Social Media with a Purpose: Our Guide to Content Creation
Coming up with great content for your social media accounts can be overwhelming. This is especially true for those who find it tedious or aren’t sure what types of content to share. Even people who love to create graphics and social media posts can become fatigued by the process of constantly finding new ways to engage their audience.
In this blog, we share tips and strategies for creating valuable content that will engage your followers and help you keep a steady stream of ideas flowing!
Determine What You Want to Accomplish with Your Content
It’s important to set goals for your social media strategies. If you are focused mainly on expanding brand awareness, that should influence the type of content you create. Maybe you want to increase conversions? The tone and subject matter of this content will be different than your brand awareness posts.
That being said, you can aim to achieve multiple goals at once, you just need to establish clear objectives for each post. This will help you stay focused and improve the overall performance of your content.
Choose Your Tone and Types of Content
You’ll want to decide on the tone of your voice and how you’re going to present yourself on social media. Everything that you post — every piece of content that you put out — will reflect on your business and has the ability to strengthen your brand… or work against it. Do you have established style or brand guidelines?
There is a wide variety of content that you can (and should) utilize:
> Article/Blog Links
> Tips & Tricks
There are plenty of places that you can draw inspiration from:
> Your Team Members
> Market/Industry Research
> Competitor Analyses
> Current Events/Trending Topics
> Keyword Research (Ex. Google Trends)
Keep in mind: social media users of today are interested in genuine and honest content. According to Forbes.com, “Eighty-six percent of people say authenticity matters when deciding what brands they like and support.” If a consumer feels they are being sold to or the success of a product/service is being exaggerated, then they are less likely to complete a purchase. Don’t try to win over customers with flashy or dishonest posts, because they will see right through it. Authenticity in itself is attractive to consumers, and it will draw more people to your brand.
Put Yourself In the Consumer’s Shoes
What would you want to know about a company? What would you want to see on a company’s social media? What would encourage you to do business with them?
If you have any portfolio pieces, it’s important to add them; they will showcase what your business has accomplished. It also gives potential clients the chance to imagine what your products or services could do for them. In other words, it’s physical evidence of your abilities.
It’s also important to focus on the quality of your posts, which can strongly affect a customer’s opinion of your company. If there are several spelling mistakes in your captions, or if you post grainy, low-quality photos, your audience might see it as a sign that you don’t care about your products or services, even on your own social media.
Determine How You Will Be Creating Your Content
Do you want to create custom, branded graphics with your company’s colors and font? Do you want to have the ability to edit photos for your posts? Consider what tools you’ll need to create your content, and what programs are best suited for what you want to accomplish. There are many options out there, and if you aren’t sure what you need, it’s a good idea to start with some research so you’ll know what’s available to you.
If you would rather outsource your marketing and social media management, many companies can do that for you, including yours truly! We offer social media management, reputation management, paid advertising, and more.
Scheduling Content and Tracking Performance
To keep a clean, consistent feed, we recommend using a calendar (or planner) to schedule your posts ahead of time. The way your content calendar looks is completely up to you, but whatever you choose, make sure it works for you. Also keep in mind that your content pipeline doesn’t have to be set in stone, and it can be beneficial to leave spaces for adjustments and relevant time-bound posts.
It’s also good to keep up with current events and share something relevant now and then; it provides additional value to your followers, prompts engagement with the community, and bolsters your brand’s personality and values. It’s not possible to know what will happen in the future, so if something comes up that you would like to discuss or share with your audience, feel free to create a spontaneous post.
At the end of each month, look back at how your posts performed and record that data in a notebook or spreadsheet. It’s important to analyze this data so you can discern what types of content received the most attention, and which ones you could do without as you plan for the next month. It’s necessary to do this evaluation every month because, as your social media grows, and as you gain or lose followers, your content will need to adapt to your audience. Always focus on creating content that is effective and speaks to a customer’s needs.
Ask yourself these questions: What time of the day are most of my followers active on social media? Which posts did they engage with the most last month? What are my followers’ likes/dislikes? What are their hobbies? The answers to these questions will help you create valuable and attractive content that will enhance the public’s experience with your brand.
Time Block Your Creations
As a business owner or main marketing manager, you have more on your plate than just creating social media content, and it can be difficult to keep up without a structured or disciplined approach. Work to schedule the same time each week that you work on content. Give yourself a time frame/limit to push your effectiveness, and ensure content creation does not get forgotten. This technique prevents added stress when you should be focusing on other marketing activities and business initiatives. The DCG team suggests mornings when you are most refreshed, but if you are a night owl, be realistic and do what works for you.
Experiencing creative fatigue when building your social media pipeline is very common. Even the most creative and skilled marketers can feel uninspired, or like they’ve hit a wall when they’re coming up with ideas. To combat this, try to think of fatigue as a part of the creative process. Embrace the pause and use it as an opportunity to do research, catch up on all of those articles and blog posts you’ve been meaning to read, look over your analytics, read an insightful book, etc. In other words, give yourself a “brain break”. The more comfortable you become with creating content, the easier it will be to draw upon previous strategies that you know perform well.
According to Influence & CO., “A strategy that you actually take the time to document is essential to your content marketing. Sixty-five percent of the most successful marketers have a documented content marketing strategy, compared to only 14 percent of the least successful marketers.” The content creation process is extremely important, but it is also only half of the journey. You need a solid marketing strategy to lay the foundation of your pipeline and ensure that what you create will ultimately help your brand flourish.