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Five Must Haves for Planning Social Content in 2018

The key to creating successful social content is to plan ahead. Much like a garden, social channels need lots of attention and care to ensure their survival and growth. Care for and manage them, and they will reward you with engagements, followers, and likes. Neglect them and you’ll be left with a wasted budget and a forgotten Twitter login. Luckily, 2018 is right around the corner, and if your social presence has been lacking, take advantage of the New Year to revamp your strategy. Read on for our top five must-haves for planning social content in 2018.

Must Have #1: Measurable Goals

Much like a building cannot stand without a foundation, a social strategy cannot exist without goals. If you want your social media content strategy to have a lasting impact, you need to set measurable goals for your campaign and make sure they align with those of your company. Ask yourself what your company’s end goal is when it comes to social strategy. Are you looking to improve brand awareness, generate new leads, or drive traffic to your website? Once you’ve narrowed down what you’re looking for, it becomes much easier to align your business and social strategy.

Must Have #2: The Right Network

Brands often make the mistake of setting up an account on every social platform, believing that doing so will increase their presence in the social space and maximize their budget. However, much like you wouldn’t organize a print campaign in the same way you would television, social content strategies aren’t one size fits all. Though Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Snapchat all fall under the umbrella term of “social media”, each platform has a specific audience and expectation attached to it. With that in mind, the best social media content strategies make the most of the platform where your audience is. Wondering which social platform is right for your brand? Here are a few insights to help guide your choice.

Facebook: An immensely popular platform, Facebook is nearly synonymous with social media. With over 1.71 billion active monthly users, there’s some truth to the complaint that everyone and their grandmother is posting status updates: nearly eight in ten online Americans now use Facebook (to give you an idea of the platform’s reach, that’s whopping 76% of the population).

Pinterest: A virtual corkboard that allows users to curate images based on specific interests or shopping habits, Pinterest is driven entirely by visuals. Though anyone can sign up for and use the platform, Pinterest is most frequented by women, with 45% of online women accessing the platform on a monthly basis.

Instagram: Instagram is a great way to engage with millennial audiences. Statistics show that the platform is especially popular among 18-29 year olds, with roughly six-in-ten (59%) using Instagram. With 800 million active monthly users and the fun, visual nature of Instagram Stories, it’s an engaging way to connect with a younger demographic.

Twitter: With 319 million active users, Twitter is a platform that thrives on mobile: about 80% of the platform’s audience accesses their accounts from their devices, making it ideal for targeting consumers on the move.

Snapchat: Snapchat is the youngest of the bunch, both in its age as a platform (it was founded in 2011) and in its users, most of who are under the age of 24. Though growth has declined, the platform is still popular for its quick storytelling capabilities, and new VR lens filters present new opportunities for brands to engage with consumers.

With each platform’s strengths in mind, take an in depth look at the demographics of your audience to pinpoint your perfect follower. Once you understand who you’re talking to, you’ll be able to select a platform and start creating a content strategy that speaks directly to your intended audience.

Must Have #3: A Content Creation Process

With the goals set and platform chosen, now you’ll need to focus your efforts on creating a guide to keep your content consistent. The beauty here is that there’s no one-size-fits-all guide to content. No matter what your content style or budget, your social posts should create emotional bonds with your audience through a unique personality and tone of voice. In short, your content creation strategy should help differentiate your brand and set it apart from competitors.

Find Your Voice: You know what you want to say, but how do you say it? Your tone of voice has the ability to make or break your social strategy, so spend some time asking yourself what tone makes the most sense for your brand. Is your brand spirited and silly or more reserved and formal? Do you want to be seen as trendy and upbeat, or is a laid-back approach more your style? Find a tone that resonates with your brand and run with it.

Develop a Narrative: Compelling content should tell a story and invest the consumer in the product/service/lifestyle that your brand offers. When creating content, make sure you’re sharing content that’s relevant to your brand and industry, aligns with company values and showcases your brand’s purpose in the best light.

Study Competition: Taking a peek at what the competition is posting is a great way to develop an idea of what to do (or what not to do) on social. Browsing the feeds of competitor brands can be a form of social listening, as you tap into both industry and consumer trends.

With a defined tone of voice, a compelling story and working knowledge of the competition, you’re well on your way to creating an engaging and consistent social strategy.

Must Have #4: Track Performance

As a social media expert, your job doesn’t stop after the first post goes live. In order to keep developing your strategy, track and adjust it through engagement, reach and conversions. When it comes to tracking these metrics, a paid media team is your best friend. Go beyond age, gender and location and dive into more detailed targeted options like demographics, interests, behaviors and keywords to fine tune your strategy to existing consumers and attract new fans.

Must Have #5: A Community

The most effective social campaigns combine compelling content with real, personalized interactions that help strengthen your community and build loyalty. When monitoring your pages, think of how you can connect with your consumers. Commenting on a post, liking a photo or comment, or sharing UGC are all great ways to interact with and strengthen your brand’s bond with consumers. Similarly, responding to negative messages or complaints shows your brand is attentive to your consumer’s wants and needs, making them feel as though their voice has been heard. Engage with as many consumers as possible and continue to think of ways to grow and delight the community you’ve built.

Need help revamping your strategy? Still wondering where to start? Contact us to get the conversation started.

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