Struggling to put together a social media content strategy? Or just need ideas for making the most of your existing one? Grab these ideas for crafting one that works best for you.
I’m Bronte Mojdehi, marketing manager at AppSumo, the go-to digital marketplace for entrepreneurs, small-business owners, and freelancers. I work on all things social media strategy for the company.
We get a lot of questions about social media from our audience. After all, it can definitely be overwhelming when you think about all the platforms, metrics, KPIs, and testing involved in social media content.
I’m here to break down the process. Here’s the stuff that actually matters when building a successful social media content strategy.
Let’s dive in.
Define Success (Goals/Metrics)
The evolution of social media has given brands the opportunity to connect with their audience like never before.
For us, this means the ability to further our brand presence and voice, drive sales, and direct traffic all through utilizing our social media channels as an extension of our site.
Building a successful social media content strategy is more than just posting on every platform—it’s all about determining which platforms align best with your business.
There are so many different channels out there and more constantly popping up. (Seriously, it’s exhausting!)
Test what platform works best for you
My advice is to test out each platform and make it your goal to find a select group of social media channels that will really make an impact for your brand and drive ROI.
But when we tested it out as a new channel for AppSumo, it didn’t give us the ROI we hoped for. Because our audience demographic didn’t align as well on TikTok as it does on other channels like our Facebook Group, we decided our time was better spent focusing our efforts elsewhere.
And it was the right decision.
Here’s a graph of our Facebook Group engagement based on Posts, Comments, and Reactions from Jan. 1, 2020, to Dec. 8, 2020. During that same time, we saw a 19.72% increase in our number of total members.
Set realistic social media content goals
It’s so important to set realistic content goals for your brand, figure out what the top priority is, and understand how your social media content strategy can help you reach those goals.
We set specific quarterly goals.
Whether you want to convert customers to buyers, drive brand awareness, or increase community engagement, the strategy you implement should be focused on those goals you set for yourself.
I found that when I focused on working towards a specific goal, I saw a noticeable improvement in our overall social media.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach and each social media platform you use may have a different goal.
Finding a social media content strategy that works best for your brand takes time, iteration, and patience. Consistency really is key when growing your social media presence!
Dive deeper into goals and metrics:
Know Your Audience and Conduct Research
Have a good understanding of who your target audience is when outlining your social media strategy. I find it helpful to do some research on your followers when determining what type of content will resonate best with them.
For example, in looking at AppSumo’s Facebook and Instagram data, I found that the majority of our audience is male and in the 25-44 age range. This is incredibly helpful when planning content out and trying to reach new target audiences.
By understanding our audience demographics, it helps us to determine which platforms we want to focus on.
Based on this data, we prioritize Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube in our social media efforts.
Think quality over quantity when you’re determining which platforms you want to utilize for your brand.
You also can use Agorapulse reports also to find out:
- Where your fans are located
- If your audience concentrated in a city or region
- How old your fans are (the age brackets they fall into)
Dive deeper into research:
Know Your Competitors
In regards to the competition, I always suggest taking a look at what at least three competitors are doing on social media—this provides a great baseline for what works, what doesn’t, and which areas you can provide more value in than the competition.
To get started, find businesses that are in a similar industry, offer similar services, or what similar to what you aspire to be, and start your research from there.
What to look out for
Try to answer a few key questions:
- What platforms are they using?
- What type of content are they posting—videos, links, educational, photos, etc.?
- How often are they posting?
- What is their social media goal?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
Once you have a good understanding of how your competitors are using social media, you can use this information to build out your own strategy.
Identify the gaps in their social media presence and use this to your advantage.
When you have this information under your belt, it’s easy to find ways in which you can improve and stand out among the competition.
We noticed that our competitors weren’t using video to promote their products and services. We decided to test this as a content strategy and saw a noticeable improvement in this metric.
Take a look at these results after we started creating daily videos:
When to Post
Consistency is key in regards to your social media presence.
When planning out content, I always do some platform-specific research to determine the best days and time to help maximize our reach with each time we publish.
