There isn’t one cookie-cutter social media strategy that will guarantee success. Your strategy will differ depending on your industry and audience. There are, however, specific steps you should follow to build out a plan that has longevity and helps your brand and business grow.
Written posts, blogs, articles, guides, and more
Disadvantages: There is a lot of blog content out there, so competition is thick—and you need a lot of creativity to create new topic ideas. Writing also takes a lot of time to generate content ideas, especially if you’re explaining complicated concepts.
How to produce: To help you think of compelling content, look at trending searches. This will give you insight into the questions people want answers to, which can spark ideas about what to write about.
Best platforms: LinkedIn and Facebook are perfect for these types of content, especially when it comes to articles that are 1,500 words or longer. You can post the whole piece, a short snippet, or a link to the piece. Twitter is also a great bet, but the limited character count means you can only include a link and small quote, which still can drive traffic to your website.
Pro Tip: Embrace the content calendar. Your content calendar is a framework for the ongoing story you want to tell about your business and what content to share. When you take a holistic view of your social media or email marketing output, you can turn ideas and broad strategies into an actionable plan that can be tweaked as you learn more about what works best.
Use our content marketing editorial calendar to visualize when and how you connect with your audience. The calendar displays your scheduled and completed marketing emails, social posts, postcards, and digital ads. You can filter your calendar to display your marketing for a specific audience or all audiences.
Electronic books (eBooks)
Advantages: An eBook tends to be longer and more detailed than blog posts, which helps showcase your industry expertise. Far fewer businesses take the time to produce an eBook compared to blogs, too, so you avoid that heavy competition.
Disadvantages: Not everyone wants to read a whole eBook, and they take a lot of time to produce and find content that will appeal to your target audience. While they can help generate leads, people don’t always actually read them.
How to produce: An eBook is basically several blog posts compiled together as chapters from the same category. You’ll want to choose your best content or even hire a professional writer with experience writing eBooks.
Best platforms: Users come to LinkedIn to connect with colleagues and learn relevant information about their job or other interests, which makes it an ideal network to share an eBook. Facebook and Twitter are secondary options.
Type #1: Branded Graphics
Branded graphics work on a variety of social media platforms, but are especially great for visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. These types of graphics simply incorporate your brand fonts and colors to share a tip, promotion, blog post, lead magnet, etc.
While they could have just taken screenshots of the features they mention, they came up with a much more creative and shareable strategy. The best part is that these graphics don’t need much tweaking before they can be recycled into a brand new piece of content.
If you want to try this in your own social media marketing strategy, give this template below a try. Simply customize it with your own brand colors and fonts, then input your own messaging before you download and share.
Type #2: Infographics
Example #1: The Process
Example #2: DigitalMarketer
Here’s another less obvious social media infographic. There are many different types of infographics . Some are statistical, showcasing different graphs and charts, while others are more informational in nature. And that’s exactly what we have here, in this example from DigitalMarketer.
Your social media strategy goes beyond what you post on your social channels. Planning and publishing your content is only a small percentage of a successful social media strategy. A good strategy involves finding ways to actively distribute your content so that as many people as possible see it. When you establish a content distribution strategy, you’ll set up your posts to be shared more widely.
Recognizing when your audience is active and sharing posts at the right time will help you reach more people. If you’re only posting on social media the minute content goes live, you’re missing out on a massive opportunity for optimizing your reach.
Individual social media platforms have their own ways to help you maximize reach as well. On platforms like Twitter and Instagram, utilizing hashtags is a great way to distribute your content further. Hashtags help you reach people who not only follow you but are following a specific trend or interest. On LinkedIn and Facebook, join groups related to your industry and share content when it relates to the conversation.
Another good distribution strategy involves networking with bloggers and content creators in your niche. Other brands are more likely to share your content with their audience if you have a relationship and will return the favor. Just remember that anything you share with your audience should still be valuable to them and relate to your brand.
The last step to an effective social media content strategy is measuring the results of all of your efforts. Proper tracking is going to be vital to creating a strategy with longevity. Keeping detailed metrics will help you tweak and optimize your plan over time. Ideally, you should analyze your content every month to keep track of what’s working. When analyzing your data, take a top-level view of your content over a given period. Take a look at how each piece of content performed and what variables it had working with it. Assess how well the content contributed to the overall content goals that you set in step one. A few of the most important social media metrics to measure include:
Like you did with the content audit, relate the analytics to your overall marketing goals. Using your goals as an anchor can help you accurately adjust your strategy. By measuring analytics each month, you’ll just have to make small tweaks to keep optimizing your social media content strategy.
Social media content
The first time someone told me to come up with a social media content strategy I had no idea what to do. Since then, I’ve learned that simple is best. If you can get the basics right, then you’re on your way to success. Having a social media content strategy for your small business will ensure that your hard-work with social media marketing is supporting your overall business goals. To get you started, here are simple steps to create your social media content strategy for your small business:
15 Social Media Content Types (with examples for ideas and inspiration)
But one of the ways that your social media strategy can succeed is by creating quality content for each of your platforms. The reality is that those brands who are getting all the attention it right now are using the right social media content to engage the right audience.
