Thankfully we seem to be past the ‘do I need to be on social media’ conversation. So that’s a plus. But now it’s much more about the when, what and how. Keeping up with social media, along with the torrent of other demands when running a business can seem, well, bloody hard. If you aren’t organised ahead of time, with a strong plan and approach it’s going to be the first thing to drop off your list, probably with the gym. So today we wanted to share the 5 critical areas to make sure you are managing your social media, rather than the other way around.
STRATEGY, STRATEGY, STRATEGY
Social media is time consuming at the best of times. I think we can all agree if it isn’t well thought out then it’s going to be time consuming and also pointless. Which is just too much to bear right?
It is ESSENTIAL to make sure you have a strategy for social media and it doesn’t have to be war and peace either, it can be as simple as capturing:
- Core objective – what is the overarching purpose of engaging in this channel.
Target audience – who are you talking to, get detailed, even a name and photo can be helpful so you can literally think of ‘Sally’ when trying to decide if a post is right.
- Audience motivations and goals – really getting into the mind of your audience so you can add true value to them with what you are doing is SO important.
- Tone of voice / personality – If you don’t have a brand tone of voice make sure you take the time to articulate the way your brand should speak on social media. Consider whether it is straight talking, playful, professional, humorous, sophisticated or sassy. Getting the personality of your brand shining through is so important, and noting it down will help ensure consistency across time.
- Content pillars – define 3 to 5 content pillars or themes to guide the type of content you will be creating. And also include a %. For example for a beauty brand you might want to have a pillar called ‘how to videos’ that make up 30% of your content, whereas direct offers / products might be lower at 15%.
- Tactical goals – what are you trying to achieve? Are you looking to increase followers, engagement, increase email sign ups etc. Knowing what the desired actions are will influence how you approach your posts.
When developing a strategy we like to include an example post for each pillar plus a visual guide of what the different types of posts will look like (and the frequency of their use). This makes briefing in anyone helping you with social media very easy!
BATCH BABE, BATCH
Batching your content is life changing. It means sitting down in one block and writing anywhere from a week to a month’s content. You don’t want to create content too far into the future just to make sure it’s still relevant by the time you post. It doesn’t mean you can’t be spontaneous, after all that is what social media is all about. But it does mean you can plan out your core content, and then add more timely posts as and when you want to.
The easiest way to create batch content is just in a good old spreadsheet. We use Google Sheets but you could use Excel too. Here is a social media planning template if you need one to get started.
It means from one handy place you can choose the date, content pillar, write the post, include hashtags and any links or mentions, credits for photos and the intended visual style of each post. It’s a great way to collaborate with a designer if they are helping you out with the tiles, they can design them and add them straight into the sheet too for you to review.
Once your content is good to go it’s time to schedule. There are so many tools out there that you can use, but we like to use Later and schedule to Instagram and Facebook. It’s super user friendly and once you have added the post you can modify the Facebook version if you want to. Does it mean set and forget? No. We are on social every day. What it does do is make sure we show up consistently in the way we intend to.
ENGAGE OR GO HOME
The most important thing to remember? Social media is about connecting with people. It is essential that you are engaging, listening and responding. This is how people know you care (it’s also how the social algorithms know you care). So make sure you set aside a little time each day to engage.
REVIEW, REFRESH, REPEAT
The fantastic thing about social, and all things digital really, is our ability to see what works, what people like, what they share, comment or save. Spending time reviewing your analytics so you are constantly learning how you can serve your audience better. You might be surprised with what you find!
So now that we all have the planning and processes down pat there is one parting thought we want to leave you with and that is… storytelling.
Storytelling has been used to communicate for centuries, it’s timeless. Channels come and go, but stories are the glue that hold everything together. Stories capture people’s hearts and make them feel like they’re part of your journey. Nobody can replicate your story so make sure you share it. Inspire people and have some fun along the way.
This post was written by The Brand Brigade and republished here with permission.