The Complete Guide to Crafting Great Content for Social Media
Social media is one of the most important channels for marketing your brand. One of the major reasons for this being the fact that it has over 3.9 billion users now, which is over 50% of the world’s population.
This means that you have the opportunity to reach out to a massive chunk of your target audience through social media.
However, to get this done, it’s not only important to create accounts on various social platforms but also to maintain an active presence there.
For this, it’s critical that you regularly post high-quality, engaging content on various platforms.
But how can you do that?
Let’s find out...
Here are the steps that you should follow to create great content on social media:
1. Determine Your Target Customers
When you create content on social media, it’s essential that you keep your target audience in mind.
The content needs to interest them and for that, it must be relevant to them as well.
That’s why it’s essential to know the likes and dislikes of your audience and accordingly create content.
That brings us to the next question:
How can you define your target audience?
You can define your target customer based on their demographics, geographics, and psychographics.
Once you’ve got an idea of who your target customer is, you’ll be able to better customize your content to suit their requirements. This would mean a change in your tone, content type, visuals used, etc.
When you post such content on social media, they’ll likely notice it and engage with it because it will be relevant to them.
Social Media Post Example
For instance, note how Starbucks uses a casual tone that appeals to its target audience. They couple this up with enticing visuals of their coffees too.
2. Identify Your Social Media Goals
Once you’ve figured out your target audience, it’s critical that you also understand your goals from social media.
Without knowing your goals, you won’t be able to align your efforts in the right direction to achieve them.
Your goals will also help you identify the various key performance indicators (KPIs) that need to be tracked to understand your progress.
Also, when you’re setting your goals, you should ensure that the goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely).
Some of the goals that you can set, for example, are:
- Getting 10,000 engagements on social media content within 1 month: To achieve this, you’d have to post content regularly and engage with your audience. A great way of going about this is by using tools like Buffer and Hootsuite.
- Generating 100 sales in 10 days: You should leverage social media promotions to quickly generate sales. Use tools like AdEspresso to run such campaigns.
- Generating 500 leads within 20 days: To generate leads, you can launch contests or post links to your landing page.
- Reaching 100K people within 1 month: You can use a mix of paid promotions and organic reach from regular posts to reach a wider audience.
3. Choose the Right Social Network
Now that you’ve got your goals and audience sorted, it’s time to create accounts on social networks.
Based on your audience, determine the social platforms where they’re the most active. These are the platforms where you need to maintain an active presence.
You should also take your products and services into consideration when you’re choosing the social platform.
For instance, if you’re selling beauty products, Instagram is likely to be the best platform for you as it’s a visual platform.
On the other hand, if you’re selling a B2B product, like an emergency notification software solution, you might want to do it through LinkedIn.
It’s critical to choose the right social media platforms as they will help you reach your target audience more effectively too.
Finally, your choice of social media platforms also determines the type of content that you need to produce, so make sure you deliberate over the platforms well.
Social Media Platform Selection Example
For instance, WeWoreWhat uses Instagram to promote their brand as it’s a visual platform, and as they’re selling clothes, it makes sense to use the platform. This has paid off too as they currently have over 170k followers.
4. Determine Content Topics
After setting up your accounts on the social platforms of your choice, it’s time to come with various social media content ideas around which you’ll create content.
For this, it’s critical that you put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and find out what they’d like to see from a brand. These are the topics around which you need to create content.
Apart from the content topics, it’s also important to figure out the various content formats that you’ll use.
For instance, many social platforms now offer a variety of features like Stories, Polls, Q&As, Live Videos, and more.
Once you’ve got the primary topics, you should conduct keyword research to find out the various sub-topics that can become individual posts on social media. You can do this using keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner.
Similarly, you should also consider keeping up with trending topics as they can help you gain traction with ease.
Social Media Example: Viral Content
For example, note how BuzzFeed has leveraged the viral trend of pineapples on pizzas for their YouTube video. This has helped them garner over 1 million views.
5. Design a Content Calendar
After coming up with content topics, it’s time to sit and plan your content calendar before you start creating content.
Your content calendar will help you figure out what needs to be published on which day of the week for the month.
What should you bear in mind when designing your content calendar?
When you’re designing your content calendar, you should get specific about the topics. Dive into the details of the type of post and the topic of the post.
It also helps to mention whether it’s a top-of-the-funnel topic, a middle-of-the-funnel topic, or a bottom-of-the-funnel topic.
But why should you create a content calendar?
A content calendar can help you publish helpful content regularly and saves you the effort of having to brainstorm new content ideas daily. It also helps you make sure that there is diversity in the types of content that are published.
If you already use a social media platform like Hootsuite, you can use it to create a social content calendar. Even if you don’t use one, you can always use Excel to create one.
For instance, Red Bull posts 9-11 times daily on Facebook. They also post 7-8 Instagram posts daily.
Also, don’t forget to add social media holidays to your content calendar. Use this The Ultimate Social Media Holiday Calendar to Increase Followers to help.
