3 Essentials to Creating Your Social Media Content Strategy
I hear it all the time… “I don’t know how to spend my time on social media. I feel like I am spending way too much time in all the wrong places, and in all the wrong ways.” If this is you, then you can breathe a sigh of relief because you are certainly not alone.
The idea of social media has taken our lives by storm and for those of us who own our own businesses it can often feel more isolating than social.
I mean, we are already trying to run a business, right? Who has time to hang out in every LinkedIn and Facebook group, constantly upload pictures to Instagram, tweet out 10 times a day and continually pin to Pinterest? It can all be a bit overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.
Enter your Social Media Content Strategy.
That’s right, you should have a strategy, but what does that really mean?
Well for starters you have to know what you want. Why are you even spending time on social media in the first place, and please don’t say, “to grow my business”, because that’s not a good enough answer.
You have to think really long and hard about what you want because different platforms provide different things for your business. For instance if you are trying to establish yourself as an expert on a particular topic, that is going to require a different approach than if you are trying to simply grow your email list.
So here are the 3 things you have to start with in order to build a successful social media content strategy that will help eliminate some of that overwhelming feeling and put you back in control and ready to socialize.
1. Where do you want to go? I mentioned before that you have to know what you want to get out of being out on social media and that all starts with knowing what you want to achieve for your business. This is essential because if you don’t know where you want your business to go, then how on earth are you going to build a strategy that helps you get there?
Now, if you are thinking… duh… let me just say that I am always shocked at how many business owners can’t tell you right on the spot what their largest business goals are for that year.
Even if you are thinking that you know what your business goals are, I would challenge you to write down what you want the end of 2015 to look for you. Think about what you will have, what you will be doing, what your year looked like.
I’ll give you a few minutes to think about it… that’s right, I think you should stop and write it down right now. (Imagine elevator music on while I wait for you to get back)
Ok, so now you have written down what you want the end of 2015 to look like for you. If you know your goals make sure that those goals will get you to that vision you just wrote down, and if you don’t know your goals, then think about what you need to accomplish to get to your end of the year vision.
Congratulations! You have some business goals, and that’s the first step to really making sure you have a good social media content strategy.
2. Who do you want to love you? Ok, I’ll admit this is just another way of saying who is your ideal client, but that term feels like it’s been over-used, don’t you think? And really the ultimate goal is to have that following of clients, advocates, and partners that love what you do, love the value you bring, and just plain love you.
This is another place where so many business owners say they know who this is, but when pressed, aren’t really sure how to describe this person or say where they hang out. And if you don’t know the type who will be that ‘cult’ following for your brand, then you are going to have a hard time making sure you’re in the right places to find them and have them find you.
So when it comes to uncovering who you want to love you and your brand, one of the most powerful bits of advice I have gotten on that topic was to write a letter to that 1 person, like you were writing to a pen pal. Start with who they are as a person and what they care about, and then move to the issues and challenges they face, then finally to what they like to do and their habits. You will be amazed at how much you will be able to write that is really specific.
When I did the exercise I realized that I wrote to my imaginary pen pal client about being passionate about their business, but wanting to have time to be passionate about other things too. I wrote about the desire to escape and try new things, to grow and help others grow. I wrote about how they feel overwhelmed with coming up with ideas on what to write and create, what tools to use and how to bring their following on a journey. I wrote about the fact that they wanted to laugh more and make sure they didn’t forget to enjoy life as they grew their business.
There is a lot you can discover about your imaginary pen pal client when you write them a letter.
So once you know A LOT of details about your pen pal client, then it becomes so much easier to create a social media content strategy that puts you in the right places with the right people.
Oh, and by the way… I mentioned the whole brand thing, and if you realize that you don’t love your brand and don’t know what your brand stands for, then I would highly recommend an awesome e-course by branding specialist Laura James called “fall in love… with your brand”. You can check it out here.
3. How do you help your client on their journey? So there are a couple levels to this. There is the aspect of the services or products you provide and what value that adds to your client or follower’s lives. (And then there is the aspects of your mind and personality that add value as well.)
If you have a list of services you offer then simply work backwards with each service and write down what transformation that service provides the client, or what problem it solves for them. If you have a lot of services or aren’t sure how to even talk about what services you provide, then start with the problem you solve.
Go back to that pen pal letter and look at what challenges your ideal client faces each day. How does what you do help them through those challenges? And stop for a minute and think about your mindset, perspective and behaviors…how does who you are help you provide better service? This is a great way to figure out what differentiates you from others in your field, because you do things a little differently, you think a little differently, and that’s important to your success.
Knowing how you make your clients lives easier, happier, and just plain better will take you a long way when it comes to creating a content strategy because now you know how to talk about what you do in a way that attracts the right people.
Ultimately, these three things are just the foundation to creating a strong content strategy, but if you don’t start here then you will end up wasting your time and creating content that doesn’t bring more love your way, and certainly doesn’t help you build the business and life you want.
Stay tuned for more insight next week to help you on your journey to creating an awesome content strategy…you don’t think I would leave you hangin did you?
I have a Content Strategy Blueprint coming out shortly that you can get for free so if you want that sent right to your inbox let me know by opting in below and you can be one of the first people to get it, use it, and rock it.