So you’ve finally decided to integrate social media into your marketing strategy, and now trying to find the answer to the biggest question: Where do I begin? Luckily there are many inexpensive and useful tools that can help you build your social media content strategy. From experience I’ve found that there are three steps to a good strategy: Research, Implementation and Monitoring.
In order to understand where to go, you need to understand where you currently stand. In this phase you need to take the time to understand your audience. This will guide you in creating content that reflects your audience’s interests and needs. This will also help you with positioning and developing the overarching goal of the efforts. Are you looking to build brand loyalty, develop more leads or increase brand awareness? Researching what your customers are looking for will help you answer the questions to determine your social media content strategy.
There are many useful tools to begin your search. Here are some recommendations:
Social Mention: A free real-time social media search tool
Google Alerts: Learn about content related to your brand
Google Consumer Surveys: While this tool is fairly new, surveys in general are a great way to ask your customers about their needs and challenges.
Using information pulled from these sources, you will be able to develop a guide that will help you determine the Who, What, When and Why factor in developing social media content.
Now that you’ve researched what you’re audience is talking about, it’s time for execution. The very first step is creating a content calendar. Using free tools like Google Docs will help you stay organized and keep track of ideas. Ideally this document should also contain information about themes, social platforms or even major events.
Once you’ve created the content calendar, the next step is executing that content onto the various social media platforms. Social media never sleeps so scheduling your social content is a great way to plan ahead. There are many free and inexpensive tools like HootSuite or Sendible that can help you with distributing the content.
Social media measurement is not a one size fits all. It’s best to test various tools to help you determine what works for your goals and organizational needs. Some recommendations are: Sendible, SocialSprout or SocialBro.
Using Google Docs, you can also create dashboards to track various types of data, such as: engagement, growth over time, clicks or revenue generated. After a period of time, examine and analyze the data to determine if changes need to be made to the strategy you’ve created. It’s good to remember that everyone’s social media strategy will look different, which means that results will differ as well.
These are some tips of how to organize and build a social media content strategy. What tools and tips have you tried?