How to Pivot Your Social Media Content
Creating consistent social media content is one of the biggest reasons clients hire us. Managing the pipeline of content marketing—from strategizing how, when, where to share content through brainstorming ideas and editing the completed draft—can take time. The best way to stay both consistent with your marketing strategy and flexible enough to meet changing needs is by establishing the right process.
By following a set of steps—your process—you will produce regular messaging, communicate with your followers, and garner favorable scores from social platform algorithms.
As for flexibility—as the Coronavirus makes clear—you must be ready to meet the changing needs of your ideal audience and pivot accordingly.
But how to pivot rapidly and painlessly? (Hint: don’t throw all of your previous work out the window.)
First, start with “who.” You have your ideal audience, now think about how the behavior of your audiences has changed. What are they doing now? What are they worried about now? What might they need now and in the near future?
With a few foundational questions answered, a social media content strategy informed by audience data can be created.
A content strategy is a blueprint of who you’re speaking to, how you’re speaking to them, and where and when you’ll speak to them. When we develop a content strategy we include:
Content pillars, or thematic categories relevant to the needs, pain points, and values of the target audience
Visual and voice guidelines for showing the values of your brand
A hashtag and SEO strategy for gaining attention from a new audience
By knowing your client’s customer profile, you can speak to those customers within each platform’s specific environment (Facebook for customer value and community, Instagram for visual and content inspiration, Pinterest for creativity and ideas, and LinkedIn and Twitter for authority and thought leadership).
Once the foundation is built, you’ll be able to refer back to your blueprint to help you navigate through fluid and evolving circumstances.
Next comes the creative process.
For our clients, we create a monthly content calendar in Google docs based on their content pillars. Our calendars include visual guidelines so they’re easy to digest. Each content pillar is assigned a color and each message that speaks to that pillar is highlighted in the same color. As a result, it’s easy to see which pillars are represented and ensure the pillars are covered equally (and brand values and audiences are included).
Reviewing the content with our clients is a key part of the process. It makes clear which messages ring true for the client and, conversely, gives the client an outside perspective of what an audience may find valuable and interesting. If you are creating content in-house, review the calendar with your team and encourage questions and content brainstorming.
An ongoing step is to monitor social media engagement so you can find and repurpose user-generated content and create a “buzz” about your business. Staying on top of both internal company changes and external, real-world changes that may affect the social media conversation is another aspect of the dynamic management of content.
Well-produced content that reflects an audience’s changing needs and interests is the basis of strong marketing. By putting together a content strategy at the start, and maintaining a calendar and creative process, you’ll be able to manage changing content needs and produce consistent value.