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ou may feel like a deer in the headlights when given the task to create social media channels for your organization, but here are five steps to help you out:
1. Discover your vision
What is the purpose behind your social media accounts? BYU Sports Information director Lauren Holbrook describes why seeing the big picture matters, “If you don’t have a vision for your social media campaigns, it just becomes some fun posts that don’t contribute. You may earn lots of engagements and traction from a post or campaign, but if it doesn’t contribute to your brand then it’s done nothing for you.”
Once you’ve created your vision, be prepared to give your audience a taste of what they should expect to get out of following you.
2. Prepare your platform
Don’t invite the neighborhood over for a barbecue before you buy the supplies. At least be prepared to feed your audience some “content bites” before they enter your channels. Have a bank of posts that highlight your vision about your brand and what the followers can expect to get out of it. Below are some examples of such posts:
– Create an introductory blog and link posts to where it’s posted
– Create giveaway contests for your followers
– Create videos that quickly explain the purpose of your brand
– Showcase some highlights that your brand has had in the past and what is expected in the future
3. Build your audience.
Now that you’ve created something worth sharing, the invitations can be sent! This is where your audience research comes in handy. The welcome wagon to your pages can be sent in many forms, but they must connect with the audience that you’re trying to reach. Here are some helpful tips:
– Start posting and commenting on other bigger brands and influencers’ social media accounts
– Create Geofencing around areas that contain your audience
– Generate contests that relate to your audience and require them to like your pages
– Look at who follows similar pages and invite them to your channels
As you utilize these tips, interrogate yourself with questions about the demographics and psychographics of your audience. All questions can come from the big two:
- Who cares?
- Why do they care?
Once your channels are ready to go, start seeking out the followers and prepare relevant content.
4. Generate your Content
Content is the glue that keeps your followers attached to your channels. Remember this rule: Be human. Produce something that others feel comfortable contacting, engaging and following. Keep your branding professional and loyal to your vision, but be humanistic as you follow these content creation principles:
Branding: Be consistent with your messaging. Use similar themes and images according to each platform. Take pride in your content and strive for high-quality media to help build your reputation.
Content Calendars: Find four to five hours each month and brainstorm a month of content. Iron it out on a simple Google Sheet and have a second pair of eyes look it over for errors or offbeat content ideas. Commit to the calendar and be consistent!
User-Generated Content: Give your followers a voice! These “Brand Champions” or better known as brand lovers will bring more credibility to your brand than anything you could find. Share their content and create spotlights, features and anything else to showcase your gratitude for their loyalty.
Spontaneous content and current events: Keep watch for any kind of new content that could build your brand. Never be afraid to edit the content calendar with new and improved content, but maintain a fluid level of consistency.
These are a few of many principles to keep your content sharp and relevant. I recommend looking at relevant blogs and other brands for more specifics on content curating.
5. Analyze your progress
So did it work? Did the audience actually care about what you were saying? Analytics have all the answers. Each platform has a form of analytics that can help you understand how every post you made performed. It also shows demographics for all of your follower categories. Here’s what to look for:
- Find out what you care about measuring (look back at your vision)
- What type of content needs to improve and what type’s doing well
- What direction your new strategy needs to take based on your results
Rinse and Repeat
Repeat this process as many times as you need to in order to shake up your routines. Instead of starting new pages, use new campaigns and new hashtag trends. Use this process to measure your progress and always strive to improve it.
Written by Jeffrey Dodenbier