We have all heard that “Content is King”. According to a 2011 study by the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is one of the top growing fields with an increasing number of marketers relying on content strategy for overall success. But still, many companies have a hard time to know what content they should share with their community on social media platforms such as Facebook. “Do not push information, create dialogue” is a common recommendation, but this may be easier said than done.
With this blog post, I’ll try to give you some tips on how you can work with editorial planning to strengthen the identity of your community, to create and plan content and to monitor feedback.
Define your community
To build a community connected to your brand, you should create a clearly defined identity of your community; how it makes people feel and how it creates a sense of belonging. Defining your brand identity helps align all communication around the core essence of the brand. To define the identity of your community, consider some of the following elements.
- Values – What are your values and beliefs and how is this reflected in your content? This will be one of the main reasons why people join your community.
- Benefits – What benefits will people gain from belonging to your community? The content you share should bring value to the users.
- Tone of Voice – What is your brand persona and how do you speak and act? What words do and don’t you use? Define your style independent of who your Community Manager is.
- Target Group – Who do you speak to? What interests do they have and what values and beliefs do you share with them that can create dialogue?
Create your content
Once you have defined your community, you can start creating content. Decide on what topics that will be relevant for your brand talk about and what content that will be likely for people to engage with. To create content you can consider to develop the following:
- Conversational touch points – Define a list of topics or themes that you can create conversation about based on your values, beliefs and target group. For instance, a brand such as Coca-Cola might have sports, music and joyful experiences as conversational touch points.
- Optimize news feed ranking – Have EdgeRank in mind when you plan on what kind of content to publish to also ensure visibility for users. Ask questions to get comments and use visual content. Make use of what visual material you have, and remember that it should rather create emotions than just showcase your product.
Plan your content
To plan your content ahead ensures that you will cover your conversational touch points, and certain campaigns and events that needs to be addressed and that you maintain a consistent brand voice. For instance plan content for a period of 3-4 weeks ahead, but also remember to maintain a flexibility so that you are still able to make real-time updates, adjustments and to take part in conversations on an ongoing basis. Consider the following:
- Publish plan – Create a plan with the concrete updates, images, videos etc. that you will use and when it is going to be published.
- Proofreading – The content you share on social media is public for everyone to see, so don’t underestimate the value of linguistic accuracy.
- Schedule – If you are short on time, you may use a social media management tool to schedule some of the updates ahead. There are plenty of free and paid systems, such as Hoot Suite and Buddy Media.
Monitor your community
Closely listen and monitor your community to be ready to make responses and pursue dialogue. Conversations are fuelling more conversations and people are more likely to share when they get feedback as well. To monitor the response of the content you share and the content of others, you can consider to use the following:
- Monitor tools – Facebook notifications can work fine and you can choose whether to receive them by email. There are also services such as Hyper Alerts that can hand you emails immediately, hourly or daily.
- Response database – Whenever you get questions or critical comments posted on your Page, copy them and save them together with your answers to build a database where people who manage your page easily can find out how to respond to similar input in the future. You can actually start out be defining some frequently asked questions and answers to them, so you can be prepared with the right respond when the situation comes.
- Statistics and insights – One key factor for enabling community growth on Facebook is to track the performance of the content you publish. Continuously keeping track of the engagement and virality of the posts helps you understand what content works well and what doesn’t. Analyze Facebook Insights, see the outcome of the content you have shared and optimize accordingly.
Let me know if you think I have missed any good points when it comes to editorial planning – and do you also do editorial planning for your community? Feel free to post comments.