You must be relying on more than just text-based updates on your social channels if you truly want to leverage the power that such platforms can bring to your business. If you are in the process of developing an editorial calendar, you need to be considering the different types of content that could help you to drive success.
In this guide, we are going to take a deep dive into 15 different types of social media content that you should be using to take your marketing to the next level in 2020, sharing examples and ideas and specifically looking at:
British anthropologist Robin Dunbar discovered the size of a primate’s brain and the average size of its social group are related. Extending this to humans, Dunbar proposed that people can only maintain 150 stable social relationships comfortably. This figure is known as the Dunbar Number and is referenced in many publications. It also explains the popularity of sports events like basketball.
A study shows that the sports industry generates up to $700 billion annually. However, it’s not hard to understand that figure because sports provides a conduit for human relationships. After all, when people get together, having conversations about sports teams helps connect and reinforce what you have in common.
In 1887 Coca-Cola first introduced coupons that customers could redeem for a free glass of Coke at any dispensary. Since then, this has grown in popularity and given birth to other forms of promotional content, from discounts to free offers.
In other words, those who received vouchers were happier, less stressed, and more relaxed. This supports the VoucherClouds finding that 57% of shoppers are motivated to complete a first-time purchase when they can redeem a coupon.
People love free, people love food, and thus, people love free food. Retailers, too, have their own reasons to love sampling, from the financial (samples have boosted sales in some cases by as much as 2,000 percent) to the behavioral (they can sway people to habitually buy things that they never used to purchase).
4. Plan and create content
Creating high-quality content that resonated is one of the core pieces of a successful social media content strategy. The content you create plays an important role in achieving your business and social media objectives. Your social media posts should be aligned with the purpose of each social platform and its audience. And again, a good understanding of your target audience will help with this. Look at your buyer personas and consider:
Looking at the skincare brand, there are tons of ways to address the challenges that their target audience faces. They could create quick and easy makeup tutorials that showcase your new line of products for sensitive skin. The videos could then be posted to Instagram and YouTube. This would help Nia address the challenge of developing a simple and consistent beauty regimen. We’ve helped her cut through the clutter of an overwhelming supply of beauty products, many of which fail to meet her criteria: vegan, organic, and made for sensitive skin.
When planning content, we can’t stress the positive impact that using a social media content calendar to plan your posts can have. This will help you narrow down the specifics of what you should be posting and ensure that everything is working toward supporting your business goals.
Track and measure performance
It’s important not to skip this step – once you’ve put in the work to create and send out your content, monitoring your analytics lets you see which piece of content resonates with your audience the most and whether your content is helping you achieve your social media goals.
There are a lot of metrics available, instead of looking at all of them, narrow in on the ones that support your goals. E.g. If your goal is to increase traffic to your blog posts then it doesn’t make sense to focus on likes on Instagram.
Instead, dig into data that aligns directly with your goals. We have a guide with 61 key social media metrics, with a brief explanation of each one and how to measure them. But to get started, here are some general social media metrics you can use to track your performance:
- Reach: An estimate of the number of people who see your content at least once during a time period.
- Click-through rate (CTR): The percentage of people who click on your content, social media profile, or links.
- Engagement rate: The total number of interactions (e.g., likes, comments, shares) divided by the total number of followers on your account.
- Hashtag performance: If you plan to use hashtags for your content or for any social media marketing campaigns, then monitoring hashtag performance will give you insights into how those hashtags affect your reach and engagement rates. For example, you can look at your most-used hashtags or at posts with hashtags that are associated with the highest reach and engagement rates.
Each social media network has its own insights and analytics tools to help you measure these metrics. Analytics are also built into Buffer to consolidate all of your social metrics and KPIs into one platform to simplify the process of measuring and analyzing data.
We also recommend using Google Analytics to see which social media platforms are driving the most referral traffic to your website. We’ve got a list of five meaningful Google Analytics reports to help you boost your social media marketing plan.
Contests are incentive programs that reward followers for being a part of your online community. They can also help attract new followers. There are multiple ways to run an online contest, like asking followers to complete a simple challenge they can share on their own social media pages. You may also try word games or guessing games. Rewards for contests may include a prize pack or a product discount. Before you start an online contest, check your platform’s legal requirements to make sure you’re following user guidelines.
What Is Social Media Content?
Social media content is any written, visual, interactive, or animated item that you share on a social feed or platform. They’re the pieces of information people view or read while scrolling online. Most businesses and organizations use social media content for marketing and advertising. It’s also helpful for sharing new products and services, spreading information about the company, and building a brand image.
You can share social media content on any networking platform. Choosing the right website or app to host your accounts and business pages may depend on your target audience, type of business, and products and services for sale. Some social media sites you can join include:
Facebook was one of the first traditional social networking sites, and it’s still widely used today. Companies can create business pages to share information about their building locations, hours of operation, and other relevant information. Businesses may use Facebook pages for advertising, promoting content, and engaging with an audience. You can access Facebook both through a web browser and a mobile app.
