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social media content strategy

Believe it or not, your B2B business needs a social media strategy.

Written By Tyler Riddell

on October 9, 2020

Think of your social media content strategy as your blueprint for your Business’s success across social platforms.

If you don’t put together a solid plan, you will find that your social efforts lack direction and don’t deliver the results you expect to see.

You need to dedicate the time and resources to plan your approach, map out exactly what you want to achieve, how you will get there, and how you will measure the impact that your efforts have on your goals.  It’s not easy to know where to start, especially if you have never put a plan together.  In this article, we will follow a proven 7-step process to developing a social content strategy from scratch, specifically looking at the need for a Social Media Content Strategy. 

How to Develop a Social Content Strategy in 7 Simple Steps

1. Setting Goals for Your Content

2. Know The Profile of Your Audience and When You Should Post
3. Choose the Right Social Platform(s)
4. Plan Social Content and Choose Formats
5. Create a Content Calendar
6. Publishing Your Content
7. Analyze and Measure Your Content’s Performance

Continue reading, and you will learn a simple but effective process that you can use to plan your social content and take your growth from your chosen platforms to the next level.

Don’t just do it. Spend time on creating a Social Media Content Strategy

Sure, you might get away with posting something every day on your social channels without ever giving much thought to what you are posting, or more importantly, why. But this isn’t going to drive growth or real, impactful results.  You will not acquire new fans and followers or convince these individuals to visit your website or convert into a customer or client by blindly posting whatever you feel like pushing out that day. That is just not how it works.

You need to focus on what to achieve to figure out how you will get there. And this is what a strategy is.

When you can craft a strategy that maps out the route you need to take to meet your goals, your chance of achieving these massively increases. It also helps everyone involved to focus their efforts, something that, in itself, can help to improve performance and returns.

Social media should be a channel that drives sales and inquiries; it is not just a vanity channel. But it takes work and dedication to have a strategy that everyone on your marketing team works towards.

How to Develop a Social Content Strategy in 7 Simple Steps

 

The reality is that developing a social content strategy is easier than you probably think. And following a proven process can help you define your goals, create and publish content to a schedule that is right for your audience, and measure your efforts’ impact. Keep reading to learn how you can do this in just seven simple steps, including a look at the tools you should be using to make the whole process that little bit easier.

 

1. Setting Goals for Your Content

Have you ever heard of SMART goals?

You must start creating every strategy by knowing what you want to achieve, as this will help shape the path you take to make this happen. Otherwise, you are working blindly. And that is not very strategic at all.

Without goals and KPIs, you will also not be able to measure the effectiveness of your efforts.  Setting goals is all about having an indicator of success that allows you to determine your social strategy’s ROI. 

SMART goals are: 

  • Specific (Goals should be clear and precise to allow a definite focus on what needs to be achieved)
  • Measurable (i.e., measuring progress in quantifiable terms)
  • Attainable (Goals should be realistic, yet should be challenging enough to motivate you)
  • Relevant (Goals should be relevant to your broader business objectives and make sense when achieved)
  • Time-bound (You should always set a timeframe for goals to be measured against to maintain focus)

Your social content strategy should start with goal-setting, as this is something that will help shape the following steps in the process. Having clearly defined goals means that you can align every piece of content, and every post that you publish, with these.

2. Know The Profile of Your Audience and When You Should Post

Knowing your audience’s profile means that you can tailor your content to talk directly to these people. People that are potential buyers. After all, taking a targeted approach is almost always more effective than trying to engage too wide of an audience with a single strategy. Knowing the times when your audience is the most active on each channel can also help you to generate an increased level of engagement by sharing your content at the right time. You will gain insights from your main social channels.

Facebook

Facebook Insights provides a phenomenal amount of data on your audience, and if you are not already using this to inform your social efforts, you need to dive deep into the tool.

Head to your Facebook Business Page, and you will see an ‘Insights‘ tab. From here, you can gain a wealth of data around the performance of your page. But, to put together a solid strategy, you need to head to the ‘people‘ tab where you can see information around who your key audience is.  Next, head then to the ‘posts‘ tab to gain an understanding of the times and days when your target audience is online.

Twitter

Unfortunately, Twitter deprecated its powerful audience insights dashboard earlier this year. However, you can still use the Analytics tool to gain insights into your own Tweets’ performance. Head to Twitter Analytics and hit the ‘Tweets’ button at the top of the page. On this page, you can see the days when your recent Tweets have performed the best. 

While this isn’t as useful as Facebook Insights, it can help you to spot patterns of the days when your Tweets are the most likely to perform to the best of their potential. We will have some upcoming tips on how to get more insights on each of the social platforms. 

LinkedIn

If you are a B2B marketer, LinkedIn offers a phenomenal amount of insights about your audience and those who follow your company page. Head to the ‘analytics‘ tab on your company page dashboard and navigate to ‘Followers.’

From here, you can access insights on:

  • Follower metrics
  • All followers
  • Follower demographics
  • Companies to track (how you compare to similar companies)

However, when it comes to understanding your audience, the ‘follower demographics’ section is insanely valuable, helping you know the exact profile of those who follow your page.

You can also gain insights into your audience on InstagramTikTok, and YouTube. However, the most powerful insights are those that we have walked through above. 

