It is likely you have learned that engagement on social media can greatly help your business online. So what kind of strategy have you developed to harness this audience? If the answer to this question leaves you scratching your head, it’s time to learn how to develop a social media content strategy. A content strategy is your businesses approach to connecting, engaging and identifying with your ideal customer or client. The good news is that a social media content strategy will likely overlap with other demographic research that you have already done. The bad news is that the Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts you set up because you feared being left behind are meaningless if you are not engaging.
Fundamentals of Your Social Media Content Strategy
Let’s outline what steps you need to take to get your content strategy directed at your desired audience. The below three points are the fundamental steps you need to take to put this into action.
- Know what your customers want to talk about
- Know where your customers can be reached
- Measure the results of your conversations
What Do your Customers Want to Talk About?
You might be able to guess what your customers want to talk about or select topics of conversation based on what it is your company wants to sell or promote. However, there are empirical ways to determine what people are already talking about based on the language they are using. Using keyword research tools you can learn the words and phrases that people are actually using and have insight into the frequency of their use. Google AdWords has a free keyword tool but there are paid keyword tools that provide additional insight especially when it comes to more localized data. SEO Cockpit is a good paid tool if you want to dive deep.
The above example of shoelaces indicates that other variations on shoelaces may also be good topics for your content strategy. You can extrapolate that ‘colored laces’ might be a good topic for your next blog or social media area of conversation.
Where do Your Customers Interact?
Your shoelace company may have determined that having a social media presence on the all main sites is a good idea. While this may be true for many companies it will not be true for all of them. If you are in the beginning stages of developing a social media content strategy, start with one or two platforms rather than many. Remember, it’s better to be great in a couple of areas rather than to be mediocre in many.
Determining where your audience hangs out depends on their demographics. So a good start to finding out this information would be to do some research on demographic data. Your marketing department may already have a good stronghold on this information or you can ask nicely and we can do the legwork for you. Check out this infographic on social media demographics we found just for you. It will help you determine where people are hanging out by considering income level, education, gender, age, and gives a nice little blurb from each of the companies. You’re welcome, now you don’t have to put the effort into walking down to the marketing department.
For some other information on determining where people are hanging out, check out our blog on Why and How Your Business Needs to Listen Online.
Measuring the Impact of Your Conversations
A good indication of determining how well your conversations are going is to measure the impact. This does not have to be a complex study. We promise it will be easier than that awesome science project you made in the third grade. For starters, you need to have a baseline of where to measure your data. For sites like Facebook or Twitter, write down how many followers you have before you start each month. At the end of the month see if these numbers have gone up. Also, see if your comments are being liked, shared, commented on, retweeted, or otherwise interacted with. If they are, good on ya’! If they are not, learn from your gains and losses. Engagement is key to success so this also means interacting with comments and your fans and followers.
The sheer number of followers you have is just one indication if you are making progress. You should also look to your analytics to see if you are getting traffic to your website. If you are providing links in your social media posts (and you should be), then look at your website traffic to see which of the sites are providing you the most visits. Google Analytics is a free tool that can provide this data. Login and go to the section called “Traffic Sources,” then “Sources,” then “All Traffic.”
Your content strategy should be a clear indication of the image and goals of your company. Make sure that you are targeting the right types of conversations with language your customers actually use. Secondly, use your demographic data to determine where your customers are hanging out and get engaged in these networks. Finally, measure your impact against your goals and see if your engagement has increased. Be patient, this will not happen overnight but done correctly can greatly enhance your impact on your social networks.
Thanks for reading,