Every business wants to succeed at the social media game and for good reason. Social media marketing is essential to any brand’s success these days. You want to be able to connect with your audience and deliver the type of social media content that will help boost your brand and your revenue.
Below are five tips for creating an effective social media content marketing plan.
1. Know who your ideal customer is
Knowing who your ideal customer is beyond where they live and their age, is essential. You need to give thought to how they progress through the purchasing cycle. How are they researching their purchases, what is going to make them take the leap to making a purchase. In order for your business to build trust with your customers, you need to try and answer any questions they may have. This can be achieved by creating valuable content in the form of a business blog, infographics, webinars etc. By dedicating the time to learn how you customer thinks about purchases, you will have a better idea as to what content they want to see. This is the key to building up that trust all businesses want.
2. Figure out what social media network your audience prefers
Your target audience is most likely not on every social network. For this reason it is important to figure out which social network your audience prefers. This includes every platform from Facebook to LinkedIn.
3. Research Content Topics
Once you have figured out which social networks you are going to focus on, it is time to start planning what content you will be posting. The content that you come up with should be specific and relevant to your audience and it definitely should not be all about your business. Remember to follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of the content should educate, inform and entertain your audience. The other 20% should be for promoting your business. I know for me, time is an issue and I often found myself running out of content ideas and posting inconsistently. For this reason, I started using a company that can create social media content for you. They basically create content specific to your target audience and it has really been a game changer for my business. Not to mention the free time I now have to focus on other important matters.
Here are some ways to drum up content ideas:
- Run a Twitter poll.
- Come up with a questionnaire to get feedback. To sweeten the pot, consider offering some sort of reward for participating. Bonus tip: Google forms works really well for putting together professional looking questionnaires and you can also track results.
- Talk to friends, family or co-workers and see if any conversations spark some ideas.
- Check out your competitors. Be sure to follow all their social media accounts and see what is garnering engagement and what is falling flat.
- Check out Feedly. This is a content aggregator and is a great tool for researching your industry online. You can gather up lots of content to see what is of interest.
4. Plan Your Content Calendar
Now comes the organizational part for your content. A social media content calendar will help you greatly in keeping your content on track and consistent.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you put your calendar together:
- Pick a format: This can be Google Sheets, Excel or any other template your find online..there are many.
- Only put essential details: a link to the content, scheduled date and time, the copy, images and any other miscellaneous notes, hashtags etc. You should create a column for each of these on your calendar. This will give you a better overview and help you easily plan the following months.
5. Engage with your followers
Social media is not just about publishing great content, it is also about connection. Engagement is essential to helping your brand succeed on social media and it also is key to getting more sales. Here are some ways you can start engaging with your followers:
Ask questions: Make sure they are relevant and open ended.
Answer any questions. This shows you are paying attention. On Twitter you can answer industry related questions even if they are not addressed to you.
Address any negative comments. It is a good idea to get ahead of any issue and respond with empathy and a solution.
Promote other people’s content. This will help build a sense of community.
Social media users worldwide has reached the billions mark and you cannot afford to do whatever it takes to stand out from the crowd. Putting together an effective content marketing strategy will boost engagement and trust with your customers as well as put your business on the path to continued growth.