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As more and more people around the world are using social media, it becomes a necessity for businesses to market their products and services virtually.
Why though? Well, that’s because your customers are now spending more time consuming content on social media, unlike traditional pastimes that involved TV or radio back in the 90s.
Simply put, social media marketing is now more important than ever. This guide covers how to craft an effective social media content strategy that works towards your marketing goals!
Is social media marketing effective?
Yes, social media is where your consumers are. That’s why big and small businesses alike are investing in social media marketing!
Why is having a social media content strategy important for your business?
Even though you can reach out to potential customers readily, a poorly executed social media content strategy will render your efforts ineffective.
How to create a killer social media content strategy?
First, consider your target audience. Then, evaluate the ideal social media channels for your business.
Before deciding on which social media platform to use, you must first observe where your audiences are.
What are their social media habits? Are most of your audiences active on Facebook, or perhaps, they get their daily dose of dopamine via Instagram instead? Indeed, every platform has its unique traits, features and demographics.
So, before we start crafting our social media content strategy, let’s first understand the major social media channels.
Social media platforms by size
With the highest number of monthly active users (MAUs), Facebook is a must-have for most businesses. There are plenty of easy-to-use features that businesses can utilise apart from basic post creation.
You can make use of the Livestream feature to sell your products, or purely engage with your audience. Livestreams are generally favoured by the fashion industry as they can showcase their latest collections through try-ons and even respond to customer enquiries immediately.
Businesses can also display ads across Facebook placements including Instagram by selecting demographics, interests and internet browsing habits. By doing so, you can attract potential customers to your page or website effectively.
Businesses can also display ads across the Facebook family of apps including placements on Instagram, Messenger and the Facebook Audience Network. This is done by both first and third-party audiences including but not limited to custom and lookalike audiences, demographics, interests and behaviours. By doing so, you can drive sales, leads or even grow your brand via both organic posts and/or targeted ads aimed at growing your business.
Long evolved from its era of cat videos and webcam vlogs, Youtube has become a platform dominated by a diverse pool of professional content creators.
Tech companies like Apple have been leveraging the power of Youtube to introduce their latest technology and features through visual storytelling.
Depending on the goal of your company, you can utilise a range of videos with varying styles and types of content.
Do you want to showcase your latest product range? Consider engaging a video production company to feature them via a high-quality production.
In fact, you can also engage Youtubers or influencers to showcase your products in a more organic fashion.
Are you in the F&B business? Showcasing your latest menu could be the next idea in sparking interest. Working with food-based content creators and tapping on their range of ever-hungry followers could work wonders.
Some popular Singaporean food influencers on YouTube to consider:
Selling cosmetics? Engaging a beauty influencer to feature your collection via make-up tutorials would be a great way to reach your potential customers who are also their followers.
Here are some famous beauty influencers in Singapore:
Of course, you’ll have to consider working with content creators, key opinion leaders and vloggers who are well known in their respective areas.
Instagram is the epitome of the iconic phrase “A picture tells a thousand words”. When it comes to selling a product or service, creating the perfect visual is certainly a game-changer.
A photo-sharing platform that allows individuals to share images and videos featuring key life moments, brands have also hopped onto the bandwagon by showcasing their products and services.
Naturally, there are some best practices for brands to follow as well. Some examples include adhering to a regular post schedule, utilising a social media playbook and collaborating with other profiles such as influencers and brands.
Apart from uploading photos, Instagram has a group of other features that facilitate engagement with followers. You can upload a poll on IG Stories to run a survey or ask your followers those burning questions that you’ve always wanted to know, post videos on IGTV and even engage with followers’ questions in real-time via Instagram Live.
You can also share your Instagram posts and stories to your Facebook account to reach the rest of your audience as well. Instagram Stories can be used to show sneak peeks, updates and share customer feedback or testimonials.
LinkedIn is a professional networking platform where working professionals, executives and entrepreneurs share their experiences, insights and wisdom. After its inception, due to its popularity amongst recruiters and job seekers, LinkedIn has also become a popular platform in the area of recruitment.
Now, businesses can use LinkedIn for a variety of marketing functions and publish professional content to grow their followers. There are various placements such as posts on the news feed and even a story placement introduced in late 2020.
An effective platform for B2B focused businesses, you can run ads on LinkedIn to target its 700+ million users. The targeting on LinkedIn is especially powerful since we are able to reach specific companies, positions and even job titles.
Whether you are striving for brand awareness, B2B lead generation or online sales, LinkedIn is potentially an effective marketing channel to consider.
A rising star amongst social media platforms, Tiktok enables creators to kickstart various trends and challenges. Ranking number one in the entertainment section on the Apple store chart, it is no wonder brands and influencers are flocking here.
Businesses utilise hashtags to garner followers and increase brand awareness by creating fun challenges, using impressionable songs and video techniques to capture audiences. Some brands choreograph dance moves to show their latest clothing collections while others showcase the step-by-step process of crafting their products in a ‘behind-the-scenes’ fashion.
