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Your Content Strategy For Social Media: Five Rules To Live By

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A content strategy for social media is not just an option; it’s a necessity for brands looking to engage their audience effectively and drive meaningful results.

A well-crafted content strategy (more specifically, for social media) can elevate your brand’s online presence, foster community, and contribute significantly to achieving your marketing objectives.

Today, I’ll walk you through critical rules to live by when developing your content strategy for social media, ensuring that every post aligns with your broader marketing goals. And, resonates with your target audience!

Does This Sound Like You?

Inevitably, I hear a story like the one below when working with social media marketing clients …

Our brand stands at the crossroads of visibility and obscurity. Despite our unique offerings and amazing team, we struggle to make our voice heard in the crowded social media landscape.”

Most of our clients know they have stories worth telling, insights worth sharing, and products that could make a difference in people’s lives. Yet, finding the right chords to strike with their audience remains elusive on social media channels.

The “AH-HA!” moment usually comes with the realization that a mere presence on social media isn’t enough.

Instead, you need a map to navigate the complex, ever-changing terrains of digital communities. With today’s social media landscape, you must:

  1. Embark on a journey to develop a content strategy for social media that’s more than just a checklist and/or publishing schedule.
  2. Create a guide for continuous brand storytelling.
  3. Construct a blueprint for building meaningful connections using your brand’s core values.

So, how do you craft a content strategy for social media that resonates with your audience, aligns with your marketing goals, and brings your brand’s story to life?

Let’s explore the essential rules to live by for content strategy on social media. And ultimately, uncover the secrets to turning your social media presence into a beacon of engagement, loyalty, and growth.

Aligning Your Content Strategy with Marketing Goals

Rule #1: Integration is key.

Your content strategy for social media should nest neatly inside your overall marketing strategy. It should not “be its own thing.”

Start by identifying your organization’s overarching marketing goals.

  • Are you aiming for increased brand awareness?
  • Looking for higher engagement rates?
  • Interested in direct sales on social?

Maybe it’s all of the above.

In any case, understanding your objectives allows you to tailor your social media content to support those goals directly.

For instance, if the goal is to boost brand awareness, your content strategy for social media should focus on creating shareable, engaging content that captures the essence of your brand. It should also encourage interaction from your audience.

Too many brands lose sight of the importance of brand conversation and two-way connection. Don’t let that be you!

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We have a free course that’s all about creating content for social media that sparks connection (and conversation!).

Cross-Functional Collaboration Enhances Your Content Strategy for Social Media

Rule #2: Teamwork makes the dream work.

We used to say this all the time when i worked in nonprofit. I thought it was cheesy. However, today, as a more mature adult, I’ve come to realize that you cannot be successful on your own.

Likewise, your social media content strategy should not live on an island.

A successful content strategy for social media thrives on cross-functional collaboration. Please, for the love of all that is social, engage with various departments within your organization to uncover unique content opportunities.

For example:

Most importantly, collaboration ensures that your content strategy for social media is comprehensive and reflects the diverse aspects of your brand. It’s my opinion that no one department should “own” social.

By collaborating with other departments, making your content more engaging, and ensuring it’s relevant to your audience, you should see growth and engagement numbers increase.

Creating Remixable Assets: A Cornerstone of a Social Media Content

Rule #3: Efficiency must meet creativity.

Embrace the concept of remixable assets within your content strategy for social media.

The goal is to maximize the utility of every piece of content you create. For example, a series of video case studies can be repurposed into blog posts, social media snippets, or infographics.

This approach not only saves resources but also ensures your content reaches a wider audience across different platforms, making your content strategy for social media more dynamic and versatile.

I see so many brands struggle here. If this sounds like you, this is where I’d actually encourage the use of AI. For instance, we use ChatGPT (paid) to help us remix, reuse, and recycle content.

Give it a prompt like this …

You are a social media and copywriting expert. Your goal is to turn this [piece of content, let’s use blog] blog post into thirty different lead-ins for social media, to be used over 30 consecutive days. Make sure you use pithy quotes, stats from the article, and other interest-piquing copy to persuade the audience to click. Make the copy short and sweet.”

Do that, and you might end up with this:

B Squared Media 30x30 GPT example

Which, by the way, is a real result for a 30×30 prompt I created for GPT.

A 30×30 (“thirty by thirty”) is what we do with new blogs or articles. We come up with 30 ways to promote the article back-to-back for a consecutive 30 days. That way, we can share it heavily when it’s published without looking like we’re sharing the same post over and over again.

Feel free to steal!

Execution: The Heart of Content Strategy for Social Media

Rule #4: Action over perfection.

The best content strategies for social media move swiftly from planning to execution.

And while it’s important to have a strategy in place, the real insights come from putting your content out there and learning from the engagement it receives.

