audience and created with your overall business aims and objectives in mind?
For the purpose of this article, I’m going to assume it’s the first option above. But the problem with this approach is that, not only is it extremely time consuming to create content as and when, with no real strategy behind it, but this lack of cohesion will be obvious to your audience.
The danger with this approach is that, when faced with having to create a week’s worth of social media content from scratch and not having a clue what that content actually looks like, you’re more likely to not post at all.
But, if this sounds all too familiar, don’t worry. We’re going to give you 10 easy steps to creating great social media content, aligned to your business objectives, in a fraction of the time. Here goes…
1. Why plan your social media content in advance?
If you know what to post, you’re more likely to keep on track. We all know that consistency is key in social media, so by planning ahead, you’ll know not only what to post, but also when to post.
2. How to plan social media content.
It’s far easier to create content if you know what you want to promote. The easiest way of doing this is to, quite simply, take a sheet of paper, divide it into three columns, representing three months and to write down any events happening around your business. Do you have a product or new service launch? Are you hosting a workshop? Speaking at an event? Attending an expo? Whatever you have planned, note that down in the corresponding month’s column. From there, you should be able to create some themes based around these topics. We recommend concentrating on three months at a time, but if this is too much, focus on a month.
3. Be strategic.
Everything you create should be with your end goals in mind. If you’re planning an event, then your goal is going to be selling more tickets. If you’re launching a product, you’ll be aiming to increase awareness and therefore sales. If you’re attending an event, by tagging exhibitors, speakers and other better-known attendees, you can “piggy-back” off their probably much-larger audiences, as well as make some useful connections. Make sure that whatever social media content you create is aligned to that month’s goals.
4. Be aware of holidays.
Use high days and holidays to your advantage. Perhaps offer a #smallbusinesssaturday discount or special #BlackFriday offer. Make sure to create content around these promotions. Of course, there are also a load of weird and wonderful awareness days throughout the year, so don’t feel you have to stick to the well-known events.
5. Don’t be too sales-y.
Where social media content is concerned, it’s always best practice to stick to the 80:20 rule where 80% of your content is lifestyle, inspirational, humour or educational. The remaining 20% ONLY should be promotional and although you obviously want to promote your products or services, do this in a non-sales-y manner. Rather than giving your audience the hard sell, tell them a story about how you or someone else discovered your product, how it has improved your/their life. Concentrate on the benefits but do it in a relatable fashion. Above all, make sure that all your social media content represents some value for your audience.
6. Be consistent
You need to be posting consistently to achieve success. There is no shortcut. Try and post at least once per day to Facebook and Instagram and four or five tweets to Twitter. You also need to be around to engage with your audience after your content has posted. There’s no such thing as post and run! Show your audience you value them by sticking around to answer any comments or questions.
7. Use a social media content calendar
It’s a lot easier to create content if you have a repository to keep it organized. This doesn’t have to be fancy; a notebook will do. If you would like a content calendar, created for you and fully-customisable, then why not check out our Smashing Social Media 365 pack? This 12-month fully editable calendar comes with daily prompts to help you create great content, as well as a ton of ready to use graphics. You can download your copy here.
8. Know your audience
It’s important before you start creating social media content that you know who your ideal audience is. By understanding who you’re trying to attract, you’ll be able to both source and create content aimed at their wider interests and, in so doing, you’ll keep your content fresh and your audience coming back for more.
9. Look at your competitors.
It’s always worth keeping an eye on your competition and seeing what they do well and, conversely, those areas where they are weak. This can not only give you a competitive edge but provide you with content ideas. Don’t be tempted to copy them; always put your spin on it and make sure to add your won value proposition.
10. Use content creation tools.
Of course, not all content needs to be original and created by you. There are curation tools a-plenty out there to help you source content within your target audience’s areas of interest. Feedly and drumup both have free plans and will provide easy access to articles within any subject area for you to repost into your social media.
So, there you have it; our top 10 steps to strategic, easy (and what’s more speedy) social media content creation. In summary, keep your audience in mind, always offer value and plan in advance. Remember, if you would like any support with your social media, either through content creation, social media management or training, contact us. We’re happy to help.