So you’ve decided to try to reach your audience through social media and chosen which social media channels to use. Now what are you going to say to engage them?
A lot of small businesses make the error of launching into social media and not thinking about it beforehand. Carve out some time to plan your approach looking at some key areas:
Consider carefully who you are targeting – their age, gender, location, income, where they work and their interests, use this information to form persona profiles of your audience. This will be very useful to establish what your audience are doing and talking about on social media.
Research your direct competition what are they doing on social media and how are they engaging your audience at the moment. Are there any specific campaigns they have run that have had high engagement levels (clicks, shares, likes)? Why is this – is it an offer, a particularly engaging video or image?
What results would you like to achieve through your efforts on social media? Do you want people to sign up to your newsletter, click through to your website and purchase? Sign up to a certain promotion? Or do you simply want to increase your brand awareness? How will you measure success when you start campaigns, what is the number you want to achieve? You can see what is realistic by looking at your competition and industry averages on a particular social channel.
Now you are ready to create a content plan – this is basically a calendar which shows the date/time and channels which you will be using and what you will say on each of them. Think about the events that you are doing through the year that will be good to tell people about, seasonal campaigns such as Black Friday, Christmas or Valentine’s are a good way to run a mini campaign such as an offer, promotion or competition. When you are brainstorming ideas always centre them around your audience persona and the key benefits of your product or service that way you know they will be engaging and are more likely to get you a better result. Once you have your ideas you can start to create the content – write blog posts, Facebook posts, find associated articles, find or shoot interesting images, create videos, infographics – whatever it is you want to use!
Always remember to track and analyse your content. Your content calendar is a guideline it should continuously evolve and adapt. This is a continuous improvement – don’t get too precious about an idea, just because you like it that doesn’t mean your target audience will. If it’s not working ditch it and find something else that does work. The more you do, the more you will learn and will start to reap the benefits of your efforts. Good luck.