Social media content creation is more than posting in random spurts of creativity throughout the day. If you want to truly engage with your audience and garner the traffic other big brands experience, you have to outline a bullet-proof blueprint for social media success. But how exactly can you plan, execute, and track something as abstract and ambiguous as social media posting? Here are the steps you need to take to establish your brand’s flourishing social media campaign structure.
Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
SMART is an acronym and tool used to guide goal setting. Ideally, a S.M.A.R.T. goal should be:
- Specific – Your goal should be clear and distinct in order to put your efforts towards a specific motivation.
- Measurable – Your goal should be measurable in order for you to track your progress, meet deadlines, and build up excitement towards achieving said goal.
- Achievable – Your goal should be realistic. Don’t choose something unattainable but do choose something that can challenge you.
- Relevant – Your goal should align with your values and long-term objectives. Ask yourself questions such as: is this the right time? Does this seem worthwhile?
- Time-based – Your goal should set a realistic time frame to complete tasks in order to remain ambitious and motivated.
This S.M.A.R.T. framework will guide your social media campaign goals and lead them towards real business results. Here’s an example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal for social media:
“We will use Facebook to drive traffic into our website and increase it by 20% by the end of the quarter.”
Always make sure you are tracking meaningful metrics. While follower count, likes, and other vanity metrics are easy to measure and satisfying to look at, ensure that you are observing more valuable numbers such as conversion, engagement, and click-through rate.
Decide How to Promote the Campaign on Each Channel
Your success on social media completely depends upon the type of content you post and where. A content creator should focus their attention on producing high-performing content with a rich assortment. To help you decide what type of content you should create, we’ve compiled a list of different content types and the best social media platforms to post them on.
- Written content (blogs, articles, guides, etc.)
The best platforms for written content are Facebook and LinkedIn, especially for longer pieces of work. With 65% of LinkedIn members stating the reason behind their engagement with posts is because it is educational and informative, it is no wonder why written content does so well on this platform.
- Visual Content (photography, graphic design, images, etc.)
The best platforms for visual content are Pinterest and Instagram. From a statistical standpoint, Instagram images get an average of 23% more engagement than their Facebook counterparts, and 73% of Pinterest users in a recent study said they found branded content useful. All of this to say, branded imagery works best on these platforms!
- Video Content (guides, video tours, product demonstrations, etc.)
Video is all the rage right now. Statistics in 2019 show that 75 million people in the U.S watch online videos every day and internet video traffic accounts for 80% of all consumer traffic. The best platforms for video are YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram with 45% of people watching more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week.
- Infographics (explanations, statistics, etc.)
Infographics do best on Pinterest because of the platform’s inherent layout. Due to infographics filling the whole screen, users don’t have to click to see the full infographic.
Plot Your Monthly Content Calendar
For this next step, make sure you are seeing your social media campaign as it relates to your brand’s bigger picture. Think of it as a piece to a puzzle; you need to know where everything else is around it to make it fit.
Your content calendar can be as simple or complex as you want it to be, but the bones that establish its foundation – no matter the level of ambition – are the same.
Step 1 – Complete an audit of your existing social media content. Identify areas for improvement and opportunities you might have missed in the past.
Step 2 – Choose the social media channels you plan on posting on by completing research on your specific industry and what platforms can host your marketing efforts best.
Step 3 – Create a content library of all your assets, branded or otherwise. Great options are Dropbox, Google Drive, or your internal company network.
Step 4 – Establish your workflow by laying down how often you plan to post to each channel, and what your content ratio will look like (e.g. 80% of posts should inform and educate while 20% should directly promote your business).
Once you have a social media workflow outlined, you can begin crafting your posts!
Create Supporting Visual Content
Now it’s time to create the visual items that will supplement your post if needed. And no, you don’t have to be a master graphic designer to produce compelling visual images. In fact, if you need to stick with stock photography, read our blog on the Dos and Don’ts of Stock Imagery here. However, if you are willing to give graphic design a try, we suggest checking our blog on how to use graphic design to boost brand recognition out.
Timing is everything, especially for social media campaigns. With users logging on at certain times and showing more engagement with brands during specific days, you best believe you have to research and plan accordingly. To make this an easier process, we compiled a list of best times to post on certain platforms we obtained from Sprout Social.
Facebook – Wednesday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Instagram – Wednesday at 11 a.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Twitter – Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m.
LinkedIn – Wednesday from 8–10 a.m. and noon, Thursday at 9 a.m. and 1–2 p.m., and Friday at 9 a.m.
Pinterest – Saturdays from 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Monitor and Respond
This is not a slow cooker meal – don’t set it and forget it! In order to gain the best results, you have to monitor and respond to comments left on your social media campaign. In order to do this to the best of your abilities, we suggest following the rules of engagement.
- Always respond within a timely manner
- Have draft statements in place for quick response times
- Be consistent in tone
- Be personable and on topic
- Measure the effectiveness of your responses
Analyze and Adjust
Finally, take the time to analyze your results. Remember the M in S.M.A.R.T.? Now it’s time for your campaign’s metrics to be revealed and analyzed. Did your engagement increase? How many clicks and conversions did your campaign garner? Gather all of this information to see what worked and what didn’t. And don’t leave this as a number in a random spreadsheet or slideshow, act on what you’ve learned and invest the time needed to optimize your social media campaigns in the future.
Not every social media campaign will have all of these steps, but we wanted to give our readers a complete foundation to base all of their social media posting on and have a head start over the competition. Have any questions? Leave us a comment down below!
Missed the first installation of our social media series? Click here to read Social Media: Do’s and Don’ts.