If you don’t have an effective content plan, then you’re likely not maximizing your social engagement. You need a detailed content plan to structure and plan your writing and content, so that your content is boosting social engagement.

How do you do it?

First, identify your AUDIENCE.  Put yourself in your potential customers’ shoes. Who are they? What are they looking for? How are they most likely to find your business? Thinking this through will give you a better understanding of your potential customer base. You can then create content that will drive customers to you, and make them more likely to identify with and engage with you.

Second, identify the best SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM for your content.  You don’t need to be – and probably shouldn’t be – on every platform!  Find out which platforms your audience is most likely to be on.  Knowing your audience’s demographics will help narrow this search down.

Third, RESEARCH your content ideas.  Figure out what kind of content your audience wants!  You can do this through digital polls, forms, questionnaires, etc. Reach out and ask your customers what they want to hear from you.  Another great way to research content ideas is to scope out what your competitors are doing.  See what kind of content they’re posting.  From there you’ll be able to see what people are engaging with or not engaging with.  Use this information to create better content.

Fourth, DRAFT your posts in advance, and plan out when they should be posted. This will allow you to use your content to push your brand, themes, or events. What about a countdown to a contest? What about a themed week? What about soliciting feedback from customers? What about leading up to a product launch?  Remember to always include a visual with each post.  There are plenty of free stock image sites if you don’t have your own organic visuals.  If you do use free stock images, make sure that you have the right to use them for commercial purposes.

Fifth, PLAN out your calendar.  With your content drafted and visuals selected, generate a monthly content calendar to spread out your content. Using a social scheduling tool such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social will allow you to schedule all of your posts for the month in one sitting.

Sixth, ENGAGE.  Posting your content is just the beginning!  Now you need to engage with your followers.  Respond to all comments and questions. Engage with relevant hashtags and topics within your industry.

Seventh, MONITOR and ADJUST your strategy.  Do this on a quarterly basis.  Allow some time for your existing strategy to gain some traction.  This is a great time to use the analytical tools provided by each social platform as well as Google Analytics. Leverage your analytics to determine what’s working and what isn’t. Use that information to refine your plan and update your content.

Posting to social media without a strategy and plan, and without continually leveraging data to see if your content is generating results, is like trying to navigate a dark room without a flashlight. You need a map to see where you’re going, and to help your customers understand your brand, its identity, and its products.

 

We help guide our customers through these exercises every day, and we’ve seen first-hand how planning and monitoring can make a huge difference in brand awareness and increased sales. Nothing’s more exciting than seeing a well-crafted social media plan generate big results. If you need help creating a content plan, and seeing what a properly constructed content plan can do for you, contact Now You’re Trending and let’s get started planning your brand’s future.