Content Calendar Example
Also, here’s an example of a social media content calendar. Note how the dates have been added next to each piece of content.
6. Create Content
After the content calendar is ready, you should start creating high-quality content for social media based on it. This could be in the form of blog posts, videos, images, infographics, or even live videos.
When you’re writing blog posts on platforms like LinkedIn, you can leverage content writing tools and plagiarism detection tools to write stellar blog posts. These can help you create quality posts that will help you grow your reach and engagement.
It lets you create stunning videos using pre-defined templates. You can also add text and graphics to these videos and change their color schemes to match your brand. Also, the videos can be easily resized to fit perfectly on any social platform. Such tools can help you develop powerful videos, quickly and without any technical know-how.
7. Publish and Promote Your Content
The content creation process also involves publishing and then promoting your content. Publishing your content at the right time is important as it can help your posts get greater traction.
In general, the best time to post on social media is between 9 AM and 12 PM early in the workweek.
The time matters as this is when people are expected to be the most active on social media and that means that there’s a greater chance of them noticing your posts.
Apart from this, you should also take a look at your social media analytics using the native analytics tools of social platforms or your social media tools. From these analytics, you’ll be able to figure out when your audience is the most active. You should choose those times to post your content.
Publishing Time Gone Wrong Example
Posting content at the wrong time can also have bad consequences for your brand. For example, Kenneth Cole posted tweets to promote his store while the Cairo protests were happening. He had to face a lot of backlash for it.
To post content at the right time, you can leverage social scheduling tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite. These tools can help you publish your content automatically at stipulated times on multiple social media platforms.
But your job doesn’t end there...
You should also try to grow your reach by promoting the content. You can do this by running paid promotions for the content that’s performing the best.
8. Engage Regularly
Your job doesn’t end at publishing and promoting your content. To ensure that your audience regularly engages with your content in the future, it’s essential that you engage with them.
It’s critical to respond to their comments on your posts and messages related to them. Doing so will make your audience feel that you care for them and this can improve their brand trust.
Also, when you respond to the comments on your posts, you’ll essentially help your posts generate even more engagement. This is because platforms like Facebook have started prioritizing comments for engagements.
And that’s not all.
When your followers see that you actively respond to their comments, they’ll be more inclined to comment on your posts to interact with you.
Social Media Engagement Example
Note how Wendy’s responds to tweets by their audience and engages with them well.
However, just engaging isn’t enough. You also need to know how to measure your engagement to gauge your content success. If you use social media tools, you’ll be able to see your engagement rates right there. But to determine your engagement manually, you can consider the below metrics:
- Organic reach
- Clicks per post
- Total mentions
9. Ask for Feedback
An important part of crafting awesome social media content is that of finding out what your audience likes and what they don’t.
While your audience research can help you find this out to a certain extent, there’s nothing quite like asking your audience directly.
How can you do that?
You can use the polls feature that’s offered by most major social media platforms now. By asking your audience about the type of content that they like, you’ll get an idea of what you need to create.
At the same time, your audience will feel that you’re truly listening to them and giving them exactly what they want.
While polls on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are created in the form of posts and tweets, you’ll need to leverage Stories for polls on Instagram.
Feedback Through Polls Example
For instance, note how COVERGIRL put up a poll on Twitter asking their audience about their lipstick preferences. This gives them insights into their audience and accordingly, they can modify their marketing strategy.
10. Measure Progress
Finally, the last step in creating great content for your social media accounts is that of measuring your progress and optimizing your approach.
You should monitor the KPIs that you’ve set in place such as:
- Follower growth
- Web traffic generated
- Likes, shares, comments
- Sales revenue generated
- Lead conversion rate
- Cost per click
- Cost per lead
Based on these KPIs, you’ll be able to see where you stand in comparison to your goal. You can also check out these indicators for different content types using social media analytics tools to figure out which ones work the best for you.
But why should you do this?
You’re spending your resources on creating content and marketing your brand on social media. That’s why it’s essential to know if your efforts are fruitful or not. For this, it’s important to calculate your return on investment (ROI).
Doing so can tell you if you’re getting something out of your marketing efforts or if they’re done in vain. For the ROI calculation, you should weigh your results against the cost of generating them in both monetary and time resource terms.
Based on the ROI analysis, you can accordingly start creating content that can help you drive better ROI.
Creating content for social media may seem like an easy process but doing it regularly requires that you plan it well in advance. Here’s a quick recap of the entire guide to creating great social media content:
- Determine Your Target Customers
- Identify Your Social Media Goals
- Choose the Right Social Media Network
- Determine Content Topics
- Design a Content Calendar
- Create Content
- Publish and Promote Your Content
- Engage Regularly
- Ask for Feedback
- Measure Progress
Do you have any questions about the steps to create great content mentioned above? Ask them in the comments section.
About the Author
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant for 15 years with an emphasis on Influencer Marketing in the last 5 years. He is specialized in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, Influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.