How to Organically Build Social Media into Your Content Creation Process
Gone are the days where a content strategy relied mainly on a blog. Today you have to a use mix of formats and channels to get your message heard. Content nowadays takes many forms such as emails, videos, freebies, Medium posts and more.
While drafting your content strategy, consider how you can use social media to engage, convert and retain your customers. Think about it: everyone is using social media nowadays, including your target audience. On average, a person will spend about two hours on social media per day. The challenge is to find it and grab its attention with relevant content.
Businesses everywhere set up Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. But how many of them actually know how to use social media to drive more engagement? How do you make sure that your posts on social media don’t go unnoticed in a sea of fleeting updates? How do you make social media an effective part of your content strategy?
1. Set Your Goals
Before you get started, it’s necessary to determine what the desired outcome is. How is your business going to benefit from having a social media presence? Do you want to:
- Increase your brand awareness?
- Build a large and active community?
- Generate more leads?
- Drive traffic to your website?
After defining your goal, it’s important to set metrics so you can track the evolution of your social media presence. For brand awareness, you want to look at followers count, the reach of your posts and the mentions, shares, and retweets. For lead generation, it’s important to keep track of email subscriptions, downloads of gated content and conversion of leads from social media. Choose the right metrics for your social media goals to know where you stand at all times.
2. Find Which Social Media Your Audience Uses
Creating an account on all social media platforms is rarely a good idea. Instead of spreading your efforts thin, find the social media your audience is most active in. If you target people aged from 30 to 50, there is little point to post on Snapchat, since 60% of its users are under the age of 25. If you run a B2B business, LinkedIn is the obvious platform to pick. And Instagram is great if you sell visual or physical products (shoes, accessories etc.).
Having a well-defined marketing persona will help you figure out where your customers spend their time and create content that speaks to them. That content that performs best on social media tends to focus more on images than text, so you might want to add infographics and videos to your content strategy. Likewise, content that is entertaining, inspirational or personal (behind-the-scenes videos, personal stories, photos of events etc.) is more likely to get a response.
3. Establish a Consistent Schedule
Consistency is key to seeing results. You want to stay fresh in people’s minds, so you have to set a schedule and stick to it. Since posting on social media manually can sometimes be overwhelming and tedious, use a tool like Buffer to schedule your social media posts ahead of time. Experiment with posting at different times to find the time window where your audience is active and more likely to respond to your content.
4. Maximize Your Output
No matter how great your content is, it’s not likely to become massively popular on its own, unless you already enjoy an enormous following. Posting content and hoping for the best is not a strategy. To improve your organic social media reach, do the following:
- Use hashtags
- Repurpose content from other formats and channels
- Update outdated content
- Leverage trending topics
- Encourage employee advocacy
- Reach out to influencers
- Strike a balance between useful and promotional content
- Use social media icons to facilitate and encourage sharing
Remember that social media are busy, noisy places and that you are competing for the mindshare of your audience, so don’t be shy about promoting your social media posts.
5. Interact with Your Audience
Set a specific schedule to check mentions of your business and reply to questions, comments, and retweets. Be sure to respond in a timely manner; taking too long to reply or even worse, forgetting to do so, makes a bad impression. Additionally, the person in charge of managing the social media accounts should be capable of handling abrasive or mocking remarks as well as legitimate concerns.
Note that interaction goes beyond answering queries and mentions. You can take it a step further with user-generated content or UGC for short. Once your social media posts receive a good amount of response, you can start making polls, quizzes and contests to create even more engagement and gather social proof.
When it comes to the content creation process, social media should not be an afterthought. When used smartly, they make the difference in building a strong online presence. Develop a distinctive, consistent personality across your social media outlets and maintain a lively conversation with your audience. The result will be a sizable growth for your business.
Chief Content Officer
Annie has over 20 years of experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.
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