As soon as you think you have figured out social media, prominent platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram go and change the algorithm. And now they have morphed from social networks into media sites and vital distribution platforms for branded content. With every tweak to the algorithm, it can feel like you are reinventing your strategy all over again.

What should you do to stay ahead of the curve and create a rock star social media plan for your content marketing? Heed the advice of Zontee Hou, a strategist at Convince & Convert and a speaker at Content Marketing World 2017.

Selecting The Right Channels

First things first, you need to select the right channels for your brand. According to Hou, if you think you need to be everywhere, you’re chasing the wrong thing. Determine where you need to be to meet the needs of your audience, and do it in a sustainable way. To reach the right audience, on the right channels and drive conversions, start with asking yourself these questions:

  1. Where is our audience? Conduct research on website referrals, native social platforms and third party tools such as Fanpage Karma, Mention, Keyhole and Spreadfast.
  2. Where are our competitors? Explore what they are doing to court those people and consider if you should also be in that space.
  3. What does our audience need? Examine FAQs and popular content with Answer the Public or Buzzsumo.

Determine Your Content Mix

Now that you’ve honed in on the right channels for your brand, it’s time to determine your content mix.

There are three key ways brands use social media:

  1. Reputation Management & Thought Leadership
  2. Community Building & Networking
  3. Customer Service & Real-Time Touch

What can you share to maximize your success in these areas? Start by looking at your own top, evergreen content.

You can do this by entering your URL in Buzzsumo – as seen here...

This provides you with a good snapshot of what resonated well enough with your audience that they wanted other people to know about it.

On social media, it is important to present your content in a way that allows the audience to absorb it. Could your FAQs be turned into 30-60 second videos for YouTube? Could a webinar be turned into a SlideShare? Find ways to adapt your content to your channel. And remember, what works on one channel doesn’t always work on another.

Measuring To Learn

Finally yet importantly, you need to measure your results. Social media that is not driving a business objective is not worth doing.  

Start by creating monthly benchmarks against yourself and competitors. Measure for engagement to see how your audience is responding to your content over time. By taking a deep monthly dive in your results, you can regularly tweak the types of content you post and your posting cadence to determine what gets you maximum visibility.

No matter how algorithms change, finding what works for your customers is most important.  

Zontee Hou is a strategist at Convince & Convert, where she advises organizations ranging from Allstate Insurance to Indiana University. Her nearly 10 years in marketing has garnered industry recognition, including several PR News Platinum Awards and a Forrester Groundswell Award. She is the founder of New York-based consultancy Media Volery, an adjunct professor in the City College of New York’s graduate communications program, and a speaker at events across the country. @zontee_hou

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