Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn have become a standard in every good marketer’s content strategy.
Creating relevant content on these platforms offers a means to create awareness and encourage brand salience in the minds of your existing and potential customers.
Taking the time to develop a sound content marketing strategy is often overlooked by companies and marketers but determining what to post and when is essential to your success on these platforms.
The following are the key elements to consider when putting together your social media content marketing strategy.
Which Platform Do I Use?
First, you need to determine which of all the social media platforms is most suited to your brand, company, and objectives. You need to know who your target market is and what platforms they are most likely to be using.
Say you want to promote your architectural firm and build a following through social media to better engage with prospective clients. In this case, it would be advisable to focus your energies on social platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook appeal to a wider age group, which includes an older demographic. LinkedIn has positioned itself as a business networking platform. While Twitter has always been a popular site among businessmen and leaders to share news, advice, and relevant information.
Facebook, on the other hand, is more of a place for socialising with friends and family, however, it has become far more popular with older age groups over the past few years.
If, as another example, you had an e-commerce store focused on skateboarding equipment, accessories and apparel, social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat would be a better bet as they generally appeal to a much younger demographic.
What to Post
If you are using social media to promote your products and services, the two most vital things to bear in mind when creating your content is that it must be relevant and consistent.
Relevant content is content that applies to your audience and the message you are trying to communicate to them about your brand. If you sell streetwear, for instance, your audience is not likely to be interested in reading about your favourite gluten-free biscuit recipe. They are more inclined to be interested in the latest sneaker or hip-hop news because it ties in with streetwear culture.
To remain consistent, you need to ensure that you represent your brand image and voice with every post. Your audience should be able to recognise when a post in their news feed is posted by your company page, even when your logo is not displayed. The use of brand colours, graphic style, types of images, language and tone should all communicate what your brand stands for.
Also, take advantage of national and international public holidays, days of interest, etc, and create content around these topics to post on the day. All the major holidays and days of recognition come with a stack of trending hashtags, which you can use to your advantage when posting this type of content.
Consider the platform as well. Instagram and Pinterest users, for instance, demand more visual content such as photos and videos, while Twitter and LinkedIn users will be looking for news, career advice, motivation, etc.
The worst thing you can do, though, is to only post content about your product/service features, benefits, pricing, special offers, etc. Yes, you should tell your audience more about these, but this kind of “salesy” content should not make up the bulk of your posts.
Remember, these are social platforms, and your target market is on these platforms to socialise and enjoy themselves. They want to watch enjoyable videos and read about things that interest them, and they want to be able to share this content with their friends and followers.
Serious and boring content about your product or service should make up, at maximum, 20-25% of your content.
When to Post
The optimum content posting times differ from platform to platform and is also dependent upon what type of content you want to post. But you will want to post your content at a time when your chosen platform is at its busiest.
When it comes to determining when best to post your content, there are two primary questions to ask. One, is “What time(s) of the day is the busiest?”, and the second is “What day(s) of the week sees the most activity?”.
Adenion, a German-based company offering social media and marketing tools, have studied the metrics, and have drawn up an amazing infographic which they share on their Blog2Social social media automation tool website. This infographic could be helpful to content marketers in planning their content strategy over multiple social platforms.
According to the global research carried out by Adenion, when looking to post content on LinkedIn and Twitter, your best bet is to post on weekdays and during peak travel hours. In other words, early morning between 7 am and 10 am, and in the afternoons after work between 5 pm and 6 pm. There also seems to be a fair amount of activity on these platforms around lunchtime.
Instagram users are more active on weekdays than weekends, surprisingly, but most activity takes place in the evenings between 7 pm and 9 pm. While Facebook users tend to be more active just before and on the weekend.
How Often to Post
Each of the social platforms delivers content to their user’s news feeds in a slightly different way. Gone are the days when your friend’s or connection’s posts would drop into your news feed in chronological order.
These platforms consider the user’s past behaviour to serve up content they believe will be most relevant. They also look at how often you are posting content and, in other words, how often you are providing value to the audience.
Blog2Social recommends, using the days and hours for posting suggested above, that your minimum content posting frequency should be as follows for each platform:
- Facebook: 2 posts per day
- Twitter: 2-3 posts per day
- Instagram: 1 post per day
- Pinterest: 5 posts per day
- LinkedIn: 1 post per day
It may seem like a tall order but bear in mind that you do not necessarily have to post your content all the time. You can also share content from someone you follow now and then, but sharing this content should be done, at maximum, once per day.
Social media platforms represent a relatively easy way to elevate your brand’s reach. They offer you an opportunity to connect with your customers on a deeper level and develop meaningful relationships with them. With a good, well thought out content strategy in place, you will be well on your way to attracting, retaining, and engaging with your ideal customers.