7 Tips for Building an Effective Social Media

7 Tips by Peter DeCaprio for Building an Effective Social Media


Content Strategy

There is no shortage of advice on how to build an effective social media content strategy. Since everyone has a different organizational structure, internal political landscape, and ongoing priorities, this is part of what makes coming up with a sound plan so challenging. With that being said, there are a few tried-and-true approaches that have been used over and over again in various shapes and sizes by brands large and small.

In the following post, Peter DeCaprio outlines seven tips for building an effective social media content strategy from scratch or for making your existing plan even stronger.

1) Start with Research: 

Find out what’s already working/what could be improved upon by reviewing analytics data from previous campaigns including overall clicks/impressions/engagement, who your most valuable followers are, and which channels you’re getting the most traction on. If available, look to see what your direct competitors are doing (their follower demographics and engagement rates can give you some clues as well).

2) Define Your Objective:

What is the goal of your content strategy? To get more people to follow you? To get people to buy your product/service? To get people to interact with your posts in some way (i.e. clicking a link or photo caption, leaving a +1 or comment)? It’s helpful to define this upfront because it will help guide how you approach everything from selecting topics and keywords for publishing articles and blog posts; creating lists of relevant websites and influencers to build relationships with, and even brainstorming image macros to use in your social media updates.

3) Select Your Content Channels:

Where do you want to focus? Do you want to stick with the big three (Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn)? Would it make sense for your company to create an account on Pinterest or Google+? Should you also be active on Tumblr or Instagram? What about relevant Reddit or Stumble Upon communities? Answering these questions should help guide which channels are important for you to have a presence on. For example, if I were building a content strategy for Virgin Mobile Canada, Instagram would probably not be very high on my list of priorities because our target audience is generally young adults who tend not to be at the forefront of the mobile photography trend.

4) Measure Your Results:

Peter DeCaprio says Use tools like Google Analytics to measure your overall website traffic, bounce rate, referral sources, top pages/posts, and device types. This data can tell you a lot about what kind of content works best for your audience as well as who they are (demographically speaking). It will also reveal which social channels drive the most traffic to your site so this will help guide future content creation efforts.

5) Identify Outlets To Interact With Your Audience: 

Whether it’s an official blog or Tumblr account; Facebook fan page; LinkedIn group; Pinterest board; Quora question; Stumble Upon community; Reddit subreddit, etc., identifying online outlets to provide your audience with relevant, timely content relevant to them is key. As you build out this list & schedule these updates in advance, it will help you focus more time on creating, curating, and promoting the best type of social media content for your strategy.

6) Develop A System To Make Your Life Easier: 

You can’t expect to keep up a regular posting schedule across multiple channels if it takes up all your time doing manual updates every day/week/month; researching new topics, and uploading images (if appropriate). This is why it’s important to get buy-in from other stakeholders within your company like customer service reps or PR who might be able to take over some of these responsibilities while still maintaining a good relationship with your audience.

7) Create A Content Calendar: 

For my day job, I use a template in Google Drive where all of our social media managers fill out a column for each week of the month that includes which outlets we’ll be posting to and what type of content is going in it (i.e. links; photos & quotes; promotions & deals). This saves a ton of time when planning outposts because you can simply copy/paste from previous months or add new items onto the end if something pops up last minute. It also helps make sure your posts are distributed evenly across the entire month so there won’t be any lulls with zero fresh content being published. 

Conclusion: 

I hope this 7-step cheat sheet helps you plan out a content strategy that works best for your company and with the time you have to spare. One last thing I would suggest is to use an editorial calendar not just for planning posts but also for researching new topics and keeping track of influencer outreach efforts. By using a single platform to manage all these elements, you’ll be able to schedule regular updates across multiple social media platforms and easily share them with your team so everyone can see what’s going on in real-time!