One of the biggest social media marketing challenges faced by growing businesses today is producing a large volume of relevant content at a fast pace. Sounds familiar? Read on to learn how to tackle this problem and optimize your content workflow:
As your business scales up, you'll surely face the challenge of expanding your social media presence. To be able to achieve it, you're going to need more quality content - and you're going to need it fast.
At this point you're probably thinking, "Alright, but how do I whip out amazing social media posts at lightning speed?"
That's where a streamlined social media content workflow comes into play. Taking steps to optimize your social media content creation process will enable you to publish a larger volume of relevant posts at a faster pace.
But that's not the only reason to make your content workflow smoother, as failing to do so comes at a high price. A study by Kapost revealed that inefficient management of content marketing activities costs companies a loss of whopping $958 million each year.
On the other hand, content teams working efficiently produce 2x more content 163% faster with the same volume of resources compared to teams without optimized workflows in place.
Ready to learn how to make your own content workflow more efficient?
Let's dig right in:
1. Define roles and responsibilities in your social media content creation team
Your social media team members should fulfill three basic roles in regards to content production:
Role #1: Content Manager
- Creating a social media content strategy aligned with the company's social media marketing goals
- Managing social media content calendar
- Overseeing social media campaigns
- Outlining social media content KPIs and measuring performance
- Distributing content promotion budget
- Collaborating with influencers and leveraging user generated content
- Assigning tasks related to content creation and approvals
Role #2: Content Creator
- Staying on top of the industry's content-creation trends, for example, by monitoring competitors' social media profiles
- Coming up with relevant, engaging content ideas
- Creating appealing video content, animations, graphic designs and copy for social media posts and ads
- Optimizing content for different platforms, for example, by adjusting image sizes
- Collaborating with the quality controller and fixing content errors
Role #3: Quality Controller/Content EditorResponsibilities:
- Collaborating with other content creators within the company, e.g. copywriters, to ensure the social media posts and other branded content are aligned in terms of visual style and tone of voice
- Reviewing posts and providing the content creator with feedback as to what needs to be fixed
- Approving posts for publishing and passing them on to the content manager
How do you ensure that your team is touching base regularly?
Start with providing your team with the right collaboration tools (we'll cover these in detail later).
It's also a good idea to schedule weekly short meetings. To make your meetings as efficient as possible, keep them between 10-15 minutes, clearly formulate the purpose of the meeting, prepare an agenda beforehand, and be constructive.
2. Analyze your social media audience and define customer personas
That's because knowing who you're talking to enables you to build a better content strategy centered around topics and formats interesting to your community. As a result, you can focus on crafting content that works, as opposed to wasting time, money, and resources on posts that just aren’t as effective.
Here's how you can learn more about your audience:
- Facebook audience insights: demographics (age and gender distribution, lifestyle, relationship status, education level, job title), page likes (top categories and pages your fans might like), locations (top cities, countries, languages), activity (number of times your audience performed selected activities, for example, liked a post or clicked on an ad, and type of device they use to access Facebook), household* (household income and size, home ownership, etc.), purchase* (categories of products your audience buys, e.g. health and beauty)
- Instagram insights: gender and age distribution, top locations, times and days when your followers are most active
- Twitter analytics: demographics (gender, household income, language, country, home value, region), lifestyle (interests, TV genres), consumer behavior (consumer buying styles, e.g. premium brands, consumer goods purchases), mobile footprint (wireless carrier, device categories)
- LinkedIn analytics: demographics (top countries and regions), job function, seniority, industry, company size, employment status
Group your audience according to their shared characteristics such as interests or behaviors. This will allow you to concentrate on creating posts tailored to these groups and minimize resource spending on ineffective messages.
A more efficient social media content workflow (and a more engaged audience, of course!).
Need help mapping your audience personas? Check out our free persona template!
3. Compile ideas for amazing social media content
Yet, brainstorming fresh ideas can be challenging. Just look at the second persona from the image above, Basketball Ben. There's only so many posts about basketball you can come up with off the top of your head.
And if you're relying on your own imagination only, you'll slow down or completely stop your content flow sooner rather than later.
That's why you need to know where to look for content ideas. We've rounded up a little cheat sheet:
- Spy on your competitors. Your competitors' social media profiles can a be a major hub for ideas. Make it a habit to regularly check on their social media posts and observe how much engagement they're generating. Is there a content format or topic that's particularly effective? Bookmark it and use as canvas for your own content later.
Surely what works for the competition doesn't necessarily have to work for you - after all, your personas might be different. Still, monitoring other brands' news feeds can give you an idea of content that generally resonates in your industry.
- Monitor online conversations. Using a social media listening tool can help you discover trending topics online. These are great opportunities you can base content creation around, and the quicker you are, the more likely your brand joins a conversation while it's still relevant.
P.S. Yes, that's another reason to optimize your social media content workflow!
- Analyze page affinities. Looking into pages your audience follows and interacts with can give you some inspiration. Let's assume your community enjoys BuzzFeed Tasty. This means they probably like short DIY videos - a format you can thread into your content strategy, even if you're not in the food industry.
- Curate interesting articles. Engaging posts don't always have to be created from scratch. Instead, you can make your social media content creation easier by curating already existing articles around topics interesting to your audience.
To do that, use a tool like Almighty Press - an app that allows you to quickly search for articles by keywords. You can even narrow down your search and look for interesting blogs on specific websites, like TechCrunch, that you know your audience follows. From there, republishing the content you found on your own page is an easy step.
