It’s such a well-known secret that it’s not really a secret any more. To gain traction on social media, you must create valuable and original content. But it’s not just about value – consistency of output is key, as is regularity. You’ll attract followers, increase engagement and have better conversations with your audience if you publish great quality content with structure, and clear, concise message. And that’s where one of the most valuable tools in social media management comes in: the content plan.
At Many, we work with our clients to organise and structure content into topic groupings, based around cornerstone content. Our team combines years of detailed social media understanding and knowledge with the latest intelligence on platform trends, emerging features and content tricks to provide an unparalleled depth in social media planning.
We’re big advocates of depth over width: maintaining great quality content on several key platforms rather than trying to publish content across as many channels as possible, with a likely reduction in both quality, consistency and regularity.
At the very start of any social media campaign, our Social Account Managers work to understand a brand’s key audiences and demographics. Sometimes this overlaps with your product’s audience research, for example, if redeveloping your website at the same time. More often than not, however, your social audience will differ to your other market demographics, so a tailored approach is required.
There are subtle nuances to each platform, and understanding these details is the key to success. New emergents appear with increasing regularity too – TikTok has seen an explosion of adoption in the latter half of 2019, with a specific and clear 18-28 year old demographic, ripping market share from Facebook. Our team works with brands to identify their key audiences, and how to find them.
If understanding where your audience resides is the first half of the puzzle, then working out how to target them is the second piece. And this is where we stress, as often as we possibly can: there is no one-size-fits-all approach to social content.
Planning a content strategy can be a daunting prospect, especially when trying to corral various stakeholders, marketeers, product and brand teams. But when done right, the content plan has the ability to not only unify the communications coming out of your team, but to drive better collaboration as a result. To tackle the content process, we employ two specific techniques:
Be open, transparent and collaborative. The content planning process must always start within an audit of your brands current output and ambassadors, and this must be as collaborative and inclusive as possible. Social is often the very bleeding edge of company communications – it’s the trenches when it comes to engaging with your brand’s audience. The collaborative approach often highlights hidden ideas, content and feedback that would otherwise be missed or even excluded from the plan.
But transparency doesn’t just happen at the start of a campaign – the content planning process is an ongoing monthly, weekly or sometimes even daily process. Which means the action of soliciting team feedback and collaboration is an ongoing thing. We regularly ask our social media clients to project their content plan onto the wall of the office, onto the company intranet or somewhere it can be seen by everyone, throughout the day. The benefit here is profound – we find it unifies entire teams with the communications the company is putting out and allows the team to understand the social feedback in real time.
Transparency isn’t just internal too; social provides a unique opportunity to allow your audience under the skin of your brand. You can highlight your people, show the love, blood sweat and tears you’ve put into crafting your product and use it as a channel to address problems when they arise. The simple fact is that social is often a warts-and-all kind of deal, but the best campaigns that have driven some of the highest engagement for our clients have been those that have treated their audience with the utmost honesty and openness, and invited them in to the behind-the-scenes of their brand.
Use cornerstone content to structure the plan. The importance of cornerstone content in building out a content plan can’t be understated – it’s the foundations upon which the plan is built. Cornerstone content takes many forms, but it can be generally described as the thematic ‘grouping’ of content in line with your brand’s operational or business strategy.
This might take the form of a new product announcement, an initiative on reducing waste, a new partnership or a public speaking engagement your business is part of. Whatever it is, our team works to understand how these will land in the schedule when they can be announced. These might be monthly or quarterly, but for companies taking a more agile approach, may be as quick to iterate as bi-weekly.
Cornerstone content is used to guide the social media campaign, and we use this structure to build out the organic content strategy.
All too often, social media agencies advise clients and brands to publish as much content as possible, regardless of the format. We believe this approach is wrong, instead focussing on producing great quality content in the formats that work best for each platform. Doing this allows us to build a highly engaged following.
With most platforms, it’s no longer about the number of followers you have, rather the engagement you get. Accounts with huge numbers of followers are often downgraded in the network’s news feed surfacing algorithm, as the content they put out isn’t engaged with by their followers.
Many’s approach to content is to build highly engaging content for each platform and to build a fan base on each platform of consumers obsessed by your product. It’s through this engagement that we’re able to get our client’s content surfaced by the algorithms, catch more attention and continue to build the fan base.
We’ve built organic and paid social campaigns for brands large and small, with excellent results. Speak to our team about how we can execute a perfectly crafted campaign for your brand too.