Identifying Content to Drive Your Social Media Strategy
These days, it’s rare that we have to convince businesses to use social media. Most marketing managers and business owners we work with see the value in it, they know it’s a great way to connect with current and potential customers, but there’s still something holding them back – they don’t know what to talk about.
There’s a new app out that claims it will help you “become a social media rockstar within minutes.” You enter in a few key words and phrases and the app helps you find relevant content to share.
Herein lies the problem – the hardest part is still up to you.
In our experience working with brands, one of the most difficult, though important, steps in developing a social media strategy is identifying what content matters to your audience. When brands go through our Social Media and Content Marketing Program, one of the outcomes is to decide on a few key topics of interest that will drive the content we create for their blog, website or social media accounts.
Here are some tips to help you identify content categories for your brand:
Get the branded stuff out of the way first. One of your content categories will always be focused around your product or service. This is online marketing, after all. Product features, company news and events, frequently asked questions – all of that deserves a place in your social media and content strategy. Don’t rely on it as a crutch, but don’t ignore it completely.
Use the content you already have. Do you already have whitepapers, case studies or resources on your website? Do you already send out printed or emailed newsletters? Do you have archival photos detailing your brand’s history? Take a good look at the content you’ve already produced over the years and think about how you can repurpose it for your blog or social media accounts. Build content categories around this existing content instead of trying to start from scratch.
Are you a local business? If you are, don’t forget to focus some of your content around your community. Local news and events make for great social media chatter and an easy way to break up talking about your own brand or industry.
Look to your peers. A lot of times when marketing managers are thinking about social media, they first turn to see what their competitors are doing. At Atomicdust, we recommend broadening the field a bit. Remember to look at professional organizations, publications and similar brands that aren’t necessarily direct competitors to find inspiration for content.
And look at brands that you admire. Nike. Starbucks. Oreo. West Elm. You don’t have to have the same audience or budget to be inspired by a brand. Look at the kind of content they share and how they are relating to their audience.
What would your Pinterest boards be? Pinterest isn’t right for everyone, but the strategy behind it can actually be a great frame for thinking about your content categories. If you had to create Pinterest boards for your brand, what would they be? How would you organize them?
Identifying content categories for your brand isn’t always easy, but like figuring out goals and audience profiles, it’s a necessary step in developing a strong social media strategy.