- Use a content inspiration tool. Having a social media content discovery tool at hand can save you hours of laborious search. Just type in a keyword of your choice to see thousands of posts across Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube that you can filter by type, industry, or engagement. The posts you'll see are all top-performing ones, meaning you'll be drawing inspiration from the best!
And the best part? You can now have AI match your audience personas to the prime content they like, speeding up your social media content workflow even more!
4. Determine how much content you need to create
Now, it's time to figure out how much content you actually need to produce.
This step is extremely important to optimizing your social media content workflow. That's because you need to post frequently enough to keep your audiences engaged and reach your targets.
On the other hand, you don't want to waste resources on creating a vast amount of content only to flood your audience's news feed and appear spammy.
Want to know if you're producing too much content or too little? Compare yourself to your top competitors to find out!
So what's the perfect amount of content to be putting out there?
It depends on the platform.
According to a study by HubSpot, you should be publishing 5 times per week on Facebook and LinkedIn. If you publish more than that, your posts won't be as effective, meaning you won't get maximum value from all the effort invested in content creation.
On Instagram, research suggests the optimal publishing frequency is 1-2 posts a day.
Keep in mind, though, that these numbers are more of a hint rather than rule. You should test different posting frequencies and see what works best for your business.
It's also really important to publish consistently - more so than scrambling to publish a certain number of posts recommended by research. There's nothing worse than getting your audience used to seeing your content every day only to disappear from their feeds later - a problem that can be easily solved with an optimized social media content workflow.
5. Start off your social media content creation on the right foot
Here are some apps and websites that can come in handy when creating social media posts:
- Canva - Canva is a great freemium tool allowing you to design all sorts of visuals - from Twitter and Facebook posts to infographics and presentations.
- Grammarly - Use Grammarly to make sure your social media copy is clear and mistake-free.
- Google Docs - Google Docs is one of the best tools for creating all things written that you can easily share with your team.
6. Set up a social media content calendar
A calendar works like a roadmap showing how to efficiently distribute your resources. Scheduling social media posts allows you to assign tasks accordingly and ensure that your content flow runs perfectly.
A social media content calendar is also a great method for keeping track of your content and making sure all posts go out on time.
How do you set up an effective content calendar?
- Google Calendar - One of the easiest ways to create an editorial calendar is through Google Calendar. The app gives you an overview of your whole week where you can easily slot different posts and color-code them for visual clarity. Another cool thing about Google Calendar is its drag-and-drop feature allowing you to easily move around scheduled content.
- Google Spreadsheet - Many marketers create their own social media content calendars using Google Spreadsheet. The benefit of doing so is customization - you're able to tailor the calendar according to your needs by, say, adding a column for post approvals. The drawback? Building a calendar in Google Spreadsheet can be time-consuming.
- Free templates - If you don't have time to create a content calendar from scratch, you can use one of the free templates available online. This one from Smartsheet, for example, covers all the basics including platforms, posting times, audience engagement, and more.
- ContentCory - ContentCory is a freemium app that you can use to collaborate on a content calendar along with your teammates. It comes with a bunch of useful features, such as tags, notes, and notifications reminding you it's time to post.
- Socialbakers - Socialbakers calendar is perfect for businesses managing bigger volumes of content. It is highly visual and allows you to view posts by day, week, or month, depending on your needs. You can also easily filter content by platform or post status, move posts with a convenient drag-and-drop feature, and have your team work on content directly within the calendar.
For many businesses, that's where the optimization of social media content workflow ends.
But for smart marketers like you, there's one more important step to take.
7. Improve your social media content workflow with monitoring and reporting
The question is - how do you properly monitor and report on your content performance?
- Engagement overview - a metric showing how many interactions your different content types are generating daily, weekly, and monthly.
How can it help you improve? Seeing a breakdown of interactions by content type allows you to quickly identify the underperformers and take steps to make them better.
- Number of interactions per 1,000 fans - a metric showing the share of your audience that's interacting with your posts. This metric can add an extra layer to your engagement analysis by showing how much of your audience is actually responding to your content, as opposed to consuming it passively.
How can it help you improve? A low number of interactions per 1,000 followers might be a signal that your content is resonating with only one of your audience personas - a fact that you can leverage to revamp posts aimed for other audience groups.
- Top-performing posts - an overview of the most engaging content.
How can it help you improve? Looking into your top posts can provide you with a handful of tips on successful content format and topics that you can use to improve your future posts.
- Performance prediction - a metric showing the predicted future performance of your organic content
How can it help you improve? Knowing which organic posts will perform well can help you cut down on time you'd normally have to spend selecting content to boost. Plus, viewing your posts' future performance allows you to make better investments and use your social media budget more efficiently.
Imagine you find out your latest post sparked tons of positive conversations across social media. You can use this information to look into the post, determine what made it successful and replicate the most effective elements in another content piece.
On the other hand, negative comments are hints on content topics and formats you should most likely avoid.
Again, both types of feedback can help steer your content strategy in the right direction, minimize spending on ineffective posts, and ultimately help optimize your social media content workflow.
Once your team collects all the data on content performance, make sure they create a neat report and share it among each other.
This is one of the areas where many managers waste hours putting together reports on their campaign and content performance. This process doesn't have to be so time-consuming, though. In fact, you can easily aggregate all your data, including third-party data, in one spot to generate an insightful report for your management in one click.
Not sure what to include in your social media report? Here's a simple 3-step guide on how to properly report on your social media performance.
After all, the amount of content that's sufficient today might fall short tomorrow - which is why it's so important that you know how to optimize your social media content workflow.
Want to bring your social media content creation process up to speed? See how you can easily create, publish, and monitor all of your social media posts in one place.
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