An alternative to western social media, Weibo is kind of like a hybrid between Facebook and Twitter. It is now one of the dominating social media platforms in China with over 500 million monthly active users.
It is widely used by Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) and celebrities to market brands by sharing posts, videos and photos on their profile.
Pinterest is an online social media platform functioning as a visual mood board that consists of aesthetic inspirations, products and ideas. It has a unique function where brands and people can link images, products, designs and ideas etc to their website via ‘Pins’.
As visuals create that first important impression, brands must ensure that their images are as salient as possible amidst hundreds and thousands of pins while remaining relevant to their products or services.
This platform is generally favoured by creatives and users alike in areas such as crafts, fashion, interior design, weddings amongst others. Pins promoting F&B businesses and recipe sharing are also prevalent.
The iconic bird logo mimics the essence of Twitter “Serving the public conversation”. Twitter allows users to post short messages, images or videos on its platform. Also known as a ‘tweet’, each tweet is limited to 280 characters.
So, how do you stand out?
One, an informative or entertaining tweet accompanied by videos, images or links is a good combination for your message to be seen.
Two, engage your audiences to drive memorable interactions. Did someone comment on your tweet? Reply to them! Increased engagement allows your brand to dwell longer in the mindshare of your target audience.
Three, humanise your brand to ignite better engagement. For instance, you can include photos of your team in action. Perhaps you’d like to use a behind the scenes video featuring your team members. Either way, highlighting that human element allows us to better resonate with our customers.
Popular brands on Twitter in Singapore:
As one of the top messaging apps in the world, WhatsApp has been improving its features to facilitate better communication amongst its users. With a user base of over 2 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp has certainly garnered a substantial presence.
Commonly seen as a social networking app, plenty of businesses are already using Whatsapp to sell their services and engage with customers. Global brands such as Singapore Airlines, Uber and Booking.com have been using the WhatsApp API to facilitate better customer service.
As the top social media platform in China, WeChat has extensive tools available to businesses. You can do (almost) everything on the app: Pay your bills, hail a ride, sell or buy products and so on. Similarly, you can engage KOLs to promote your brand through sponsors.
Reddit functions as a network of online communities allowing people with similar interest to interact with one another. Users can discuss, vote, comment, award and share content via ‘sub-Reddit’ threads similar to an online forum.
Redditors can share images, videos and even livestream on the platform. There is an algorithm that suggests sub-Reddit threads based on user interests allowing Redditors to browse and consume the content that they love, as with all social media channels.
Businesses can also run ads on Reddit targeting potential customers based on several factors such as location, interests, community and their device. Although conversion rates are also lower compared to other channels, Reddit’s low cost per click makes up for greater clicks and impressions.
A Q&A forum like Quora may not seem to be beneficial for your business at first glance. However, Quora is a hidden treasure trove to indirectly engage with your customers amidst a host of social media platforms.
Due to its Q&A like structure, it is a nifty platform that allows you to observe your audience’s needs based on their inquiries. In return, businesses can exhibit their expertise on the matter with their response, thus strengthening their credibility and garnering more traffic.
Furthermore, businesses can use Quora to conduct informal surveys as a way to find out how customers perceive your products, alongside any feedback or complaints.
Reaching out to the right audience and utilizing good quality content is of paramount importance. Naturally, this begins by first choosing the right social media channels.
To find out more about the audience sizes for each social media platform, click here!
How do we create an effective strategy for social media?
Now that we’ve better understood the various social media platforms, how do we start crafting a social media content strategy that’s optimal?
1. Determine your objective
Regardless of your industry, a good social media strategy works wonders in driving brand awareness, engaging potential customers and increasing sales.
Knowing your objective would determine the type, frequency, depth and quality of content that’s ideal for your business.
Social media marketing objectives include:
- Brand awareness
- Video views
- Educating audiences
- Brand loyalty
- Website visits
- Lead generation
For instance, if you want more leads, a portion of your content would contain links to a landing page designed to generate inquiries. Or you could run lead generation ads channels such as Facebook or Instagram to increase customer acquisition.
2. Identify your target audience
This is extremely important! Why?
It’s easy to craft content tailored to yourself rather than your target audience. To ensure that your content hits the bullseye, feel free to use the questions below as a guide!
Questions to ask when creating content for your target audience:
- What validates them?
E.g. Owning the trendiest clothes? Purchasing cruelty-free products?
- What are their demographics?
E.g. Age, gender, marital status and income level.
- What appeals to them?
Beautiful design? Quality? Functionality? Return on investment?
- What issues/ problems do they have?
Inefficient service? Not enough time?
- How can your products or services help/ offer value?
Better design and lower costs?
- What are their purchase habits?
Are they mainly baby boomers who are unfamiliar with purchasing online?
- What media do they consume?
Are you targeting businesses or end consumers? Are they spending more time on LinkedIn or Instagram?
- How familiar are they with your products?
Is your product new to the market, hence requires more educational posts?
