Social media series part 2: defining and creating content for your purpose

If you tuned in to the first part of our social media series, "keeping a fresh foundation," you'll remember how important it is to keep agency and client accounts fresh and engaging. In this more advanced installment, we'll outline five essential steps to help you achieve your brand and business goals using social media.


1. Define your social media purpose

There are plenty of reasons to use social media for business. From attaining a higher share of voice in your industry to finding new customers, social media can lend your business the visibility and reach it needs.

But to really shape your social media accounts into assets for your business, you'll need to set specific, measurable goals to achieve. Do you want to use social media to drive leads and customer conversions? Or perhaps to grow brand awareness or drive employee loyalty?

Before scheduling your next set of social media posts using Hootsuite, sprout or another scheduling tool, take time with your team to brainstorm your ultimate social media goals. Write these down and use them as guides to create unique calls-to-action at the end of your posts.


2. Establish expertise, speak the language of your industry

Social media is all about conversation. When creating campaigns and copy, keep your target audience in mind. Who are you trying to reach? What are your audience demographics? Where are they located? What events do they attend?

You can use reporting from social platforms to gain specific insights about members of your audience. Allow this data to shape the content of your social media posts and pinpoint topics that overlap with the interests of your audience.

To start speaking your audience's language, turn to SEO keywords and look at popular hashtags like #robotics and #ecommerce to engage with relevant conversations. Industry events are a great opportunity to build social media connections, with shows designating official hashtags like #PACKEXPO and #MODEXshow to unite all related social media chatter in one place.

3. When it comes to content, call the (internal) experts

No matter what keywords or hashtags you use, if your content is not authentic and consistent across channels, follower retention and engagement will be sporadic. So when it comes to content creation, rely on the best resource: a consistent, internal team of experts!

Whether you are a team of one or 100, industry knowledge and consistency are key when it comes to quality branding across social platforms. Is there anyone who knows your business culture and industry better than key partners and employees? Probably not.


4. Stay on track with progress measurement

Setting social media goals is what lays the foundation for success, but goals mean nothing if you don't accurately measure the progress of your campaign. If your aim is to increase brand awareness, then impressions and engagements may be all you need to track.

However, if your social media aspirations involve more complex conversion goals like website visits, you may need some fancier tools to track progress. We've come to rely on Google's Campaign URL Builder to indicate what website traffic originated from links in social media posts. Better yet, with campaign links, we can even differentiate between social media platforms and individual posts to compare conversion rates.

Struggling to define your social media tone and brand personality? Use this tool to set up campaign URLs for different social media tactics. After testing out each strategy for a week or more, compare conversion and click-through rates between different strategies. This tactic can also help ensure different team members adhere to similar styles and achieve similarly consistent results.


5. Keep it personal

At the end of the day, social media is all about appealing to individuals. Being personable is what leads to steady audience growth and helps establish your account as a trusted resource for your online community. One creative way to engage your social media followers is through hosting and participating in webinars. Another tactic definitely growing in popularity is using video to livestream and engage with your audience on Facebook Live or Instagram Live.

As social media platforms and audiences continue to grow, so do opportunities for brands. Keep these five steps in your back pocket when defining and curating social media content to best benefit both you and your business.