At AppSumo, we make note of popular days and times, and schedule our most important content around them.
I also use a content calendar to help execute our social strategy.
It’s an easy way to help me plan, create, and manage all of our content in one place.
Tools We Use
We wouldn’t call ourselves AppSumo (where I work) if we didn’t namedrop some of the awesome tools we use for social media.
Along with the free linked tools, here are some personal favorites for my day-to-day work:
- Agorapulse. This one’s an awesome way to manage your social media and schedule it in a clean way. I don’t have to dig through comments because the Social Inbox lets me filter through important messages. Plus, Agorapulse’s one-click reports are super-helpful for me to track metrics.
- Canva. Canva is a powerhouse. This one’s great for inspiration and a lifesaver when creating graphics that don’t require a ton of graphic design skills. I like to incorporate these graphics into our Instagram when I can.
- Crello. An AppSumo Partner, Crello is a great alternative to Canva and helpful for ideas. I use it to create graphics for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. It’s got awesome animations and requires no design skill.
- Figma. I use this to create templates for things like our Instagram stories (blog shares, deal shares, etc.). It’s also great for quick and on-the-fly design edits for graphics.
- Brand24. An internal marketing team fave, for sure. This one’s great for filtering all AppSumo content on the web. It shows you all mentions of specific keywords on your social media channels, even when you weren’t tagged.
Engage with Your Audience and Grow Your Following
Now that you’ve built out your content strategy, the goal is to continue to grow your following. (You’re not out of the woods yet!)
How often to post
The most important thing to remember when trying to grow your social media is to maintain a minimum number of posts per week based on days when your users are most active!
At AppSumo, we post about six days per week with a minimum of 2-3 posts a day.
How to create content for engagement
My advice is to create content that allows your audience to engage directly. I found that when I utilized interactive content, such as polls, we had significantly higher engagement.
Take a look at some of our recent polls, which directly ask our audience what types of content they would like to see more of. This is a super-easy way to promote engagement and actually get feedback directly from your audience.
Here’s us getting the conversation started:
The audience engagement doesn’t end with the content itself! Engage with them in the comment section, posts you are tagged in, and through direct messages.
One fun way to engage your audience is by creating a hashtag specific to your brand. That way, users can share the love when they post about your brand or products.
At AppSumo, we have a few: #AppSumo, #TacoToolsday, and #6FigureSumoling. This is a great way to get your followers talking about your brand and to see what is being said about your products, even when they don’t specifically @ you!
Dive deeper into engagement:
- Tips and Tricks From Psychology for Better Engagement on Social Media
- 10 Ways You Can Tackle Customer Engagement on LinkedIn in Less Time
- Instagram Engagement Rates
Check Analytics and Audit
Time to talk numbers.
No strategy would be complete without understanding which analytics are important for your brand.
Understanding what your audience likes will lead to more engagement, followers, and a cohesive feed! It seems simple, but creating content your audience actually wants to see can do so much for your social media strategy.
For example, on Instagram, I dive into our insights and take note of what content has the highest ‘Reach,’ ‘Shares,’ ‘Saves,’ and ‘Comments. These metrics are really great indicators of which content has performed well based on what our audience likes. That also gives it a boost with the algorithm and helps it reach a bigger audience:
To make the most of these analytics, I dive into our insights weekly. This helps me optimize our content and understand what works for the future!
Building a successful social media content strategy takes time, but all the effort is worth it when you establish an audience that actually wants to connect and engage with you. That sort of reward will build upon itself tenfold!
Remember that consistency is key when trying to grow your social media presence. You should also keep in mind that finding the right strategy for your brand involves a bit of trial and error. (Trust us—we’ve had our share of hiccups at AppSumo. It’s all part of the learning process.) Set specific but realistic goals for your social media content strategy, listen to your audience, and the growth will follow.
Now get on that social media success track! Till next time!
Get started on saving time and energy on your own social media management! Check out our free trial of Agorapulse to help you schedule, track, and measure all your social media efforts.