How to Commit to a Social Media Content Strategy
To create a social media content strategy that will work for your business you can think about it in simple terms. One word. Six characters. Begins with C.
One of the most important aspects of a successful social media content strategy has to do with commitment and adhering to two key elements: 1) create social media profiles that you won't abandon or let the content die on the vine; 2) Nurture and grow your content.
Let's take it step by step. Think: Channels, Original, Maintain, Messages, Inventory, Tone (and Voice)
Check out the social media landscape for the best fit. Whether you decide to have presences on multiple social media channels or a select few, come to those channels with good intentions. If you're using social media platforms to communicate with your existing customers and people in your industry, think about what they would be interested in. Whether it's a link to a blog post, video, slides, infographic-put yourself in their shoes. What benefit will this content serve your target audience? Why will they want to spend time on your page?
Re-tweeting and linking to other people's content can be highly valuable in terms of helping to spread great material but it's good practice to set aside time to develop your own original work. As discussed in my earlier post, Four Ways to Make Your Blog Posts More Readable, content can be repurposed; it doesn't always have to be created from scratch. You can take segments from a white paper, a slide presentation, an earlier blog post and narrow it down into more concise messages. Highlight something different this time around. Even update how things have changed since you wrote it. Be sure, also, to dedicate time to staying up-to-date with what's happening in your industry and writing about it.
How many times have you landed on a blog or a social media channel where you can tell the company started out with great intentions and then hasn't touched it in a few weeks or even months? If you can't maintain the channels yourself, find other trusted content contributors within your organization, guest bloggers, or outsourcing with someone who specializes in social media.
Approach your social media content with a predetermined list of topics relevant to your business, a mixture of tried and true core messages and ones which are part of the current conversation. Stay flexible about your communication strategy. Provide insights, tips and how-to's which will make an impact in your readers day to day work. Look for content ideas every place you go. You'll be pleasantly surprised!
Take a look back at your stats and analytics. What posts created the most traffic, click-throughs, time on page? What do you think helped contribute to the success? Was it the title, keywords, links? Did an influential person in your industry mention your post? Try to recreate your successes as best you can. Keep in mind, even the words in your title can make or break your post's success.
Jim Lodico's recent post on Social Media Examiner, 6 Ways to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines, contains useful information about creating easy-to-read accessible content, targeted keywords, strong meta titles and descriptions, SEO tools to analyze a web page, internal and external links and optimized URL's.
Tone (and Voice)
Kristina Halvorson writes in her book, Content Strategy for the Web, "Although it's nothing most readers would notice, your content's brand voice (or personality) helps users identify whether they like you, understand you and ultimately trust you." Kristina suggests offering contrasting values: e.g. professional, not academic; confident, not arrogant; clever, not cutesy; savvy, not hipster; expert, not preachy.
What suggestions do you have for keeping your social media content strategy alive and well?
image credit: Ky Olsen Photostream
Article first published as How to Commit to a Social Media Content Strategy on Technorati.
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