By going through these questions, you will be better able to formulate your client persona. Having a detailed understanding of your target audience will help you to predict your buyer’s behaviour, thus allowing better content creation that resonates with consumers.
3. CI guide and social media playbook
A vital aspect of branding, the Corporate Identity (CI) Guide is the stepping stone in building a brand.
One aspect would be uniformity. Within the brand, it is crucial to ensure consistent fonts, colours, tone and more since this allows consumers to identify you amongst the sea of competitors.
To maintain your brand’s identity across various channels, your account must follow a specific set of guidelines. In terms of social media, translating your brand elements can be facilitated via a social media playbook. This playbook also ensures that your brand maintains its identity across different social media channels, all of which have different requirements.
A social media playbook allows you to maintain a consistent colour scheme, filter, font and copy, acting as a gatekeeper that sets the guidelines into everything that goes into your uploads. This helps followers to recognise and identify your brand easily while scrolling through the hundreds of posts that vie desperately for their limited attention.
4. Plan your content
You’ll have to consider the following factors when planning your social media content:
Every industry has a unique calendar that businesses can leverage on. An effective social media content strategy plans for different seasons around the year.
For instance, retail and e-commerce businesses would always see a spike in sales just before Christmas.
A series of carefully planned posts before Christmas would help to drive more sales and awareness for these businesses.
How often should your brand post?
Without a doubt, post frequency is an important consideration. Competitive brands post three times a day coupled with the occasional live session. Others commit to bi-weekly postings while keeping their online presence active via daily updates on story placements such as Facebook or Instagram stories.
Posting every day, regardless of a post or story, is indubitably great, however, you’ll have to consider your team’s capacity as well.
The key, in this case, would be consistency. Whether you post once a week, every two days or even once a month, sticking to a consistent post frequency lets users know when to check for your latest posts.
Are you reaching out to a broad audience with little knowledge or audiences with a deep understanding?
If you are aiming for a broad audience, then your content would have to cover mainly top-level topics. Hence, less depth!
If however, you are reaching out to technical experts in digital marketing, for example, a good strategy would be to post technical content. More depth!
A good content strategy would contain a content mix targeting both!
Hashtags are also beneficial as they allow you the potential to grow and the increased possibility of showing up on the news feed of your potential customers.
To allow your social media channels to maximise their organic reach, it is absolutely crucial that you adhere to these best practices. Without regularity, it’s certainly difficult for your followers to know when to expect the latest updates or announcements.
At the end of the day, it all depends on your brand’s strategy, budget and capability to grow and upkeep this ever-important digital presence on social media.
5. Deploy your content
After you’ve identified the optimal social media channels, and created content for each platform, it’s time for action!
Find a process that works for yourself or your team when it comes to content production.
To save time, there are tools online that help by automating your posts. Otherwise, some brands prefer to work with a social media marketing agency, so that they can focus on what they do best.
Whichever the case, find the process that works for you and stick to it.
Remember, consistency is key. Don’t be afraid to try, even if you might make a mistake. The important thing is to learn quickly from any setbacks.
An effective social media content strategy works by making adjustments to suit the needs of your audience!
6. Test and optimize
Once you’ve started deploying your social media content, a good practice would be to test and optimize!
Identify the posts that work best and posts that do not resonate with your audience. Tweak your content mix to reach optimal results.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to digital marketing. That’s why our team is constantly testing, measuring and optimizing to maximise cost efficiency.
Your marketing efforts do not just end with content posting. A cost-effective method would be to combine your social media content with targeted ads.
This allows you to reach out to way more people versus simply relying on organic means. As digital marketing specialists, we’ve seen a return on ad spend reaching more than 300% when leveraging on ads. This means that our clients earn $3 for every $1 they invest!
And no, we’re not talking about post boosting.
Lastly, don’t forget to automate. There are a host of options out there for you to consider.
Examples of social media automation tools include:
Benefits of social media automation
With social media automation, you’ll naturally save time since you can rely on features such as scheduled posting and automated responses.
By setting up the parameters (e.g. posts that you’d like to publish for the month or standardised responses for generic questions), you can better focus on more important business and marketing activities.
When you use social media automation, you don’t have to worry about keeping track of deadlines manually! Your content will be uploaded at the allocated time, so go ahead and focus on the other brain-wrecking and time-consuming objectives!
Maintain post frequency
Remember that post frequency is a vital aspect of social media marketing.
With automation, you can simply upload your content onto your preferred automation tool when your posts are ready to publish. The tool will then post your content automatically at the designated time. This means that you don’t have to worry about missing deadlines, staying up late or working on weekends!
Keep posting and apply what you learn after each post (i.e monitor and listen to the results). Once you have collected the data, use it to improve and optimize!
Strive to answer questions such as these:
- Would images or videos work better?
- What time works best for my brand?
- How can I keep my content mix interesting?
- Which factors are working?
To conclude this post on a killer social media content strategy, always remember this:
“Constantly find ways to improve and stick to what works!”
That’s the digital marketing spirit!