You need a content strategy for social media….

Happy Tuesday Tribe! I hope your having a great week and your ready to kill it.

Let’s get into today’s topic.

Okay, so you know you need to start stepping your social media game up. You want to go from posting and hearing nothing to posting and getting engagement, because you know social media is a conversation. For a second think of what it would be like to share your brand story seamlessly, attract your ideal client, and convert your followers into valued readers and customers. Whether it’s a service, product, or your own personal blog. You need a strategy for sharing your content on your social platforms. Where do you start is the question.

In order to grow your community, tribe, or whatever you call your following. Using storytelling is the number one way to connect and create value with what you post. Not just posting the pretty pictures with the meaningless captions. Need some inspiration on how to start sharing your brand story, download my Brand Storytelling Guide for tips plus content caption examples to get you started now.

Let me ask you this question. Why is social media important for your brand? I’m sure you know that Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform with people signing up daily. If millennials and those just outside that generation are your ideal audience. Then you need the understanding of the fundamental elements of social media content/branding, and how to use it to your advantage.

When I first started my business and sharing my brand on social media I thought sharing my photography service was all I needed to do and the people would come flocking. I was 100% flat dead wrong. My first order of business was getting traffic, and not just any traffic. Organic growth took time and strategy. From figuring out my ideal client, clearing up my messaging, and being confident in sharing who I was.

Washington DC  brand photographer

If your feeling overwhelmed in all that things you think you need to do right now to grow your social media...it’s okay. Take a step back and use my FOCUS method.

F - Focus on the top 2-3 things that need your attention now to grow on social media. This could be a few post introducing or re-introducing yourself and talking about the benefits of your service, not just why people should buy or follow you. Or, actual sharing images of you…. cause ummm you have been stalling on that end. (I’m guilty).

O- Opportunities that you can take advantage of right now to help your audience learn more from you and expand your reach. Are you using your IG stories, are you showing up/being consistent in posting, are your selling or sharing? Pick 1 thing to start doing more of for one week and see what happens.

C- Cut out the comparison. This will do you worlds of good. Stop comparing yourself to your peers. Everyone is on a different level and journey. Just because the blogger or designer you follow is doing xyz, does not mean you have to do the same. Growth is a process and you move at your own speed.

U- Understand your “WHY”. This is where I see so many entrepreneur mistakes. “I want to attract and work with the right client that values what I have to share/serve.” Do you know who that person is?  Are you speaking to his or her problem points? Understanding who you are, what you do, and how you do it, is the essential way to getting the right people to connect with you.

S- Stop over thinking. Grasp the concept that social media is a conversation. This will push you further than any other tip I can share.

Washington DC  brand photographer

So, let’s dive deeper into creating a Social Media Strategy that will help you grow and connect organically.

Step 1: Get clear on your monthly goals

With creating a content strategy your first thought is making your content work for you. What do you want it to do? This could include but not limited to;

  • Increasing your followers

  • Sharing more about you and your brand

  • Sharing client stories

  • Sharing a tutorial

  • Generating buzz for a new launch, service, or product

  • Sharing tips

  • Pushing people to a specific post

  • Having people sign up for your newsletter

Whatever your goal is, knowing what and how to accomplish it is key. This means knowing your numbers. Let me preface by saying that I am not a numbers person. Nope!!! However, getting clear on them has helped my brand in the long run.  

Set aside time to plan out your content for at least 2-3 weeks around 2-3 topics you are focusing on. Post and collect the data around your findings.

For example: Your goal is to increase your following by 15 followers a week. You will want to schedule posts that speak about  your brand/business and “YOU”. Ask your follows questions to generate engagement and get to know them. Bonus: Use your stories to share more behind the scenes. The first step in the FOCUS method.

Gauge what content did well and not so well. Did you receive engagement? Have people clicked through to your website? And are you looking at the amount of likes your content is getting- which shows reach. (If this is small.. It’s okay. Focus on serving the people showing up for you.) This will tell you what people enjoy seeing from you. Do this for anything you want to share more of on social media. Does that mean you can’t share the things that did not do well (especially if you like those posts). NO! You can share them. You will have to find a way to do so that still gets the attention you need. You can create these post and share more about them in your stories to help you draw attention, and create buzz around those posts.

If you have a business account on Instagram. Making use of your analytics section is a huge help to honing in on the findings.

Here are a few apps that will help you collect the numbers.

Planoly - Showing you basic insight into your social stats /paid and Free version

  • I use Planoly in conjunction with Instagram analytics for my business page

Hootsuite/ Brandwatch- Both social media statistic managers. Offers free trials.

Depending on your website host. You may be able to see analytics from that end. As a Squarespace user, I am able to see the back end of where my traffic is coming from.

Washington DC  brand photographer

Step 2: Promoting Content

Not only do you want to share your own content, but sharing content of others in your niche is powerful and can grow your following. This has helped my growth. I did not know it at first as I enjoy sharing others success, tips, and wins. After a few months I began to notice a spike in my growth. This was a direct result from my findings.

This is a great way to get yourself in front of fresh eyes when you are first starting out.

Key: Keep it genuine.

Step 3: Create your own content

You will be tempted to use stock photos, quotes and images you find on Pinterest. You know the IG pages we see with a host of quotes and stock images. I am not against this at all. We have all been there. Most of these pages are inspirational and motivational. If your a service provider or product based page you need to be creating, sharing, and showing your own content. This will allow your unique brand voice to stand out.

I know your thinking, “but I don’t have time to create my content all the time.” That means want to create a team to work with you and for you

  • For your images- work with a product/ brand/ or lifestyle photographer that can help you create visual content. I can help you here. Interested? Let’s Chat.

  • For social media management-  work with a social media manager or content strategist.

Washington DC  brand photographer

Step 4: Create a plan for posting

You should be posting at minimum 1 time a day or 3-4 times a week, using your stories throughout your day, and scheduling your content. This will save your brain cells, time, peace, and relieve frustration. Before I use to post on the fly and it was a huge headache. I’d post at one time and boom like, like, and more likes. Then on another post……….yeah nothing. It was driving me crazy. Discovering Planoly was heaven sent. I have not looked back since. Now I plan my content weeks in advance. With out this step I’d spend half my week planning what I wanted to send out, which is not a good use of anyone's  time.

Additional step: Finding your best time to post. You can do this by tracking your analytics to specifically see when your audience is active.

Step 5: Engage Engage Engage

The way to growth is engagement. It’s important to engage with your followers, respond to their comments, spark conversations and engage with their posts. Set aside time for this 2-3 times a week. I spend 10-15 minutes in the morning doing this if I can.

Washington DC  brand photographer

Let’s recap;

  • Focus

  • Set social media goals

  • Asses and track your analytics

  • Create Your own content

  • Promote your content

  • Create a plan for posting

  • Engage

Final Key points to keep in mind. Be consistent and stick to your strategy as much as possible. We all have busy lives. Being consistent will show your that you are dedicated to creating monthly goals to focus your content, be unique in your messaging and create cohesiveness for your audience. That's it! With these steps in place you will be well on your way to seeing growth and engagement.

For more tips and resources to help you level up your social media and visual branding, make sure to join the Branded Boss Social tribe.