We all know that great social media marketing is key to a successful business and brand. So why do so many of us struggle with creating engaging, consistent content on our platforms?
Well, more often than not, the answer lies in our (lack of) content and social media planning. This is a problem which is so easily solved, but only if you have access to the right resources and support.
And that’s where we come in! To help out our fellow businesses, brands and creators, the team at Digital Women have put together an in-depth guide to creating a fool-proof social media content plan! We’re using our easy Social Media Planner, developed by Digital Women’s very own Lucy Hall, as a guide.
So, where do you start?
Getting started with any plan is often the hardest part, but once you find your flow, we’re certain you’ll be well on your way to creating some amazing content. Begin by simply follow the steps in the order below!
First of all, let’s start with your audience. This is ultimately the most important part of any brand – after all, you wouldn’t exist without your customers!
It’s crucial to first define who your typical consumers are – we’ve dedicated a page to outlining your customer avatar right at the start of our social media planner.
Start by asking yourself the following three questions:
What needs does my typical customer have? How does your business fulfill those needs?
What does my typical customer look like? This includes their average age, average income and most common location.
What motivates my typical customer? Sometimes it’s discounts, other times it’s personal customer service – it’s your job to find this out.
Once you’ve identified your audience, it’s important to decide on, or remind yourself of, who you are as a brand. If you don’t know what your brand personality is, how are your consumers going to know?
To help you with this, consider thinking of your business as a person. If it was a person…
What would they sound like?
What would they be like?
What would their interests be?
How would they talk to people?
To achieve this step, use the dedicated ‘business personality’ section in our social media planner, where you can choose three key traits of your brand personality to always adhere to.
Now let’s start looking into the content we’re actually putting on our social media. We all know that consumers crave quality content on their feeds, but what does good content actually look like? Try and think about creating content that…
A good content creator understands the art of capturing their consumers’ attention. Your brand or business’ goal should be to create content that makes your customer’s thumb stop scrolling and take notice. Evoking a reaction like this from your consumers is difficult in a social media world which is saturated with high quality content, but it’s certainly not impossible. The most important thing to ensure is that you’re using high quality creatives: for example, if you’re using an image, video or gif, make sure that it is the most clear, unique and powerful image, video or gif you think of.
Contains actionable elements
Wherever possible, your content should be actionable. Actionable content is content which drives your audience to take action/s that you really care about as a brand. For example, you could create actionable content by sharing articles or blogs from your website, including a link to a sign-up form, or asking your audience to comment or engage with your post in some way.
In general, simple posts with a clean creative are best at capturing an audience’s attention. Your brand can easily achieve this by adhering to a clean and consistent colour scheme, using brand-recognisable imagery, and keeping text minimal, concise and impactful wherever possible.
Consistency is crucial when you’re trying to establish a loyal and engaged audience or fanbase. Using a distinct brand style, a consistent tone when talking to customers, and posting regularly and consistently, all help your customers to build trust in your brand.
Is recent, relatable and memorable
Showing that you are relevant is key if your brand is to thrive in an ever-changing social media market. Keep up to date with what your competitors or others in the industry are offering their audience so that you can stay on-trend and ensure your content is relatable. Memorable content – content which relates to your typical customer’s life and interests in some way – is even better, as it encourages them to believe that your brand truly cares.
Now we know what the aims and effects of our social media posts should be, it’s time to consider how we can achieve this. Here are just a few ideas of the kind of content you can start posting to really engage with your audience on social media:
Run a giveaway
When a gift is at stake, your brand incentivizes people’s active participation. You may also want to announce the winner to your audience so that they become incentivized to participate next time you run a giveaway!
Sharing your brand’s testimonials (in moderation of course) will allow your audience to celebrate your achievements with you. This helps to create a sense of community amongst your consumers which can be an incredibly powerful asset to your brand.
Ask for feedback
Show that you value your customers’ opinions and insights by asking them for their feedback.
Ask your audience
Asking your audience can be a fun way to engage existing and potential customers. You might want to do this by using the ‘poll’ feature on Instagram stories, for example, to allow customers to engage with the brand, but without putting them on the spot.
Pose a question
Ask your audience: how are you feeling today? What are your plans for the weekend? Asking these kinds of questions on a regular basis shows that you really care about your customers on an individual level.
Share industry updates
Sharing updates from your industry allows you to show that you truly care about keeping your customers informed about current topics which are relevant to their life, their career, or their interests.
Celebrate special dates
Which dates are considered ‘special dates’ will vary depending on the needs and interests of your audience, but they might include dates such as: National Best Friends Day, International Women’s Day, World Kindness Day, or Chinese New Year. As part of your audience profile, consider identifying which special dates may appeal to your target audience and scheduling these into your content plan.
Want to save time, be consistent and reach your business goals?
Using everything you’ve just looked at above, try putting together a full content plan to help you decide on everything your posts need to be: from visuals and wording, to what days and times posts are going to be published.
Our social media planner is designed to help you plan your content easily and effectively. We’ve added columns so that you can plan your channel, theme, visual and caption for each post on a day-to-day level.
So you know the sort of content you want to post and have scheduled it into your content plan. But what is the best way to actually create that content?
Digital Women Founder Lucy Hall’s go-to for content production is graphic design platform Canva. Using Canva, you can:
Create a template for your brand to use for all of its social media posts – this helps to ensure consistency!
Use images that represent your brand, whether that’s by creating your own content (which is ideal, as these images will be more recognisable to your audience) or using high-quality stock images
Finally, it’s all well and good creating consistent content, scheduling posts via your content plan, and engaging with your audience. But how do you know if what you’re doing is really working?
In order to keep track of how your content is actually performing, use an online Analytics tracker (such as Google Analytics) and keep a written record of the results in our social media planner’s designated Analytics Tracker section.
This will allow you to track how much reach and engagement your posts are getting, thus informing and enhancing your future content plan and marketing strategy. You may also want to keep an eye on which days or times your content is most successful, as this will allow you to schedule posts for optimum times in the future.
Congratulations – you’re well on your way to completing your social media plan!
How are you feeling?
We hope you’ve found this content-planning guide as useful as we have! But remember, your social media plan doesn’t stop here. This is a long-term solution, achieved through using our Social Media Planner, which delivers results and allows you to reach your business goals.