Designing Content For Your Social Media Plan
When you design content for your social media plan, you need to keep a few things in mind:
- Start With An Idea
- Viral Potential
- Bringing traffic back to your website
Start With An Idea
Do all your content creation deliberately. Start with the idea before jumping in and creating it. You might find that by stopping to think about the idea’s execution you realise that your piece of content is better done in video or that it’s a good way to drive traffic to a certain page on your website.
Action Plan – Create a content idea checklist with the aforementioned factors.
Don’t plan to create content you can’t. Whether that means overestimating the amount of content you can create or what the content actually is. Don’t plan videos and infographics if you can’t make them. It sounds obvious but seeing out your social media plans can be a hard thing to get yourself motivated for and one little setback like realising you don’t have the time or resources to accomplish something you’ve planned to can cause you to throw away the plan completely. Understand your limitations and execute accordingly. If you find you’re meeting it easily then you can upscale, much easier than altering your plan to accommodate less.
Action Plan – Identify the skills and workload of you and those around you. Execute accordingly.
Shareable content is content that encourages your customers to share it with their friends and colleagues. Often making content shareable is as simple as attaching a call to action to it such as “share this” or “retweet this.” There are plenty of people out there who will just do it because you ask them to. Truly shareable content however is that which is interesting enough for your customers to want to show their friends. Unique stories, never before heard facts and figures, stats etc. Often the most shareable content is confronting in nature but for business this is probably not the best approach and fortunately positive things can also be shareable. Photographs that are visually pleasing and preferably awe inspiring, fantastic promotions, interesting educational content and uplifting stories are what you’ll want to be creating and sharing. You want your customers sharing your content because simply your customers are your best salespeople. Your customers friends are your target market on social media and your customers are their trusted influencer. For a friend to share your content amounts to them validating you as a trusted information provider and trusted information providers are just trusted in general. Shareable content is what gets you more likers and followers.
Action Plan – When creating content for social media ensure that it has an element of shareability to it. At the very least request a share or retweet but preferably it’s going to be either educational, uplifting, visually or aurally stimulating or a promotion your customers will want to share.
If you can’t track the amount of interactions or retweets in a streamlined fashion then you’re going to waste time doing it manually and ultimately undo the value of the content in the first place.
There are some really excellent Google Spreadsheets you can use to live update your Facebook and Twitter interactions. Of course, most important is to ensure that your traffic is being pushed the right way into your analytics programs. Unfortunately with recent changes to Google’s search the not provided element has gone sky high and won’t be long before it’s gone but you can still track where it comes from, and in social media that’s what’s important. We’ve put together our own Google spreadsheet to help you with this. It’s very user friendly and straightforward. First go to file > make a copy. Then simply put the URL you want to share in and fill the appropriate fields. If you have any questions about it just comment on the post and we’ll get back to you to explain. The only curly part is the minifying of URLs. To do this you enter all the information as normal and then up the top click on the “URL Tagging” menu and go to preferences. You’ll be asked to authorise with a Google account after which you can click it again and you can enter your bit.ly username and API key if you have one. If not you can just take the tagged URL and minify it yourself however you like. Note that the goo.gl minifyer doesn’t seem to work unfortunately but them’s the breaks. If it’s all too much you can always just use this provided by Google.
Action Plan – When you intend to drive traffic to your content through social media, be sure to tag it up correctly before you share your link anywhere.
Occasionally, but not always, a business will be in a field where virality is possible and profitable. Creating viral content in 2013 is not as hard as you think. In fact there is a viral algorithm! When your content creates two seemingly oppositional emotions in the consumer it has viral potential. When something is disgusting but funny, sad but uplifting, devastating but understandable, these are conflicting emotions that cause people to see the content as infinitely more shareable than ordinary content. And gives it viral potential. Unfortunately not all content or even all businesses will be able to market with virality.
Action Plan – Be aware of potential for virality. It’s all you can do really. Don’t let the opportunity to incorporate potential virality into content because it comes along rarely. Always make it a consideration.
Driving Traffic to Your Website
Ideally your website is going to be your sales generating hub. If it’s not doing a job on it’s own then consider getting it looked at. Assuming that it works then driving traffic to your website is going to really be the ultimate focus of all your digital marketing. Unfortunately just posting your best optimised landing page to your Facebook wall is probably not going to work. You’ll need to do a few things to get your customers to go from social media to your website.
Action Plan – Ensure your content always links to your website. Posting the content on the website and excerpts of it is a good way of going about it. Just make sure that everything is pointing back to a conversion rate optimised landing page on your website at some point.