Social media strategy.
Does that phrase make you think of long hours, sitting behind a screen, wanting to pull your hair out because it takes so much time and effort?
Of course it does. And you're not alone. These days, the mere idea of posting to social media feels daunting.
Even if you love social media, it's likely that you are seriously lacking in the “time” department to get it all done.
There are two issues for everyone when it comes to their social media.
- It's overwhelming
- It's time consuming.
The flat out truth is that when we get busy inside our business, social media is always the first thing to get placed on the back burner. You know it's true.
We have ALL been there. Even me. And it's my profession.
But here’s the deal. Social media is the single best way to get in front of your customers and build a loyal relationship with them...often without spending a dime.
Think of it like this: social media is a game that everyone is playing. And you have to play too in order to win.
If you want to beat out the competition, this is the ultimate guide for generating massive amounts of content fast.
Here are 5 actionable steps for coming up with consistent content that will knock your reader’s socks off. (Hint: it's easy!)
Step 1: Create your customer avatar
The first step to creating great content for your industry and niche market is to fully understand the audience you are marketing to.
You've got to dig deep on this one!
You first need to create a customer avatar - a character that embodies all the nitty gritty details of your ideal client. In this first step you are effectively building the foundation of your marketing platform.
Don't skip this step! It's the most important part of reaching your audience effectively.
Before you can create content, you must be clear on who you are creating content for. Need a little help coming up with your ideal avatar? Check out Digital Marketer’s Customer Avatar Worksheet here.
Once you get an idea of who you are marketing to: it's time to tell them a story to get them hooked.
Because the biggest thing about social media? Is building a relationship with your audience.
My absolute best tip for telling a story about a brand is to set up post sequences, aka similar posts in a row. I talk all about the power of content sequencing (and how easy it is) in my quick, free training video.
If you are checking your watch for time, don’t worry: the next two steps will help you create a month's worth of content in one sitting. Are you ready for step 2?
Step 2: Brainstorm your talking points
Now that you are clear on who your audience is, let's brainstorm compelling talking points to share with them.
First make a list of 10-15 general (think broad here) topics that are popular in your industry. For example a popular general topic in the hair industry might be “long hairstyles.”
Next brainstorm on 3-5 specific talking points for each topic. What are specific sub-topics, i.e. talking points that would fall under the category of your topic? This is where you dig deeper to get to the juicy stuff!
Think of your topic and talking points like an umbrella.
Sticking with the hairdresser theme, one talking point for “long hairstyles” could be “The Easiest Way to Style Your Long Hair for Work.” Hint: use a picture or short video to compliment your style idea. Come up with as many talking points per topic as possible.
If you need extra help coming up with talking points, research your topic online to find popular articles. BuzzSumo, Feedly, and even Google Trends are great resources for double-checking the popularity of your topic, coming up with talking points, and even learning new things about your own industry.
Do you see how easy it is to come up with tons of talking points for each topic, no matter the industry? Once you get started your ideas will continue to flow.
Now let's map out what to do with all your social media ideas floating around!
Step 3: Use a content calendar
Now you should have at least 30 social media posts. Did you read that right? You just created 30+ posts in one sitting! The next step is to organize all those ideas into a content calendar.
Your content calendar is to be used as an idea-holder.
Don't worry about scripting and drafting all 30+ of your social media posts yet. The goal of the calendar is to have an organized system for dumping all of your brainstormed ideas.
Due to having a plan in place before you even sit down to begin posting, the time you spend on social media content creation and curation will be drastically reduced. No more excuses for not having any time!
Ready to make planning your content even easier?
A trick I use to drastically cut down my time on social media for my clients is what I call content sequencing. It's pretty rad.
Here's what you do: map out all the national holidays, events your business is attending or hosting, and any other relevant days or celebrations in your content calendar. Plan your content around these days with posts leading up to them 1 or 2 days in advance.
Next, fill in the gaps with the other 30+ posts you created.
This is a massively effective way to stretch out your content and fill up your calendar. To get help with breaking down this concept step-by-step and get the scoop on more sequence examples that really work, watch the short video!
Step 4: Create and curate content
Once it’s time to sit down and create your social media posts, all you have to do is reference the current week or day in your filled-out calendar. Using the talking point you already designated for that day, find a picture, article, or something else relevant to briefly share, discuss, or highlight with your audience.
Here are options for content creation using our initial talking point, “The Easiest Way to Style Your Long Hair for Work."
1. Create a short video (or go Live) to demonstrate your easy technique for styling long hair.
2. Use an original picture of the exact hairstyle or a stock photo of something relevant. Try using Unsplash for amazing stock photos that have no attribution requirement, like this one:
3. Find a trusted article relevant to your talking point. For instance, the tools Feedly and BuzzSumo are great resources for finding useful articles and double-checking their popularity.
Hint: Try not to use too many articles unless they are especially fascinating or informative.
Typically it’s best to use articles for inspiration instead of for recirculating. However, if posting an article is the best course of action, make sure you explain in your own words why you posted the article.
Step 5: Go deeper
Unfortunately there is no cookie-cutter solution for social media mastery. The good news is, the more you post and make great use of the content calendar, the more patterns will emerge to help you excel. Over time you will realize what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to your social media and your audience.
Therefore, pay attention! Did you get a ton of "likes" on your post on Wednesday but not on Friday? Take notes about what you think worked and what didn’t work for each post. When it comes time to schedule and post the next time, use your research and insights to help guide you.
Besides analytics, there are obvious "do's" and "don'ts" for posting on social media.
Here is a helpful checklist for crafting a great social media post:
1. Timing - There is no magic time to post. People are typically on social media in the morning, at lunch, and in the evening. It's important to get to know your audience and the specific times they are online so you can post accordingly.
2. Emotion - All great posts elicit some sort of emotion, whether it’s happiness, sadness, anger, humor, or an “a-ha” moment. Try to captivate your audience with emotion!
3. Relevance - This is where your customer avatar is crucial. Your posts need to be relevant to only him or her. As a result, pretend you are speaking directly to your ideal client when creating content.
Relate to your customers using the language they know so they will fall in love with you and your brand.
You are now on your way to generating massive amounts of contagious social media content. And quickly too! All it takes is a bit of brainstorming to come up with talking points and sequences, plus a content calendar and revision.
How many social media posts did you come up with in one sitting? Share your number below! Do you have other useful tips for generating great content quickly? I'd love to hear from you!