This iterative process allows you to refine and adapt your content strategy for social media based on real-world data, ensuring your content remains relevant and impactful.

Other elements of impact are:

  • Authenticity
  • Consistency
  • Analytics
  • Content (by platform)

Let’s dig in below.

The Role of Authenticity & Consistency

Obviously, it’s important to point out that authenticity and consistency are foundational elements of a compelling content strategy for social media.

Authentic content builds trust and fosters a deeper connection with your audience, while consistency in your messaging, tone, and visuals strengthens your brand identity across platforms.

Is this authentic content?

instagram shoppable posts example

No! Although, that’s what most brand content looks like on social media. Ew.

Is this authentic content?

fill in the blank question

Yes! Because it’s a horse brand using conversation to create a two-way connection with their audience. I’m a horse mom and trust me, we LOVE to talk about our horses to anyone who will listen.

Ensuring that your content is both true to your brand and consistently presented is crucial for the success of your content strategy for social media.

Leveraging Analytics

Data-driven decisions can significantly enhance your content strategy for social media.

Use the analytics tools provided by social media platforms — or your social media tool — to gain insights into which content performs best. This means taking a deep dive into your engagement rates.

From there, you can also start to see who your audience is and the best times to post. This information is invaluable for tailoring your content to meet your audience’s needs and preferences.

For instance, check out Sprout Social’s Viralpost®:

sprout social media tool enhanced analytics b squared media

Sprout’s ViralPost® and optimal send times technology analyzes your audience’s engagement patterns and surfaces the optimal times to post content for the highest engagement. Click here to see how it works.

Platform-Specific Content

Finally, when it comes to execution, understanding that each social media platform has its unique audience and content preferences is paramount.

A robust strategy acknowledges these differences and tailors content accordingly. Whether it’s the informal, visual nature of Instagram or the professional, discussion-driven environment of LinkedIn, adapting your content to fit each platform’s context is essential for maximizing engagement and effectiveness.

I would not post a picture of my dog, Ellis, to LinkedIn. However, I will (and do!) post him all over Instagram.

Ellis Sellas

[Ellis Sellas]

One of the many photos of Ellis I’ve shared on Instagram. What a moosh!

Community Engagement: A Pillar of Content for Social Media

Rule #5: More connection, less content.

Engagement is a two-way street in any effective content strategy for social media.

Beyond posting content, actively engaging with your audience—through comments, direct messages, and community discussions—helps build a loyal community around your brand.

But most brands don’t bother doing this!

However, research indicates that engaging in conversation early in the buying process has a significant impact, highlighting that individuals might be more open to influence during the early stages of their digital customer journey (DCJ).

publicis twitter letstalkshop data viz2.png.twimg.2560

[Source: #LetsTalkShop]

The study further emphasizes the considerable effect of conversations around the brand, initiated by either the brand or the consumer, on the likelihood of a purchase at any stage of the DCJ.

This aligns perfectly with our philosophy of prioritizing conversations over campaigns, especially in an era where consumers lead their own journey, seeking information and posing questions all the way to the point of sale.

Moreover, as I’ve detailed in my recent book, Conversations That Connect, brands that leverage conversations to align their values with those of their target audience tend to outperform those relying on content that leans heavily on clichés and straightforward facts.

In conclusion, if you’re finding your social media engagement metrics lacking, it’s likely due to content that comes across as too sales-focused and uninteresting!

Focusing on engagement not only enriches your relationship with your audience but also provides valuable feedback and insights for future content.

Innovation and Experimentation: Keeping Your Content Strategy for Social Media Fresh

Along with Rule #5, is innovation and experimentation.

The digital landscape is continuously evolving, requiring your content strategy for social media to do the same.

Embrace innovation and experimentation by trying new content formats, engaging with emerging trends, and exploring different storytelling techniques.

Staying adaptable and open to change will ensure your content strategy for social media remains effective and engaging in the long term.

Go Forth & Execute!

A well-executed content strategy for social media is instrumental in achieving your marketing goals and engaging your target audience.

By aligning your social media efforts with the above five rules, you can create a dynamic and effective content strategy for social media.

Remember, community engagement is more critical than content. Embrace these principles, and watch your social media presence flourish.

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Brooke B. Sellas is an award-winning Customer Marketing Strategist and the CEO & Founder of B Squared Media. Her book, Conversations That Connect has been recognized nationally and is required reading for a Customer Experience class at NSU. Brooke's influence in digital marketing is not just about her accomplishments but also about her unwavering commitment to elevating the industry standard of digital customer experience and customer marketing.
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Category: Content Marketing,
Tags: B Squared Media, Brooke B. Sellas, Brooke Sellas, content marketing, content marketing ROI, content marketing strategy, content strategy for social media, ,
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