Content strategy. Content mix. Content buckets. Content staples. Whatever you decide to call your social media posts, they all have to be defined one way or another.
In my previous post, I outlined the way that I view social media and why I think I’m correct in doing so (HINT: I am), but now it’s time to dive a little deeper into the steps you’ll need to take to create a solid foundation for any social media strategy.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a brand, celebrity, athlete, startup, or a Fortune 500 company (and trust me, I’ve worked with all), a good social media strategy consists of the same basic principles. Sure, content varies, brand/voice/tone changes, but the backbone is essentially the same. If you’re looking for a guideline for a good content mix, I’ve got just the thing for you.
Divide & Conquer Your Social Strategy
At NCLUSIVE, we call posts we post regularly “content staples.” These are pieces of content that we can use over and over again and become “staples” of the account. These can include Throwback Thursday posts, product shots, behind-the-scenes shots, quote graphics, you name it. While the exact digital assets change weekly (different quote, different photo), the staple is still the same. We also group these things into content “buckets,” which is, you guessed it, themed buckets to which all content gets assigned.
These buckets of content help to drive an effective overarching social media strategy and help to maintain a fully active, multi-faceted digital approach. Typically, I liked to stick to five different content staples as defined below since these are proven to help drive online digital discussions.
- Brand Attributes / Brand Functions: This staple reflects on the brand and serves to educate the consumer on the products or services you offer. The main goal of this content staple is education and brand positioning.
- Lifestyle: Lifestyle posts are general posts about the overall lifestyle of the industry category your brand falls into. These posts are peppered into your social media content strategy to help keep your fans interested. Content in this bucket also helps to position you as a leader in your space. The main goal of this content staple is lifestyle positioning and brand positioning.
- Promotions: Promotional posts are posts centered around promotional content. This includes sales, promo codes, real-life event promotions, and anything else that can be considered promotional in nature. The main goal of this content staple is obtaining conversions.
- Partnerships: Partnership posts main not apply to every client, but in the event that they do, content of this nature is focused on highlighting partnerships with other companies, brands, or influencers that your brand does business with. This includes posts that are offered to other companies or influencers in exchange for product (influencer or product seeding) such as a requirement to post about a partnership X amount of times in a given timeframe. The main goal of this content staple is often brand awareness or cross promotion.
- Fan Engagement (CTA): Fan Engagement / Call to Action (CTA) posts are posts that are focused on engaging the core consumer. Content that asks a question or prompts a response from your following will fall into this category. This includes posts that act as “one-off contests” such as “Like vs. Share” or “Tag to Win” engagement posts. The main goal of this content staple is fan engagement.
While these five content buckets provide you with a good road map of solid and consistent staples for which to begin piecing together a content strategy, no two brands should approach social the same way. Sticking to these five buckets and these five buckets only will pigeon hole your content and your brand to a point where your content is predictable and that’s never a good thing. Social is inherently “in the now” and “on the go,” so while this guy of strategy will help you define your mix, it should only serve as a guide to keep you on track.
In addition to these content staples, it’s important to brainstorm content concepts that are unique to your brand.
When sitting down to begin creating a content calendar or a content strategy for your company or clients that you work for, what are some of the thought processes you go through?