Jun 08 ‘Freedom Within A Framework’: 4 Things You Don’t Want To Forget When Constructing The Optimal Social Media Content Strategy
With so much to think about in the creation of a sound social media content strategy, one can easily find him or herself overwhelmed by all of the nuanced considerations. Because it’s such a complex undertaking, and because we care, we wanted to share four things that your brand definitely must consider when creating your social media content strategy. It’s not rocket science, but it is pretty tricky to find just the right balance of so many factors, so bear with us and you might just be pleasantly surprised.
Get to Know Your Audience
First and foremost, you really must get to know your audience. Not like the polite suggestion to get to know your neighbors, because you never know when you might lock yourself out or need to borrow a cup of sugar, etc. We’re talking about achieving a deep and genuine understanding of the folks that are consuming your content and, hopefully, forming a relationship with your brand. It starts out as simple as knowing the basics, like gender, age, socio-economic status, favorite television shows, and so forth. While you want to be careful of not casting too broad a net and lumping people into generalized categories, you still want to know who you’re after here.
Once you know who your audience is, you’ll then want to dive a little deeper. It’s important for you as a brand to know what else, besides just your brand, your audience is consuming. Making an effort to find out what other key interests are driving your audience’s activities will help inform how you might leverage those interests with your brand’s content.
Now that you have this more refined understanding of your key demographic(s) in mind, you’re ready to begin diving even deeper into some of the critical behaviors of your brand’s audience. By performing easy little daily tests, you can find out the approximate range for an ideal content cadence, and, in doing so, ensure that you are neither boring nor drowning your audience. Additionally, you’ve got to know not just when to speak to your audience, but also how to speak to them to guarantee the strongest resonance and impact. Learning whether your audience loves or loathes sarcasm, for instance, can be of critical importance when writing a piece of what-you-think-to-be-witty content.
Leave Room for Reaction
Now, this next bit is of truly dire importance, so please, please, please pay attention. When you create a piece of content and send it out into the universe for your audience to consume, it’s absolutely not being transmitted to them through a vacuum. Your content must travel through an infinitely complex and ever-evolving web of social, cultural, and political events and realities that are going to shape the way that it is received. For all intents and purposes, your content is like a pinball, and, though it sets out straight and true, it has to weather a mess of occurrences before arriving at its intended destination.
But how on earth can one brand account for and prepare against the onslaught of external stimuli that content is inevitably going to encounter before reaching an audience? Well, in short, you can’t. Sadly, not even the most well equipped and most culturally astute brand is going to be able to foresee every possible scenario (i.e., Red Lobster & Formation). But… that’s okay. You don’t have to. What you do have to do, however, is always be sure to leave room for reaction.
Nimble agility in your content will help your brand account for obscure national holidays about which you’ve forgotten, current events that have only broken a moment ago, and any other unforeseeable scenario that you’ll want to adapt your content to better suit. But, wait! Does this not sound like an amorphous system devoid of any structure to support itself. Now, now, don’t get yourself all worked up. This brings us right into our next topic of discussion, wherein we will examine the principal of ‘Freedom within a Framework’.
Understand & Maintain Your Brand’s Niche
The “freedom” in the phrase ‘Freedom within a Framework’ has been explained as the ability to navigate and negotiate the ever-changing climate in which our content must exist. What we mean by framework, however, might have you scratching your head. It’s really rather simple, though. You can think of the framework as analogous to your brand’s niche. Whatever it is that your brand is responsible for bringing to your audience, there are bounds to the nature of that material. Within those bounds, your audience will respond with favor. Beyond them, though, you may begin to bore, confuse, or even alienate your audience.
A brand whose focus is in the electronics realm is going to fair better, and more successfully reach its audience, with content of an electronic nature than it will with content that is perceived by the audience as falling outside of the brand’s niche (i.e., illustration, home-improvement, athletics, etc.). That’s not to say that a brand can only ever talk about the exact good or service that it provides (for that would surely bore its audience). Simply that straying too far from the core of your brand’s identity will leave your audience scratching its collective head, and that you do not want.
It’s a simple matter of exploring every aspect of your niche, learning just how far it might extend in every direction, and, most importantly, discovering where it ends. By giving yourself the freedom to maneuver while still maintaining a keen eye on your brand’s established framework, you can be sure to provide your audience with a fresh array of exciting content without ever overstepping your niche and leaving your audience disappointed.
A Relentless Commitment to Innovation
Crucial to the success of your brand’s content strategy, however, is a relentless commitment to innovation. Of course you don’t want to stray too far from the fun and familiar content that you know your audience enjoys, but you also don’t want to become reliant on it. Too much of a good thing does exist, and it will leave your audience in a state of boring-content-induced lethargy, and that we just can’t have.
So, how can you strike that ideal balance between adherence to your brand’s framework and dependence upon it? This is a unique challenge for every brand to un-riddle for itself, and, unfortunately, there is no one, foolproof answer. The best we can advise is for you to be always looking forward and tirelessly working to propel your brand into new and uncharted territory. While ensuring that your content never stales, you must also keep your proverbial ear to the ground and let your audience serve as your compass.
Though it may seem like a lot, it’s really as simple as allowing your brand the freedom to create visionary content while not overstepping the framework that you and your audience have established for your brand. Knowing just how to push the envelope without busting it or mailing it to the wrong address. Keeping your audience guessing, but never asking, “What the #$%@”. It all boils down to these four words: Freedom within a framework.