Nearly 60% of the global population congregates on social media, businesses can’t afford to overlook the power of these platforms. Social media presents an unparalleled opportunity for brand growth, customer engagement, and increased sales. However, to harness these benefits, a well-defined social media content strategy is essential.

A social media content strategy

Imagine embarking on a road trip without a map or guidebook. It’s likely to be chaotic, confusing, and you might not reach your destination. The same holds true for social media marketing without a well-crafted content strategy. This document serves as both a map and a guidebook, providing direction, purpose, and a clear path to achieving a return on investment (ROI).

How to build and execute an effective social media content strategy
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Why it matters

With 72% of people in the U.S. actively using social media, businesses must recognize the immense potential to connect with their audience on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. A social media content strategy ensures that the efforts put into social media marketing are targeted, purposeful, and aligned with business goals.

Defining a social media content strategy

A social media content strategy is a comprehensive plan that outlines how a brand will leverage content to achieve its goals on social media platforms. This plan, ideally documented, serves as a reference point for creating, publishing, and tracking social media posts. Whether executed by an individual or a team, a well-defined strategy ensures consistency, relevance, and effectiveness.

Seven steps to build your social media content strategy

Set goals that align with your brand

Goal-setting is the foundation of any successful strategy. Clearly define one or two goals that reflect what you want to achieve through social media content marketing. Whether it’s driving website traffic, generating leads, or increasing brand awareness, these goals will shape your actions and metrics.

Research your audience and what platforms they use

Understanding your audience is paramount. Conduct thorough audience research through methods like interviews, social listening, and surveys. Identify the platforms your audience frequents and focus your efforts there. Quality engagement on a select few platforms is more impactful than a scattered presence across many.

Optimize your social media profile(s)

Your social media profiles are often the first point of contact with your audience. Ensure they are engaging, informative, and reflect your brand identity. Use consistent branding elements, clarify your bio, and include relevant links to direct traffic to your website.

How to build and execute an effective social media content strategy
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Choose your topic areas and post types

Align your brand’s expertise with customer interests to determine your focus areas. Select post types based on platform expectations and audience preferences. Tailor your content strategy to ensure cohesion and relevance across your social profiles.

Set up a content calendar and publishing schedule

Consistency is key in social media content marketing. Create a social media content calendar and publishing schedule to plan, organize, and optimize your posts. Utilize tools like MeetEdgar to streamline scheduling and ensure your content reaches your audience at optimal times.

Create a plan to engage with others

Social media is a two-way street. Develop an engagement plan to actively participate in the dialogue. Whether it’s responding to comments, liking community posts, or initiating conversations, engagement fosters a sense of community and connection.

Keep track of your social media content strategy performance

Metrics are the compass guiding your strategy. Regularly track and analyze key metrics such as reach, impressions, engagement, follower growth, click-through rate, and brand sentiment. Adapt your strategy based on performance insights to optimize results over time.

A social media content strategy in action

To illustrate the practical implementation of a social media content strategy, consider a small business specializing in vegan skincare products targeting Gen Z and millennial women. The following steps outline how this hypothetical business can develop its social media content strategy:

Create goals aligned with business objectives

  • Goal: Increase brand awareness within the target demographic.
How to build and execute an effective social media content strategy
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Define target audience

  • Develop buyer personas based on demographic and psychographic information.
  • Example Persona: “Nia,” a 24-year-old kindergarten teacher seeking vegan, organic, and cruelty-free skincare for sensitive skin.

Identify suitable platforms

  • Focus on platforms popular among Gen Z and millennials, such as Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.

Optimize social profiles

  • Maintain engaging and consistent profiles across chosen platforms
  • Use branded profile pictures, clarify bios, and include website links.

Choose topic areas and post types

  • Focus on skincare tips, product features, and quick tutorials.
  • Tailor content types to platform expectations, emphasizing visuals on Instagram and YouTube.

Set up content calendar

  • Schedule regular posts and campaigns to maintain consistency.
  • Utilize tools like MeetEdgar for efficient planning.

Engagement plan

  • Actively engage with the community through comments, likes, and shares.
  • Foster a sense of community by responding to customer inquiries and feedback.

Track performance metrics

  • Monitor metrics like reach, impressions, engagement rates, and follower growth.
  • Adjust strategy based on performance insights to enhance effectiveness.

Why tracking social media engagement is crucial

As social media usage continues to surge, businesses must stay attuned to evolving trends and consumer behavior. The integration of social commerce capabilities on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok emphasizes the role of social media in driving direct sales and business intelligence.

How to build and execute an effective social media content strategy
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Following is a 3-step process to track engagement:

  1. Set social media engagement goals: Align goals with overall business objectives, such as brand awareness, lead generation, or community building.
  2. Determine social media engagement KPIs: Focus on essential metrics tied to goals, including reach, impressions, follower count, engagement rate, growth rate, conversion rates, and social share of voice metrics.
  3. Tie everything together with a social media engagement tracker: Utilize automated reporting tools like DashThis to streamline data collection and analysis. Regularly review reports to make informed decisions and communicate outcomes to stakeholders.

Check out a few more ways to measure social media engagement.

Conclusion

Building and executing a successful social media content strategy is a dynamic process that requires adaptability, creativity, and consistent measurement. By following the outlined steps, businesses can navigate the complex landscape of social media, connect with their audience authentically, and achieve tangible results. In an era where social media is a cornerstone of brand visibility, a well-crafted strategy serves as the compass guiding businesses toward success.

Featured image credit: Anthony Hortin/Unsplash