3. Choose the Right Social Platform(s)

It’s not a requirement to use every available social platform. Let’s repeat that — you don’t have to use every available social platform. So, you need to focus your efforts on the platforms where your audience is active and likely to engage with your business, rather than spreading your time and content too thinly across every available platform.

 

You will undoubtedly have a good idea, by this stage, as to the platforms where your audience is the most active, but we recommend choosing a couple of these and executing an excellent strategy. It’s a guarantee that you will see far better results doing this than trying to be present everywhere. 

As a general rule of thumb:

 

Facebook is useful for B2B and B2C businesses, with support for a whole load of different content formats, ad targeting options, and users. There are very few businesses that should not include Facebook as one of their core channels.

Twitter isn’t for every Business, due to the platform’s fast-moving nature and the fact that it is still very much based around a simple Tweet format. However, it is the perfect customer service platform for businesses that deal with high support and service queries.

LinkedIn is perfect for B2B service businesses and is ideal for position individuals and companies as experts through a content strategy based on thought leadership and a strong focus on editorial content.

Pinterest is a favorite amongst eCommerce retailers and owners of businesses that are quickly promoted visually. 

YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine, and pretty much all sectors can benefit from the platform. However, you need to be prepared to consistently publish engaging video content, something that not all businesses are set up to do. 

 

Educational Resources: Video Marketing Crash Course and YouTube SEO

 

Instagram is often the first or second-choice platform for B2C businesses that have access to (or can take) engaging photos and images and engage their audience. It is usually of lesser-importance to B2B companies.

TikTok is the newcomer to the social scene, and there are plenty of examples of brands winning big on the platform, but the format and nature of the content isn’t for everyone. It is perfect for lifestyle-focused B2C brands. 

 

4. Plan Social Content and Choose Formats

Once you have chosen the primary social platforms that you will focus your efforts upon, you need to plan out your content and the formats you will create.

Here are seven fantastic social media campaigns as a great starting point to inspire you to create excellent content that resonates with your audience.

A great starting point is to map out the key messages that you want to share with your audience (ideally mixing inspirational content, educational, and socially relevant posts within sales-focused product or service posts.

You need to balance different formats to ensure you are getting your key message across effectively, and some of the more popular ones that we recommend include:

 

Don’t rely on a single content format if you genuinely want to drive engagement from your audience, but be sure to balance the time needed to produce each different piece with the importance of maintaining a consistent publishing schedule. 

5. Create a Content Calendar

Once you have started planning out your content, you need to set up a content calendar that your team can use for organizational purposes. And this is important for a simple reason; it keeps you accountable.

Once you have set a publishing schedule and mapped it out on a content calendar, you have committed. And this is often what is needed to keep your efforts focused and on track. It also helps you work with other teams to complete goals.

For example, if you know in 2 weeks, you are launching a new campaign and need graphics, your content team and graphics teams can view the calendar and ensure tasks are done on time. 

And creating a content calendar couldn’t be easier; you can use the SEMrush marketing calendar to assign your social content with your broader digital marketing campaign.

Just make sure to keep your calendar updated so your whole team can use it as a reference point. 

Get into the habit of adding in your planned social content and sticking to it; this is often the motivation that most marketers need to keep on track.

And let’s not forget that committing to regular social publishing is one of the main drivers of success. It is hard to stick to, and very few do. But this means that those who keep on track are typically the ones who gain a competitive advantage. 

In terms of how frequently you should be posting on each platform, we recommend a baseline schedule that looks like this:

 

Facebook: 5 to 7 posts per week

Twitter: 3 to 5 Tweets per day

LinkedIn: 1 post per day

Instagram: 1 post or story per day

Pinterest: Focus on creating exciting boards and sharing relevant images rather than a set posting schedule

TikTok: At least once per day

 

6. Publishing Your Content 

Publishing your content on social media can be a time-consuming task.

And that’s why many marketers choose to schedule their content in advance, making it easier to create content and have it automatically post across your platforms at the time that you deem to be the most impactful.

You can schedule your social content using an affordable tool like HootSuite.

Start by connecting your chosen social networks.

Once you have connected your channels, you will be able to schedule posts across each of these to have shares go out at your chosen time.

We recommend setting aside a regular time in your calendar each week to schedule your social content for the coming days. Again, this keeps you focused and on track to consistent publishing.

Take a read of our guide on “How to Automate Social Media Posting with SEMrush” to learn how you can schedule your content and maximize your productivity and social efforts.

 

7. Analyze and Measure Your Content’s Performance

Remember the goals you set when mapping out your strategy?

You need to track your content’s performance against those goals; otherwise, you won’t know how successful your efforts are. But how you track this very much depends upon the goals that you set.

We talked about ensuring that each goal is measurable, and this is where you should have identified what you will measure success as and how you will do it.

Let’s say one of your goals is around increasing the engagement rate of your content on Facebook. To track this, you can use the Hootsuite to analyze your recent posts and view the engagement rate of each.

If you have set a benchmark for your performance, you can quickly identify which posts exceed this.

We recommend analyzing your social performance weekly and measuring them against your established goals and KPIs.

Suppose you are on your way to achieving your goals, great. If not, a weekly check-in on progress means you can make adjustments and improvements to your strategy to get things back on track.

A big Reminder! Establish your plan and goals (with resources), develop value-based content, grow the audience, jab, jab, jab, then bring the hook for making a purchase.

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