Best Practices When Creating Content
Does your agency handle content creation or social media planning and programming?
Arranging the work so that your team and clients succeed requires a set of standards that can be used for every project. Here are some best practices to consider when writing content.
Your Goals from a Social Media Perspective
The main objectives that you create for content should be structured around the tried-and-tested, fail-proof SMART goal context.
S-pecific - The more definitive your goals are the more likely you will reach them. Such as: to achieve an increase in brand awareness, the direct goal would be to drive website traffic.
M-easurable - Choose and use metrics you can measure and quantify. Such as clicks, e-Commerce, engagements.
A-ttainable - Set achievable goals that are realistic and not ‘pie in the sky.’ Then ensure you have the resources, and plan accordingly.
R-elevant - Always link what you decide your social media content goals are to your business objectives so that it is a win-win.
T-ime based - A timeline is key when setting the framework for these goals. Deadlines must be set so you have a definite time frame to aim for.
The Audience to Target
Focusing on the right or the wrong, the audience could be a make or break for your customer campaign. The social media content you create should fit, appeal to, and work on the right target audience. This will enable conversations, allow you to get to know what your followers/customers want, and the ability to connect with your audience.
You must research the
target audience you are aiming for which can be done in several ways:
Available on social media platforms such as Facebook – enabling you to delve a little into who your targeted audience is, what they are talking about, what their interests are, and what is currently trending. Making use of social media marketing tools is definitely something to consider.
Google Analytics, for example, provides data and information regarding your website visitors.
Whether your customer service is a team or simply a dedicated email address, you should take the time to learn what your audience is querying, or asking questions about.
Understanding purchasing patterns and preferences can lend insight into your audience.
Content needs to be expressed in such a way that the brand gets noticed and speaks for itself. This way, it becomes recognizable and familiar – in a good way - not bland and ‘invisible’ but ‘known’. Give your content some personality and be personable.
This is something that will come first and foremost, organically – from the organization’s mission, vision, and values. It's also important to establish a brand voice to link the customer and audience to the brand creating a sense of familiarity and common ground. Ensure your team is in the loop too so that everyone is on the same page.
Mix It Up
A varied approach to content is going to be the difference between your potential followers and customers feeling uninspired or creating content that informs, grows, and engages your followers and customers.
Your content should be identifiable but diverse.
CREATE a calendar of content that
…includes user-generated content, influencer post shares, testimonials, and endorsements from your audience and customers that are giving good feedback.
… lines up with your audiences’ interests by using ideas from other brands and websites - but make it your own by brainstorming these ideas and creating original content.
…is interactive – videos, live streams, polls, etc., to see what works well. This will allow both your customer and their audience to get to know each other.
… shares posts, news, and links from other relevant and relatable pages/influencers/ brand partners on social media. This will deepen the relationship between your customer and their audience.
Find Inspiration from the Competition!
It is always a good idea to check on your competitors and to sometimes do what they are doing, but only better. Better yet, stay ahead of the game, strive to be a leader and influencer in your field.
What is the competition doing?
Well, take a look! Browse profiles and home in on your top competitors and keep them in the fold, professionally.
Rankings - comparative tools for platforms, like Alexa enable you to compare your brand to your competitors, giving you useful information to work with.
Facebook Ads – what type of ads are your competitors running? Look into their ad history, this might spark ideas for your own content.
Social Media Monitoring
Tracking what is being mentioned about your brand allows you to observe and improve content. Re-hash, re-write, or re-share user-generated content, as well as answer common queries and address complaints.
Social Media Content Scheduling
Scheduling is a critical element of your campaign as the opportunity for impact has a time limit and is sometimes short-lived. There are ways to improve your social media performance when deciding on the best times to publish content, for instance:
The most obvious starting point would be to go with the recommended times that studies have proven to be the most effective times to post. But these are not definite and may not tie in with the project’s plan or audience.
Again, the use of social media insights and scheduling tools can give you an indication of when followers are active, and most likely to take note of posted content.
Scheduling Approval of Social Media Content
Owners and investors will most likely want to sign off on the content you have created and aim to use. This can also be included on your social media scheduling app. Organize this ahead of time so that you can streamline the process and keep everyone efficient in their involvement too.
Review and Improve Content
Reviewing, and if necessary, modifying and improving content, from one month to the next or from campaign to campaign, is essential. It will aid you in making sure you are on track to optimize the campaign’s performance. Define the metrics that matter most. Patterns can be identified by comparing different time periods across the expected goals of the campaign. Your findings should lead you to experiment and improve, or even just simply republish popular posts.
As with every customer and brand you manage, each objective will be different and so too the strategy. Using these best practices and suggestions can help you establish and formulate a strong foundation and hot-off-the-press social media content!