I recently came across this excellent post written by Jeffrey Cohen of Radian6, 6 Layers of Social Media Content Strategy, and also Mark Smiciklas’ graphical interpretation of Jeff’s metaphor. I loved it so much that I decided to take it one step further and create an infographic from it, adding some of my own thoughts on an effective social content strategy.
Content creators are often inspired by their surroundings when developing ideas for their social media profiles, but their content strategy is the guiding principle that makes it all work. Good content marketing plan contains a number of different elements including theme, audience, tone, publishing channel, etc. But how do all of these components come together to form a cohesive strategy? Well, it really is as easy as making a cheeseburger.
Pickles and other Condiments (Format)
How do you slice the pickles that you put on your burger? They can be sliced in circles, sliced the long way, or even with a crinkle cut device to make pickle chips. These are the different kinds of content you can publish, like written blog posts, photos or videos. There are lots of ways to tell stories and share best practices with your target audience. Knowing what kinds of content resonates and drives the most traffic back to your blog lets you create the right mix.
A big lettuce leaf adds crunch and texture to a burger. The voice and tone of a company’s content adds texture to the words, photos and videos you post to make them more interesting and entertaining. Humorous videos about routers are more likely to connect with viewers than factual, straightforward product videos.
Cheese makes a burger tastier and keywords make social media content more relevant. Do you know what keywords are important your followers? Many marketers focus on keywords for search, as in what keywords are prospects searching for, but in the endless stream of social content, it is imperative to know which keywords are drawing their attention on the social web.
The meat of your strategy, and don’t worry, this will be the only bad pun in this post, is the high level topic of your content. Good social content strategy is just good social storytelling. Whether you are sharing content on a blog, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, you should know the story you want to tell. Effective social media content is educational or entertaining. People don’t really want to hear about your products. Your website already does that.
Prospects and customers want to find solutions to their problems. They want to know how to do things better or more efficiently. Airlines don’t blog about their ticket prices. They share travel tips or information about popular destinations.
Sauce is a matter of personal preference and my preference is steak sauce. Yours could be ketchup. Or mustard. A key element of your content strategy is knowing your target audience and their personal preferences. Create personas to define who your target customers are, so you can create relevant content. Talking to a current employee is different than talking to a candidate or consumer. They have different needs but you will want to deliver a consistent story.
And it is all held together by the bun. This represents where you post your content, whether it be on Facebook, a blog, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other place you have a social presence. The bun keeps everything organized, together and properly branded. Also, make sure your platform is timely and genuine — afterall, no one likes a stale bun.