2020 has seriously been a game-changer for social media. Usage across every age group on all the major social channels has increased. People are relying on social media more for news, updates from their local businesses, to check in on friends and family and for lockdown entertainment.
You need to ensure that the content marketing strategy you put together is valuable and has substance so that you can take advantage of the increased usage and engage with the right audience in a purposeful manner. Here are the steps you need to go through to set your social media up for success in 2021.
Decide on your social media strategy, purpose and goals
Get clear on what the purpose of social media is in this context. Is it to generate sales? Increase awareness? Build more industry relationships? Start by writing three to six bullet points with some goal headings like social media goals or stakeholder/customer group. This will help you create your strategy and give you something to turn back to when you get busy throughout the year.
Plan in blocks
Planning your social media in blocks ensures you remain proactive and also in control of your workload. Depending on the frequency of your posting across social media, one month is normally a great cadence for your social media blocks, and scheduling a meeting to plan is a great way to ensure it gets done.
Brainstorm topics first
When planning your social media out for each block of time, start by brainstorming topic first before you get into the format or the channel. Use your content themes recorded in your strategy to come up with different topics for the period. Sometimes it helps to brainstorm as a group and be as broad as you can.
Look at those topics through a strategy lens
Once you have your topic ideas listed, look at each of them through a strategy lens. For every idea ask yourself: Does this topic help us achieve our goals? Does this topic add value to the lives of our key customer group? Does this topic talk to the main messaging of our business? Does this topic represent our values as a business?
Discuss format and channel
Now you can decide on the specific format and channel it to be posted at the last stage (rather than the first stage) means that you can objectively decide on a topic that helps with your strategy, and then focus on format and channel in a more strategic way.
Actioning and recording
To get the most out of your social media in 2021 planning you should make sure that all this information gets stored somewhere easy to access and organised. There are lots of content marketing planning tools online but even if you just start with a piece of paper and a calendar you are worlds ahead of the rest.
Although these steps might seem quite rigid, it is important to balance this with interactive and live actions on social platforms. It is quite obvious which social media channels are overly scheduled in advance, and this can actually have the opposite effect of not posting anything at all.
Keep an eye on your performance. You should keep learning and pivoting your strategy every month or time period you sit down to plan. Only by doing this can you make sure you are working towards your goals.
Amy Miocevich, Founder, The Caterpillar Framework and author of “Very Good Marketing for Small Business”