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If you already have a social media presence and have not been getting the reach and interest you were hoping for, then you may need to invest in creating better content. Social media has the power to turn your business into a much loved and followed household name. Having an excellent and well informed social media strategy can really help you make an impact. Unfortunately, you cannot have this kind of impact if you simply post random messages two or three times a day. It needs to be a lot more thoughtful than that., If you want to stand out from the crowd and get noticed, you need to have an overarching plan that each post fits into. You need a narrative, and you have to identify key goals and objectives and then develop high-quality posts that align with this vision. Then you need to ensure that you distribute the content over the different platforms correctly. Once that is all said and done, you can then check how the contingent is working against your set of KPIs (key performance indicators), which allows you to measure your results effectively and adjust your strategy over time.

What are your Goals and Objectives

There are many reasons you will be creating content; perhaps it’s about developing a larger reach, gaining more followers, or wanting more traffic to the website and ultimately more leads and sales. However, if you do not have clear objectives in mind, you are unable to measure the success of a particular post. So, you need to develop some clear goals which relate to a long-term strategy. Think about having your goals align with the SMART philosophy: they must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Once you know why you are doing something, it makes it easier to create targeted content.

To do this, it helps if you have clear brand values, as you can draw on these as well as researching more about your overall market. If you don’t already have clear branding, then you need to put some thought into this. Branding is about your company philosophy and includes things such as core values, your company ethos, and even company culture. If branding is not something you have already considered, maybe you need to start there before using social media.  

However, once you have created your marketing goals, you need your social media content to align with those goals in order to achieve them. The more specific and focused your goals, the better you will fare. If you want more sales, for example, then you want people to be directed to your online shop. The more hits your shop receives, the more the post is doing what it was intended to do.  

Planning your Content

If you already use social media, you should look to conduct a social media audit of your previous posts. Discover what posts work and what don’t for each platform. If you have any analytics data, then this is the time to delve into the results. Perhaps you even have something like Sprout Social, a social media management platform that can build reports for you. However you are doing it, whether you are using each platform in-build insights, you need to discover what seems to connect with your audience and what doesn’t and which one seems to be somewhat achieving your set goals. Think about language, tone, images, etc. All of it will be having an impact.

Another way to help you plan content is to monitor the competition. You can conduct a competitive analysis and discover what’s working and what’s not for them. You will also be able to see the kind of engagement they are receiving. Picking up tips and tricks from your competitors is a great way to help develop your content. It may even help if you look at social media from all sorts of other companies just to get a feel of the types of content they are posting. Think about how they relate to the brand, think key messages, emotive content, images, gifs, videos. Can you see a progression in their content? Is there an overarching narrative or theme that all the posts cling to? Paying attention to some of your favorite and most popular brands will help you stay on-trend.

You should also develop a social media content calendar. This will enable you to post to each specific platform in a timely manner. It should also contain a plan for your content mix. As a general rule of thumb, think 80% to 20%. Use 80% of your content to connect with your audience by informing, educating, and entertaining them. The other 20% should be used to sell products and promote your brand. 

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Choose the Right Channels

There are so many platforms these days. We have Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, Pinterest, Twitter, etc., and deciding which is best for you may be difficult. Indeed if you can manage it, a profile on the sites may be in your best interests. Take a look at some demographics of social media users, and the results may surprise you. Adults over 65 are now Facebook’s fastest-growing user base, and TikTok may be great for GenZ. While babyBoomers seem to use Pinterest and Facebook a lot. It may be best to do a little research and investigation into this aspect to discover what seems the most valuable to you. You can always experiment and see what the results are. Marketing is all about experimentation figuring out what works and what doesn’t. So be creative and test the waters.

Create High-Quality Content

Content can be in many forms written, blogs, images, video, live video, infographics, testimonials, etc. As part of your plan, you will already know when you want to post these different formats, but how do you create them. 

When it comes to the written format, the best platforms are Facebook and LinkedIn, as you have the capability to write more content than the other sites. You have the ability to post the entire piece, or a snippet that links back to your website. This can be especially good if you want a lot of traffic to your site. A snippet also works well on Twitter, where you are limited to characters. This will harness your power of being succinct and to the point. Perhaps content in the written form needs to address a question people are interested in, as most people do not have long attention spans, so it needs to be hard-hitting fast.  

Images have the power to increase customer engagement. After all, a good image tells 1000 words. Remember, you need to be very selective and use clever imagery to endear people to your brand. If you choose Instagram, you are up against a lot of competition. You may be better off using professional images, which have been rendered and sharpened, for example. You want to stand out. You also want the image to tell a story about your company, your brand, your ethics. Maybe a photo op at a local event is a good choice.

Videos are another way to engage customers. You can make them as short or as long as you wish. They can be live to give that added element of being welcomed into the fold. You can even answer questions live as you speak. Creating some animation using an Animation Studio could be a very creative way to explain your brand story or divulge some ethical issue you are interested in and involved in solving. 

There are a range of options available, and by conducting the right research and learning through using metrics and KPI’s you will be able to improve and develop as time goes on.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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