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Do These 3 Things Before You Create Your Social Media Strategy

Last week we gathered to learn about Value Propositions, and how important they are in conveying what you sell/do in less than 10 seconds (before someone bounces). This week, we’ll be learning about social media content strategies and specifically, what you should do before you create your social media content strategy.

If you’re hoping to find a social media strategy template, content calendar template, or posts to download and use, this article isn’t for you. This article will focus on equipping you to create content that your customers actually care about and give them clarity on whether they are your right audience or not.

What is a social media strategy?

A solid social media content strategy media has the power to turn your brand into a household name and turn your followers into fans. However, not taking social seriously or posting only when you have the time, essentially means, you’ve left a lot of money on the table.

Much like any strategy, a social media strategy outlines your social media goals, how you plan on achieving them, and the metrics you will track to measure your progress.

Your social media content strategy will differ based on your product/service, your target audience, your brand voice, and the goals you wish to achieve. As there are so many variables, I would not recommend buying “social media content strategy templates”, it might make your work easier, but it defiantly won’t be as effective as if you were to pull out an hour or 2 to create a template that would benefit your business.

What you should do before you start your social media content strategy?

1. Choose the right social media platform for your business

If you haven’t asked yourself “which social media platform is right for my business?” then you’ve just shot yourself in the foot. The biggest mistake I see small and medium-sized businesses make is to spread themselves too thin join every social media platform out there. I’m talking about Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tiktok, Clubhouse, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., and - for lack of better words - suck at each and every one of them.

Large brands with dedicated social media teams can afford to roll out on new social channels, where you with your one-man-army or uninformed intern, or your teammate that manages your social media accounts AND sales AND Client meetings, etc, cannot.

Choosing 1 or 2 platforms and investing resources into it, will help you create a social media content strategy that will resonate with your audience on that platform better. What works on Facebook seldom works on Twitter or even Instagram for that matter. So don’t cut corners by posting the same piece of content on all platforms.

This article will help you choose the right social media channel for your business.

2. Create a content strategy mission statement

This week I took the ‘Content strategy and SEO for lead generation’ course on taught by Andy Crestodina. Halfway through the first lecture, Andy teaches us about mission statements for our content strategy.

A content strategy mission statement states what we’ll be publishing, who is it for and why they’ll care.

It’s the first step of ensuring that any content that is created, edited, accepted, or rejected is relevant to your audience.

Much like our value proposition, our content strategy mission statement can be used to clearly tell visitors what content they can expect to find within 10 seconds or less, and if it resonates with what they’re looking for, then they would be sure to like, share, follow and subscribe.

This would be your gatekeeping statement, that all content henceforth planned, created, edited, etc will have to pass in order to get published. You can read more about content strategy mission statements here.

To create your mission statement, you just have to fill in the blanks of this statement that Andy Crestodina drafted out for us:

Our Content is where [ Audience X] gets [information Y] that offers [ benefits Z].

The content strategy mission statement is not limited to social media, it can be used to draft out all non-sales content that is created and published by you and your business, such as Blog posts, Podcasts, Videos, Articles, Newsletters, etc

Audience X:

Your content is a great tool to attract more people that currently may not be your target audience for the product/service you’re selling.

Whether your content goals target potential customers through the buyer’s journey, help you rank higher on google, give out expert advice, or help establish yourself as a credible source for information in your industry, or all of the above - your content can help you reach this broader audience. The indirect benefits that these “extended target audiences” can bring your business are huge and will help you attract more of your actual target audience.

This extended audience would be your audience X and it is important to clearly define who they are, even if it’s broad.

Information Y:

These are the topics that you would be covering. It is the sweet spot between what you know, you sell or can advise on, and the topics that our audience is interested in, searching for, engage with, or want. When we take this into consideration, we can use content to pull our audience closer to converting.

Benefits Z:

Would you share or follow any account that does not benefit you? No. Then don’t expect your audience to do so either. Your content has to be helpful or have some value, even if that value is relatability. Your content strategy mission statement must name the specific benefits that our content offers our audience, without which you’d fail to win their attention, attract visitors and fail to generate any demand for your product/service.

For more information on content mission statements, where they can be used and examples of the same, this blog post by Andy Crestodina himself, will help.

3. Set up tracking traffic generated through your content.

I can not stress the number of times I’ve heard social media managers and agencies convince clients and friends that ROI through organic social media content cannot be tracked. What’s worse? They use vanity metrics to decide on what their efforts were worth.

If your social media content isn’t influencing the people that follow you, attracting new people, or pushing people to convert, then you’re just pumping valuable resources into a void.

If you’ve set up google analytics to track traffic to your website (if you haven’t done it, do it now) then this article on traffic attribution will help.

It will also help you track other important traffic that you probably aren’t tracking. Once you’re familiar with traffic attribution and properly tagging your social media traffic, you’re good to start creating your social media content strategy.

About Andy Crestodina

According to Andy Crestodina is the co-founder and CMO of Orbit Media. He's an international top-rated keynote speaker and the author of Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Guide to Content Marketing.

As an instructor, you can tell he absolutely loves content. Although the information is heavy and there’s a lot to take in, Andy makes it digestible. He’s possibly the type of teacher that could make you love a subject you previously hated.

If you’re looking for a good course online for content and SEO, then I’d definitely recommend the ‘Content strategy and SEO for lead generation’ course on taught by Andy Crestodina.

Take Away:

While it’s exciting and important to create a social media content strategy, as a small or medium-sized business you should choose your social media platform carefully- to ensure you aren’t spreading your resources too thin, create a content strategy mission statement – to act as a gatekeep for the type of content you publish and help be relevant to your audience and get yourself familiar with proper ROI tracking of your social media efforts.

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