Social media marketing (SMM) is a fast connection to a large audience but it does take some forethought and time investment to get it right.
Starting with a content strategy identifies your target audience, your messages, and the tools you’ll use to share your content. Then, your content policy makes sure it’s done consistently and within your organizational standards. These documents are key to your successful communication efforts, more so for SMM. Social Media Marketing demands can’t be ignored for the “right” time, plan ahead so you can keep your content current without the stress.
When you’re planning your content there’s a few things to consider that will make the process, and the outcome, more effective, (read you’ll actually use the documents you create because they’re helpful.)
The 5 W’s for Planning Your Social Media Marketing Content Strategy and Content Policy
- What do you want to say? This is kind of important and not something you want to leave to chance, especially if you’re short on time or in a PR crisis. In your content strategy, you’ll flesh out your key messages with an objective observer so you can separate your personal corporate knowledge from what your audience wants and needs to know about your organization.
- Who is writing your content? Yes your PR or communications expert may do the bulk of the content. But, what if you need something from your subject matter experts or a less experienced staffer is covering for you? Both the content strategy and policy will help guide what the message is and how it is to be presented so no matter who is working on your content, the look feel and tone will fit your organization. Find out how to get your staff on the same page for you online content.Plus, you don’t want your staff to use the organizational media connections to voice their own viewpoints or mix the messages. Your policy lays the groundwork for staff responsibility and accountability when representing your business online.
- When are you sharing it? It’s good to understand when your target audience is ready to receive your messages. Keep your SMM consistent to retain interest and prompt followers to look forward to your content so they’re giving your message attention, not scrolling past. Your content strategy includes best sharing practices like when to post (e.g. on the same day of the week, in the morning or at night, on the weekend) and how often you post.
- Where do you post? What’s the best platform for your consumers? It doesn’t make sense to jam information into the many SMM platforms out there when your audience might not use or even know about them. Start with a few you know your audience frequent (like Facebook and Twitter) and build from there. Your do have to tailor your message to suit the media as well (like 140 characters or “likeable” content.) Integration between platforms can help you manage more accounts so you can get there over time but plan to do it well. Take this quiz to find out how you’re social media efforts are working for you right now.
- Why do content strategies and policies even matter? You’ll benefit from being acutely aware of your message, how you want to present it and following a process that will help you through a difficult time, it saves you time and potential embarrassment and undue stress.
When you have a plan and steps to follow you can turn any adverse situation into a manageable one. If you’ve defined the negative messages that you might encounter and understand how to best to counter them on social media you can respond to difficult subjects or comments from others. Planning your SMM keeps your messaging on track and so it doesn’t spiral out of the control of your team. Preparing for the worst means you can respond positively, and timely, to turn a negative into a positive.
You can start planning your content strategy and policy with help from Tangible Words, whose trained copywriters and seasoned communications strategists work personally with your staff to formulate your plans for improved online communication.
Remember social media marketing improves sales!
Find Out Who's Using Social Media & What Your Consumers Want To See Online
Did you know that by spending as little as six hours a week, 66% of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media. (Hubspot 2016). When you download this infographic you can use facts to guide your social media content strategy and increase your online traffic. To help demystify social media, you'll learn:
- What consumers want to see online,
- Who's using social media to make buying decisions,
- What's content is shared the most.