by Benedetta Lamanna
Published at 2022-05-04
Navigating social media can be overwhelming. From developing fresh content to deciding on which platform to use, it can be difficult to develop an effective strategy for your social media marketing. Learning about social media basics, planning your content, and using editorial calendars are some ways in which you can hone your social media skills and make different platforms effective for your specific goals and unique objectives, while helping to engage your audience.
Here are 4 essential tips from the “Digital Main Street Webinar, Social Media Content: Strategy and Planning” that was offered this spring.
The expert in anything was once a beginner, so let’s get started with some basic guidelines around social media use.
It’s important to note that each platform has its own unique set of ground rules, and that each platform is best aligned to different goals. Thinking about your business goals, examining your priorities, and thinking about your audience (including their age, gender, priorities, and beliefs) can help you decide which platform is best for each situation.
For example, Facebook is a widely used platform that is best suited to posting photos, videos, and captions. Ideal for long- and short-form content, posting two to three times per week is an effective use of Facebook.
On the other hand, LinkedIn is a platform best suited for businesses, potential clients, and potential employees, and is the ideal place for thought leadership content, which is a strategy brands use to share knowledge about a product or a company. Posting one time a week is most effective for LinkedIn.
Twitter, which is especially popular for business leaders, political thinkers, and journalists, is another common social media platform. Posting daily upwards to a minimum of 20 posts per week works best.
Once you’re familiar with the basics of social media, you can begin to organize your content strategy. A good first step is to establish storylines: that is, to develop three to five categories that reflect the value of your company and that appeal to your target audience.
Next, you can brainstorm ideas, subjects, questions, and stories, based on what you think will be most beneficial to your potential followers. Once you’ve finished your brainstorming session, take a few days or even a week away before looking at things with fresh eyes.
In this follow-up session, you can review your ideas, thinking about how to transform general topics into specific posts. Issues to consider include developing content that is planned and strategic (for example, key business initiatives and promotions), nurturing connections with your audience (for example, fun content that may or may not be necessarily connected to your business goals), and creating real-time content (for example, content linked to current events).
Sort and prioritize ideas based on which topics are most suitable for different months, including special events and holidays. This step will help you to develop a calendar that comprises both proactive (planned) and reactive (spontaneous) content, ensuring that all social media posts reflect what’s happening in your business at any given time during the year.
Editorial calendars can include both content that you can plan for and content that you’d like to include on a more spur-of-the-moment basis. Think about things such as frequency, relevancy, and variety can help you build your calendar and, most importantly, help you engage with your followers.
To make things easier for yourself, you might also think about how best to leverage your content; for example, you can rework content from a monthly newsletter or daily blog to develop multimodal content, including videos, articles, and tip sheets, for use on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
One method for setting up your calendar is to post around key events and holidays that are important to your audience. Think about why your audience is following you and also what they care about.
Another method for organizing and scheduling content is to use a serialized approach. For example, every Monday, you can post about customer success stories, every Wednesday, you can feature a business video, and every Friday you can post a promotional ad.
Keep in mind that it’s best to refrain from using identical posts across different platforms, but it is effective to talk about the same subject across various channels.
In everything you post, you want to keep in mind the value that you are providing to your audience and the benefits that followers are gaining from being connected to you on social media. By providing both value and expertise, you can assess your social media goals to evaluate whether you are on track.
Once you’ve set a goal, you can track your progress by determining what’s working and what isn’t working, as well as tweaking your content and social media strategy accordingly. In adapting and adjusting your approach, you can ensure that each platform you are using is a good fit for your audience.
Showcasing your brand and building community with your customers can go hand in hand. By learning about social media basics, developing your content, planning a calendar, and evaluating your progress, you can decide which platform can best help you promote your business while also connecting with your audience in a meaningful and effective way.
For more information on social media strategies for your business, check out this PDF from Digital Main Street, a non-profit organization that helps businesses integrate technology into their workplaces: https://camptech.ca/SocialStrategy.
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