How To: Build a Content Strategy

As a community manager at Engauge, I spend much of my time building strategy, writing and best of all learning for my clients. As we enter into a new year, it seems this is the best time to take a look back and revisit how we present information to our fans.

As quoted in the 2011 Engauge Digital Outlook, “Brands aren’t celebrities, they’re not people and they’re not peers, but they can be very useful friends – driving the use of social.”

Taking this to the core of some of my responsibilities as a community manager, here are some of my favorite tips to keep in mind when managing a brand’s social presence:

1. Build a calendar: Each month, I plot out our posts within a calendar using either Keynote or PowerPoint. However, if you are looking to share a calendar among several team members, Google Calendars make an easy way to see at a glance what should be posted each day and quickly rearrange when necessary.

2. Add variety: One of the largest mistakes brands make in social is to focus strictly on the bottom line. While product is still important, be sure to clearly define “buckets” for types of content. For instance, if your brand frequently holds events or has a strong philanthropy arm, set content aside for those areas and define an amount of posts per week to be devoted.

Likes and comments and re-tweets = stream impressions = new fans and followers.

3. Create engagement: Going along with #2, try asking your fans questions or to share a recent experience. You will be surprised how eager they are to speak with you. However, do keep in mind, that you cannot offer fans anything in return in the form of a prize, as this is illegal within the wall on Facebook.

4. Test and learn: Experiment with posting at different times of the day, different days of the week and posts of varying length. Not every brand audience will respond the same way, so this is key to learning more about your fans, not Facebook users in general.

5. Create a voice and tone: Defining a voice and tone for how a brand will speak, act and engage with fans will help fans to more easily identify with who you are and what you will say. For instance, what works for an energy drink may not be as well received by fans of a non-profit.

6. Take advantage of analytics tools: Track everything. Time of day, length of post, number of comments, fan growth week-to-week, impressions per post. The information is there and if used correctly, will be the key to proving not only do your fans love you, but here’s why and here’s how.

What would you add to this list? Do you have a go-to form of communication strategy when it comes to your pages?

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  • Claire

    Love your tips, Kaitlyn! You are such a social media rockstar. I’m thinking about moving in this direction (editorial to social media marketing), so I love reading what you’ve learned.

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  • http://www.brainwads.net/drewhawkins Drew Hawkins

    Number 4 and 6 are pretty crucial. Without experimenting and tracking, posting is basically like throwing darts with a blindfold on. For calendars, the Editorial Calendar WP plugin is pretty effective too. It’s my personal go-to.nnTo build off of #2, I would add that brands should be original. In the particular industry I work in, a lot of the content I come across is a regurgitation of the same thing. Original content (variety as you mention) will more likely build an engaged audience with your brand. If content isn’t original, why should someone even bother engaging with your brand if they can get the same thing somewhere else just as easily?

    • kdennihy

      Thanks for the WP calendar Drew, I haven’t checked that one out yet. As far as originality, I definitely agree. It’s easy to create a page and find content, but to create content your fans will want to return and see, like and comment on takes a much deeper level of understanding of the brand itself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brad-Harrison/4931018 Brad Harrison

    #3 is huge. Our audience within our social media community is very passionate about their experiences with us and the sport overall. After every major event, we basically tell fans to tell us what they liked about the weekend and also about what we can do better – and they are usually very quick to tell us what we can do better.