How to Create a Social Media Content Plan for Your Organization
Creating a social media content plan for your organization is an important step in your overall digital communication strategy.
You want to ensure your work is accurate and targeted so that the time and energy you expend on social media are not wasted.
This article will discuss the steps that you need to take when creating a social media content plan.
Establish your objectives
An Objective is specific to an operation or a campaign (ex. social media).
Your objective needs to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.
Common social media objectives include:
• Increase brand awareness
• Increase audience/followers
• Strengthen brand loyalty
• Increase positive brand perception
• Convert social followers into qualified leads
Your objective metrics should be linked to the tool you are going to use to measure your results.
Some of the more common social media metrics (link), or KPIs, include:
As an example of a social media objective, if you want to increase brand awareness you would select the metrics that are most useful in measuring brand awareness (followers, impressions, traffic, reach, etc), identify your current metrics for the start of the campaign, and then set a goal for each of these metrics to reach by the end of the campaign.
Determine Your Target Audience
Once you know the objective you want to achieve, you need to determine the audience that will help make that happen.
If your objective is to get new followers on a social platform, you need to figure out the best type of content that will resonate with those types of followers.
For example, if your objective is to get more traffic for a blog post and increase brand awareness in the process, then writing posts about trending subjects in your business sector might be good because it would appeal to new audiences interested in this topic.
If you already have a series of buyer personas, use those as a starting point.
Focus on things like demographics, psychographics, geographics, and behavior to help focus your target audience efforts.
Iterate on Content
Start drafting content ideas with your team.
What types of content will resonate best with your target audience to help achieve your objective?
Your initial gut instinct may or may not be the best way to go about it.
I recommend grabbing a whiteboard, a small team, and spend a little time burning some gray matter – ideate and iterate.
What is the focus of the content?
What is the tone and voice to be used?
Where should it be posted?
Should we use Articles?
Should we use Photos?
Should we use Memes?
Should we use Videos?
Sketch out some ideas and get multiple “eyes-on” for comment and critique.
Everyone sees something different, so the more diverse of a team you can find to ideate and iterate, the better.
Prioritize your ideas into a document or spreadsheet and then move to the next step.
Prepare a Tentative Schedule
Once you have your content ideas, start producing a schedule that covers the length of your plan.
Determine if your content is going to be posted daily, weekly, monthly, or at some other interval.
Determine the best days and times and platforms to reach your audience.
Producing content can be a serious time consumer for those that work in production, so your excitement for new content must be realistically tempered by the resources available (people and tools) and the time it takes to produce the content.
Once you have a tentative “conceptual” schedule, it’s time to work on the details.
Refine and Finalize Content For Each Social Network
This is where you move from the planning stage into the preparation stage.
Start producing content, finalizing ideas, and approving the drafts.
Start plugging in specific content on specific platforms on specific dates.
Conduct a preview test to make sure the content produced is properly formatted for the platform you chose.
Depending upon the length of the plan, you may continue to produce content while you are also in the execution phase.
That’s ok, and most companies do this.
You just need to know how long a product takes to make with the resources you have available, so you don’t initiate a plan and then run out of “Schlitz” halfway through.
Execute and Engage
Setting the publishing date is easy, but social media is not a “fire and forget” weapon system.
Because you could have the best plan in the world, but there are other things that are going on in the information environment that could affect your great plan.
First, once the date has come for publishing, you will need to continuously monitor the information environment.
You may have drafted a post for a product that was fine yesterday, but the context suddenly changes due to an unforeseen crisis type of event going on in the world
Don’t be afraid to hit the pause button if a post you have drafted all of a sudden looks like it could be taken out of context.
Second, you will need to monitor the posts to see how they do and to engage with your target audience.
Use social media monitoring and listening and engage with people when appropriate.
If your goal is to increase leads, you can support the post by engaging, encouraging, and incentivizing your readers.
Measure and Adjust
You will need to constantly monitor and measure the effectiveness of your posts so you can make adjustments when necessary.
If something isn’t working, change it up!
Find out what’s grabbing attention and update accordingly.
If the length of your plan is 6 months and you have set an objective of increasing conversion by 50%, it is unlikely that you will see a linear improvement over those six months.
Your growth will likely come in spurts, so continue to monitor, continue to measure, and reinforce success when you get it.