Planning social media content for a brand is a multi-faceted job. You have to balance the business goals of your company with the various social platforms you are on and the type of content users prefer consuming on each.
When it comes to content planning, no matter the channel(s) you’re working with, there are some basic rules you should follow. Here are some dos and don’ts for social media content planning.
Do: Get a second opinion
It’s always good to get another set of eyes on any content you create. Have a colleague review your planned posts so they can catch grammatical errors or typos you may have missed, correct any misinformation, and make sure everything is displaying correctly. They’ll also be able to tell you if anything in your content is confusing and hard to follow, or if there are jokes that missed the mark.
Don’t: Schedule any unprepared content
Sometimes, you will run into a situation where you have a post planned, but some of the information in it is not yet finalized. In these cases, do not schedule the incomplete post out. It is all too easy to forget to add the missing info, and suddenly you have an incomplete post live on the internet. Instead, save any posts that still need to be edited or added to as drafts. That way, nothing with missing pieces will accidentally get published, but you still have the content saved somewhere accessible.
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Do: Utilize fan content
Creating your own professional photo or video content for your business can be great: It offers high-quality outputs, and the opportunity to brand the content exactly as you please. But making use of content generated by your fans and followers can also be extremely valuable to your brand. Not only can it save you money by quelling the need for as much professional content to be produced, but it can also send the message that you value your customers and appreciate their support.
Don’t: Let the trends control you
Following along with current digital marketing trends is a must. You do not want to fall behind on dominant trends within the industry. But at the same time, don’t let trends completely take over your digital marketing efforts. You don’t need to make use of every single new trendy meme or online challenge that’s going viral. Make sure any trends you jump on board with aligning with your brand and your voice. Don’t let your brand imagery and voice get lost for the sake of keeping up with trends.
Do: Be consistent in your branding
It is so important for your business to have branding guidelines, and to stick to them with all of your digital marketing efforts. No matter how minor a given post or digital campaign may seem, it is essential that it aligns with your brand. At any time, a new potential customer could find any of your content that is currently online. Make sure each individual piece of digital marketing you produce is something you would be proud to have a potential customer see.
Don’t: Forget your purpose
Social media is fun, and getting likes, comments, and shares on your posts can be exciting. But while it’s great to have some fun with your social media efforts, don’t forget what your business goals are. For most brands, engagement in their content is not the end result. If you’re trying to make sales, focus on content that drives conversions. If you’re trying to reach a new audience, focus on content that appeals to a new set of people. The posts with the most “likes” aren’t necessarily the most successful for your brand. Make sure you’re looking at the metrics that matter and staying focused on those.
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Do: Get creative in ways you encourage your audience to engage
That being said, engagement is still an important part of any social media strategy, and at the very least is a great first step to help meet other business goals. There are some standard ways of encouraging engagement that is great to make use of: ask direct questions, post polls, and ask people to tag a friend in the comments or share your posts if they agree with your message. Beyond those, there are some other methods you can employ as well. Be sure to post about any specials or limited-time deals you’re offering to get people excited. Post teasers about new releases so people can make guesses. And highlight employees or the owner of your business to humanize the brand and elicit responses from people.
Don’t: Share the same photo over and over
We’ve all seen it from businesses. One picture is being posted over and over and over again. While that is an easy way to stay active on your social accounts, it quickly gets tiresome for your audience. Even if you can’t get out there and create brand-new high-quality photos and videos, find a way to make what you’ve got look different. Add in background elements, edit your photos, turn multiple images into a slideshow, or even just try zooming in or out. Anything you can do to vary your content will help make it more valuable for your audience.
So there you have it. Be sure to follow the guidelines above when planning social content for your brand, and you should be on the right track.