Twitter relies heavily on words, videos, and links to connect its users. The thread-like structure of its posts encourages comments and communication. Twitter may be more popular with types of community users rather than age groups. For example, those who follow technology, sports, or political news may spend more time on Twitter than on other social sites. Like Facebook, Twitter has online and in-app access.
Instagram is an image-focused social platform that is perfect for those who prefer visual creativity. Since its creation, Instagram has developed into an influencer- and ad-driven platform with a lot of paid promotions. People of all ages use the site, but it’s popular with older teens and young adults. Originally an app-only platform, you can now access Instagram online with limited features. For example, you can browse, like, and comment on posts online, but you can only post content from the app.
YouTube is a video-focused social platform that hosts both short and long videos. People can watch anything from tutorials, city walkthroughs, animal zoo cams, and music videos on the platform. Some additional features include paid content partnerships where you can rent and watch movies and television shows through the site or app for a fee. YouTube is popular with all ages because of its variety of content.
Snapchat started as a personal photo messaging app. Users could share a photo that was only viewable for up to 10 seconds with select friends. While those original features still exist, the company has added more, including chat, stories, and maps. It’s also popular for its geotagging features that include location-based filters and recommendations for restaurants, stores, and local events. This app-only platform is popular with teens and young adults.
TikTok is a video-based platform known for its short clips. Common TikTok content includes dance and lip-sync videos and comedy skits. Some also use the platform to host brief and engaging educational content. This app and internet-accessible site is popular with teenagers and young adults but has users of all ages.
Pinterest is a visual and link-based platform that allows you to save, share, and organize content from around the internet. Users create Pins, which are images that link back to other sources, like blogs, e-commerce stores, or videos. Similar to Twitter, Pinterest users may group themselves by category rather than age. Teachers, parents, creatives, and people getting married may be some of the platform’s most popular users. Pinterest has both online and in-app capabilities.
Most people consider LinkedIn a professional social networking site. It emphasizes business dealings, industry news, and networking. Individual users create profiles to share their resumes and career accomplishments. Business profiles benefit from sharing article content and job listings. LinkedIn may be a popular niche community for anyone looking for career opportunities or advice. You can use LinkedIn online and through an app.
You may not consider Reddit a traditional social media site, but its emphasis on communities makes it a popular place for people to visit. It’s also a common place for businesses to advertise. Users turn to Reddit to ask questions, learn about breaking news, and connect with people who share their interests. You can use Reddit through the app or on its website.
Tumblr is billed as a microblogging website, but it’s more of a cross between Reddit and Pinterest with a little bit of Instagram and TikTok thrown in. Users share links, quotes, GIFs, screenshots, and their original thoughts and creations on Tumblr. Some also use the site as a web hosting platform. You may target niche communities here, such as artists, writers, or pop culture fans. Tumblr runs online and through an app.
Find the Right Words…Or the Right Pictures
Social media content offers companies numerous marketing possibilities. But how can you find the right strategy for your online presence on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to this question. Which social media content is appropriate for any company will always depend on the marketing purpose as well as upon the goods or services each company has to offer. Nevertheless, there are some tips which will make it easier to choose your strategy. The most important thing is to begin your social media content campaign by using some “tried and tested” formats, such as:
Guidebooks and tutorials are among the most popular types of social media content, and these are shared on Facebook and YouTube literally thousands of times. Companies that want to make their products and services more familiar and appealing can use advice as a gateway for social media content. For example, a tile floor manufacturer could offer video tips to show how a tile can be laid quickly and cleanly. Such initiatives demonstrate to the user that the manufacturer is not just interested in selling his product – he wants the buyer to achieve the best possible results too. It’s important that social media content should always be honest and authentic – any guide should be a real help, and not just another means of advertising your own products which has been disguised as a tutorial.
Another successful approach used in the ‘advice’ field is well demonstrated by the method employed by the blender manufacturer Blendtec. Their YouTube video series “Will it blend?” was enthusiastically received by the social media community and proved a great success. In each video episode, the company’s founder checks whether objects, such as an iPhone or industrial diamonds, can be crushed in one of his company’s blenders – sometimes with an explosive outcome. This kind of humorous content is particularly popular on social media, so these clips made a significant contribution to the brand’s popularity. In addition, each video also serves as an advertisement with a clear message: Blendtec products prove themselves even under the harshest conditions.
Testimonials or expert opinions can be just as effective as guides. In view of the fast pace of social media, the content should, of course, be as up-to-date as possible. If a report suggest scientists have found that regular exercise is not only good for health but also relieves work-related stress, this can be a perfect opportunity for a gym to post information highlighting the study, either on Facebook or in a blog. It’s always very important to get your tips and content absolutely correct – because with an active community, even small inaccuracies in the posts are quickly noticed and reflect poorly on the contributor. Likewise, advertising is never appreciated in tests, so the marketing should focus more on the result or outcome of the test.
On certain occasions, Twitter marketing campaigns can be used very effectively. During a trade fair visit, a company could inform users about current products and developments via Twitter. And whenever a new product is launched, Twitter can also be helpful to generate media hype. Users can regularly be made aware of the pending product launch through regular posts. This creates a certain expectation and anticipation for the product, which can then be dramatically “unveiled” at the market launch.