How to Create a Social Media Content Strategy That Resonates with Your Audience

By Kacie Berger, Social Media Specialist

Sometimes it’s fun to live by the seat of your pants and go wherever the wind blows. But when it comes to your company’s social media strategy, it’s far more effective (and lucrative) to settle down and develop a cohesive strategy that encompasses your main goals and targets your key initiatives.

A social media content strategy is a plan that guides your engagement on social media. It helps you determine when and what you’re posting and who you’re posting to. You want to be intentional about what you share online because posting without a clear aim and audience can make you look unprofessional and out of touch — and you’re less likely to reach the people you want to market to.

If you’re not sure where to start, let’s take a look at how to create a social media content strategy that resonates with your audience.

Step 1: Define Your Audience

The first step in creating a social media content strategy is to define your audience. You want to make sure you’re tailoring your posts to the person you ultimately want to sell your product or service to. You can’t reach everyone, and to be honest, not everyone will be interested in what you’re offering. The point is to zero in on your ideal clients and customize your content to appeal to them.

To identify your target audience, think about who is most likely to use your product or service and who your current clients are. Then look at your current social media accounts and analytics (if you have any). It’s possible the analytics might not match who you think you’re targeting. Maybe there’s a group of people interested in your product, but you aren’t focusing on them yet. Use this information to help you create content that interests your audience and is useful to them.

Step 2: Determine Your Goals & Objectives

As with most things in life, you want to make good use of your time. Without a strategy, it’s easy to spend a lot of time posting on social media with little to show for it. Consider your business goals. Are you trying to drive sales? Build awareness? Create a community? Use those objectives to give direction to your social media posts and engagement.

Increase Sales: If you want to increase sales, highlight the benefits of your products, and showcase the value of your services.

Build Awareness: If you want to build awareness, share the unique selling points of what you offer, and give a behind-the-scenes look at what matters most to your brand.

Engage with Clients: If you want to create a community, engage with your clients in meaningful ways by replying to comments, sharing user-generated content, and connecting with other local businesses and organizations.

Step 3: Choose the Right Social Media Platforms

When choosing the right social media platform for your content, consider where your target audience is already spending its time. Baby Boomers aren’t scrolling through TikTok, Gen Z-ers aren’t sending friend requests on Facebook, brides-to-be aren’t searching Twitter for a wedding photographer, and defendants aren’t looking for a lawyer on Pinterest. Determining where your audience seeks out answers and searches for content will dictate where your brand should focus its efforts.

Another important factor for choosing the right social media platform is understanding what type of content you’re capable of creating. If you don’t have the ability or time to create video content, you should probably skip TikTok. If you don’t have in-depth industry knowledge to share, LinkedIn probably isn’t the best fit.

So where should you focus your social media efforts? Here are some suggestions for getting started. Keep in mind, it’s likely that multiple platforms are suitable for your brand.

Facebook: Today, having a Facebook page for your business is like having a website. It’s appropriate for just about everyone, and it’s one of the best social media platforms for sharing links, blogs, news, company updates, and images.

Instagram: If your product or service is more visual, Instagram is a good place to be. The audience is younger than some other platforms, but it’s generally used by a wide range of consumers.

Pinterest: Like Instagram, Pinterest is highly visual. It is unique in the sense that it functions as a hybrid between a visual search engine and a social network. Another unique aspect of Pinterest is that, unlike other social networks, where users tend to post about things as they’re happening or after they’ve happened, Pinners are looking forward to the future. While a person may take to Facebook or another platform to share photos after an event, Pinterest is where users go weeks or even months before the event takes place.

LinkedIn: If you have a B2B company or you frequently collaborate with other businesses, LinkedIn is a great place to be. Even B2C companies can benefit from having an engaged presence on this platform. It’s an ideal platform to share knowledge, build brand awareness, establish your business as an industry leader, team up with other organizations, and network with others in your field.

Twitter: This platform is a good place to share links or short-form content. If your company deals with customer service, Twitter is a good place to be, especially if you need to communicate with customers quickly.

TikTok: For the most part, this platform targets a younger customer. It’s video-focused and more casual than other forms of social media. The tendency for things to go viral often appeals to businesses, but keep in mind, it’s a double-edged sword. Your content might not get in front of the right audience, and there could be negative consequences to that viral attention.

Step 4: Develop a Content Calendar

Content calendars are a way to stay organized, plan timely content, and make sure you’re not creating the same kinds of posts back-to-back. You can quickly scan through previous posts and see if you’ve shared something similar in the past month (without scrolling and scrolling and scrolling through old posts). It’s important to mix things up and show a range of content so your potential and current customers stay engaged with your brand. Otherwise, they may get bored and search for other options — possibly your competitors.

If you’re wondering how to start, open up Excel or Google Sheets and start brainstorming ideas for future posts. Are there big events that might be relevant to your brand? Major holidays? So-called social media holidays (e.g., National Burger Day, International Cat Day, etc.)? As long as it’s relevant to your brand, it’s worth writing down. Is your business going to an industry-specific event, launching a new product, or hiring new staff? Mark it down.

Start filling in your content calendar with your must-haves and static dates, like Mother’s Day or the date of your product launch. Then fill in the blanks with evergreen events, inspiring images, or general branded posts. You want your posts to convey, “This is who we are, this is what we do, and this is why you should choose us over our competitors.”

Step 5: Create Engaging Content

Once you have a calendar, you can start creating engaging content. Think about what your audience is actually interested in — don’t just try to sell them something. Consider how your brand can offer something of value by sharing helpful tips, project inspiration, fun facts, blog links, and expert perspectives. Ideally, your followers will share, comment, and save your content, which alerts platform algorithms to put it in front of more people.

And don’t forget, once your audience makes a purchase, stay engaged with them. Share follow-up posts on how to use or care for the product so they can make the most of their purchase. The algorithms value intentional engagement.

Step 6: Monitor & Analyze Your Results

Once you’ve begun creating posts and sharing online, take a look at how effective your content has been at achieving your goals. If you’re trying to increase engagement, look at the analytics to see if people are reacting to your content. Are they liking, sharing, and saving it? If you want to increase sales, are people clicking the links to your site and actually buying your products? Figure out which types of posts are most effective at achieving your goals.

If you use a monitoring or scheduling program, you can use their analytics to see your stats from multiple social media outlets all in one place. If not, most platforms have an analytics feature you can use. Check it out on a monthly or quarterly basis depending on how frequently you post. Figure out which days of the week and times of day get the best results for your posts. Then on a quarterly basis, determine what type of content is performing best. It’s important to wait until you have a large enough sample size to draw appropriate conclusions. As you analyze the data, your social media strategy may change, and that’s okay. Simply adjust your plan for the next month, and keep going.

Let’s Get Started!

When it comes to developing your social media strategy, start with the basics. Know your target audience, and be realistic about what you can accomplish. It’s better for customers to see you’re consistently posting once a week rather than notice you posted every day, got burnt out, and quit after a month. A consistent posting schedule signals that the information found on your page is trustworthy and up-to-date.

Without a plan and consistent follow-through, using social media for your business could become a waste of time. On the other hand, developing an engaging strategy and sticking to it could increase conversion rates, boost website traffic, generate a greater ROI, and help your brand stand out against the competition. Develop your social media strategy with intention, and see where it takes you.

If you’re looking for someone to help you build your social media strategy or give you an inside look on how to ramp up your engagement, contact us at Alpha Dog. We love helping brands maximize their social media presence and develop strategies to set them apart from the competition. Let’s team up!