Social networks: how to design a relevant content strategy?

Social networks have gained considerable importance in terms of content strategies for companies around the world. Regardless of your type of business (business-to-business: B2B or business-to-consumer: B2C), it is necessary to develop a strategy based on interaction with Internet users on social networks. The specific social network platforms chosen depend on your type of activity as well as the products or services you sell.

In this article, we propose a series of points to think about when developing your content strategy on social networks.

Demonstrate your expertise (B2C/B2B)

The first step when talking about a content strategy on social networks is to demonstrate your expertise. The main objective is to reassure, advise and help Internet users find an answer to a given problem.

To do this, you can (for example) improve your company’s visibility by posting articles of your blog. Moreover, the creation of content articulated around relevant keywords allows you to improve your SEO.

As always during this process, you can publish different types of “expert” content such as a standard blog post, infographics or presentations on Slideshare. The goal is always to “feed” users the information that you put on the web

Tell the story of your brand

The second step is to tell, through your content, the history and story of your brand as well as the image you want to portray. The main objective is to create permanent awareness on social networks via the production of storytelling content. Storytelling is a communication technique based on a narrative structure that resembles a story or narrative.

The problem associated with this question is: how to pounce on current trends to capture the attention of Internet users? The idea is to capture the attention of surfers using hot news topics such as a sporting or political event and to give your opinion while linking the event to your business.

The main thing to keep in mind is that you should create relevant content but also know how to best publicize it.

Recruit new partners

Social networks are an excellent way to communicate your company’s “environment” in order to recruit new employees. It is strongly advised to show off the “behind the scenes” of your company via content of any type (articles, photos, videos).

This allows you to highlight your business to both your future partners but also to your customers and your future customers.

It is also strongly recommended to publicize your content on different social network platforms; like this you can benefit from high visibility without necessarily going through recruitment platforms that often cost money.

Develop your reputation

One of the main elements of any content strategy on social networks is to develop your company’s reputation. In this sense, the main objective is to generate viral content as well as interaction with your users through the content you offer. This content can take on many different forms:

  • Video content: video content should be produced for the purpose of highlighting the use of your products or services. The objective is to concretely show the functionality of the product.
  • Visual content (infographics, presentations, etc.): this kind of content, which is relatively easy to produce, helps to capture user’s attention and interest more easily.
  • Live streaming: live streaming of content is the practice that is most appreciated by Internet users. This format allows users to benefit from the authenticity of the information that is offered to them as well as allowing real time interaction between your company and Internet users.

My Little Big Web offers you a short summary of the specific characteristics as well as practices to be used each social network platform in 2016:

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Facebook is the most widely used social network in the world. It is therefore essential to know how to use it and what types of content are best received by Internet users:

Average publication frequency:

  • For a brand: once a day or 3-5 publications per week
  • For media (press, radio, TV): 3-5 times per day

Preferred content:

  • Text based status + native video (a native video is a video viewable directly on the Facebook video player): this format is the one that works best because it is the one that is privileged by Facebook algorithms
  • Text based status + Youtube video: this format works well but with fewer impressions, resulting in less “reach” (i.e. the number of people who see your publication)
  • Facebook articles: Facebook allows you to integrate articles directly on the platform. This format is increasingly privileged because it lets users enjoy your content without having to leave the page. The question to ask is the following: Is it better to direct the user to your own blog/website or will the article be read more if it is available directly on Facebook?
  • Live stream: Facebook now offers a feature, which allows everyone to share a live streaming video. This type of publication is highly appreciated by media and Internet users because of its ease of use, especially during spontaneous events.

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Twitter is particular social network. Even if it is currently losing momentum, it remains essential to know how to take advantage of its unique format by offering the content most appreciated by users.

