Thank you for joining me here again on my blog for another instalment of social media know-how.
You may already be busy creating and curating social media content in line with your goals and objectives for your business this year. If you are that’s great, being prepared is likely to give you more time to engage and respond to your audience.
If, however you’re a bit stumped and feeling a little foggy after all the festivities about how you’re going to make your social media work harder for you this year, then you may just want to hang around and check out my 7 steps to planning your social media content for the year ahead.
It’s all in the planning.
Unless you are looking to outsource your social media management for this year, I would recommend carving out some time in your schedule to work through my 7-step guide. They will help you to get clear on what you want to achieve with your social media and save you hours of unnecessary work in the months to come.
Step 1 – Audit
It sounds daunting I know, believe me, it’s not really.
Auditing your social media simply means evaluating each of your profiles, its content, and the strategies you adopted in the 12 months previous. Look upon it as an opportunity to see what worked, what needs improving, and what you achieved.
Review what performed well by delving into your insights, and consider what channels represented you and your brand the best. This will help you to get laser-focused when it comes to choosing what platform/s to use going forward.
Remember to use your time wisely. Don’t hang out on Twitter 24/7 if your target audience aren’t there for example. Your audit should help you with this, so you can be in the right place at the right time, and exactly where potential new clients are.
By auditing your social media, you can identify those killer posts that really resonated with your target market. Discovering what content was effective, you can set about replicating themes to create interesting and inspiring posts to engage your audience.
Lastly, don’t forget to cast your eye over all your social media channels including that of your website to check for consistency. You want to make yourself instantly recognisable, so that whatever channel your audience find you on, your brand logo, profile image, captions, and tone of voice are seamlessly linked.
Step 2 – Audience
Get to know who your target customer is.
You can check your audience demographics to see who is already a fan and engaging with you. Not everyone here will be your ideal customer, however it is a great place to start.
Begin by creating 3 personas, or avatars as they are sometimes called. Build a picture of what these individuals are like. Note down details such as their age, where they live, their job, the holidays they take, whether they have a family, what magazines, TV programmes, and leisure activities they enjoy.
As well as the material things, think about their personality, their fears, goals, worries, and the problems they may face in their everyday life and in business.
By getting up close and personal with your ideal customer it will make creating helpful content that resolves their problems or satisfies their needs much easier.
Step 3 – Mission
Think about your business mission statement, along with your vision and values. Getting clear on your purpose, objectives, and aspirations will set the tone for how you want to be seen on social media.
It’s a crowded market out there so it’s important to demonstrate what makes you different to your competitors. Creating content that is aligned to you and your values will help to differentiate you from everyone else.
Step 4 – Content
Nobody wants to be sold to all the time, so it’s important to consider your content mix.
You may wish to go with the 80/20 rule. Where 80% of your posts are designed to inform, educate and inspire your viewers, with the other 20% of your posts for promotional material.
Alternatively, you could split your content 50/50. 50% created content all about you, your brand, and services, and 50% curated content found from other sources, or influencers relevant to your brand.
Either way it needs to be relevant to your message, and linked to your goals and objectives.
Having well thought out content, with themes per day, such as quotes, promotions, polls, questions, and stories for example will help to structure your content and make planning that much easier.
Step 5 – Schedule
Do you already use scheduling tools? If not, then maybe this is your year to think about automating your social media.
By doing so, it will allow you more time to react and engage with your posts, and ultimately free you up to get on with the day job.
There are several scheduling tools available, Facebook has its own page manager for example, which is straightforward, free and easy to use. There are also paid options, with some offering free trials. With Hootsuite you can schedule to all the major social networks with multiple profiles. Planoly is specifically for Instagram users, where you can plan your grid and make a strong visual impact, and Tailwind is designed for scheduling to both Pinterest and Instagram.
With any tool you use, it must fit you and your business, so you may want to trial some to see which works best.
Scheduling allows you to be more efficient and more targeted, with all the tools offering insights and analytics, so you can visibly see what is working, what’s not and adapt if necessary.
Step 6 – Analyse
Keeping a close check on your analytics and insights across all your social media channels will inevitably bring you better results as you are unlikely to repurpose or produce content that has not seen much engagement in the past.
Make a point of looking at your engagement, clicks to your website, and the overall reach of your posts. Tune into what content is performing well, look at your key successes, and monitor these regularly. I would suggest monitoring weekly for the top line information and then at the end of each month, spend some time drilling down to the other data…
Step 7 – Ask for help
I’m hoping I haven’t lost you after that quick run-down on how to plan and monitor your social media strategy for the year ahead.
If I have, then please don’t worry. Just like with any element of running your business there is always someone who can help you to learn how to do it, or even do it for you.
Here at Coleman Hammond we offer a “done-for-you” service which includes strategy development, social media management for up-to 3 channels, weekly feedback on progress, and a monthly activity report.
For those of you who are looking to learn more about social media there is also the option for one-to-one training with me to get you up to speed.
If your goal in 2019 is to master the social media game, to increase your brand awareness, generate more sales or find and target new customers drop me an email today, and together we can make it happen.
Join me next time when the focus will be on how to optimise your Facebook business page.
Drop me an email today, click here.