Average publication frequency:

  • For a brand: 2-3 times/day
  •  For media (press, radio, TV): 8-10 times/day

Preferred content:

  • Tweets: A text-based tweet is the simplest and most used form of publication on twitter. It is generally used to share relatively recent news
  • Tweet text + link: this format is also very used. It allows sharing of information by easily directing users to a site
  • Tweet + video/photo: this format is gradually becoming the preferred format for companies. Indeed, this trend is slowly emerging/replacing the first two classic tweet formats. This comes from the desire to attract the attention of users by offering more visual content that is more visually attractive and less textual.
  • Live streaming: live streaming of content has been popularized by the emergence of the application “Periscope” which appeared on Twitter in March 2015. This application lets you broadcast live videos that you can directly share with millions of users. This trend of live video sharing is explained by the exclusive relationship between the instantaneousness and the authenticity of information sharing.
  • Tags and Keywords: The buzz around twitter is due to the tagging system, using the “@” symbol, which tags people with whom you want to interact. Also keyword hashtagging, Using the “#” symbol, identifies the themes of your tweet (like #webmarketing). These two elements must be at the heart of your content publishing strategy when using Twitter

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Instagram has, in the last two years, become the ‘hot-topic’ social network. Very intuitive and easy to use it let you (among other things) to share, “like” and comment on photographs. This network is also subject to certain rules:

  • Average publication frequency: 1 -2 times/ day or 3 -5 times/week

Preferred content:

  • Photo, video and gif content: even if the kinds of content posted on Instagram remain classic, the particularity of the network lies in the real, authentic side: without any major editing of the photos/videos
  • Tagging and keywords: Like Twitter, the ‘buzz’ surrounding Instagram is also based on tagging people with whom you want to interact (e.g. @mylittlebigweb) using the ‘@’ symbol, as well as hashtagging using the “#” symbol to identify the themes of your post (example: #webmarketing). These two elements must be at the heart of your content publishing strategy when using Instagram.

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Even though it was considered the fourth biggest social networks in the year 2015 by the number of users (with more than 340 million users: the vast majority of which are inactive), Google+ is actually a great way to build and manage communities. Being part of the biggest search engine in the world, Google favours content published directly on Google + and therefore helps to improve your SEO.

The type of content published on Google + is relatively similar to the content published on Facebook and LinkedIn (articles, videos, etc.), but is not necessarily a priority for start-ups and SMEs.

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LinkedIn is the key social network for B2B (business-to-business) sectors when setting up a content strategy on social networks. The type of content should be posted as follows:

  • Average publication frequency: 1-2 times/day or 3-5 times/week

Preferred content:

  • “Showcase” communication: the content you should offer on LinkedIn is similar to Facebook posts. Companies use this social network to communicate about their brand-employer universe but also about job offers. This allows you to make yourself known within a network dedicated exclusively to the professional world.
  • Business-oriented content: LinkedIn can also allow you to demonstrate your expertise and connect with professional Internet users who are looking for information by attracting them to your site (and mainly your corporate blog).

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Pinterest is a social network whose principle is based on the photo sharing. It is rather simple to use:

  • Pinning system: each user must use what are called “pins.” This allows you to create a sort of news feed around the themes that you yourself define. The peculiarity of Pinterest and each “pin” is that it is possible to click a photo and access the page from which the image originates

Key Interests:

  • A source of inspiration: the vast majority of Internet users use Pinterest to draw inspiration from the photos they pin, either in for their jobs or for personal use
  • Keeping track of things: others use Pinterest to keep track of which websites they visited and so they can view the content later
  • Professional use: some users use Pinterest only to search and find photos related to their professions like web designers, for example.

How to publish content between different social networks?

One of the main issues related to the implementation of a content strategy is how to organize content on and between different social networks.

There are 3 types of advertising practice to use in regards to social networks. Although these three marketing practices generally apply to all media such as television, billboards, radio and the press, they can also be applied only to social networks.

  • Cross-media: Cross media is the using of multiple networks to broadcast your content. The aim is to play on the relationship shared between the different networks used. Generally, a cross media campaign starts on one or more initial network(s) to branch out to a complementary network.
  • Multi-media: this technique consists in using several social networks simultaneously to spread the same message by proposing advertisement creations adapted to each medium.
  • Trans-media: this technique consists in developing and proposing narrative content on several networks, differentiating consent according to the characteristics of each social network. This allows users to access content through multiple entry points specific to each network.

Conclusion

As you can see, it is necessary to analyze a significant number of elements when developing your content strategy on social networks. The idea is, of course, not to retain everything but to select the essential points that will suit your activity and the goals you’ve set forth.

If you liked this article, I invite you to discover the Tips section on the My Little Big Web blog.

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