One of the main questions we hear as a social media team at DMA is, “how do you plan content?” While it’s certainly a valid question, it’s a loaded one as well. Quite a bit goes into content planning and strategizing that it’s not one quick easy answer. Let's break down the process we use to ensure you’re staying on top of trends, establishing a consistent flow, and most importantly, engaging with shoppers.
Social Media Content Planning & Strategy 101
Step One: Audit
Before you dive into planning social media content for the next few weeks/months, you need to know what’s available to you. Start with an audit of the content you already have. Do you have a surplus of field photos but only a few recipe photos? Do you have video content? Do you have graphic-design posts or do you need to create some through a designer or on free apps like Canva? Start here. Compile your existing content into a big folder and maybe take it a step further and create separate folders of different categories to really make your life easier when planning content.
Once you have your content categorized, consider how you can fill in the gaps. For instance, if you’re in need of recipe content, partnering with an influencer would be a great place to start. Especially if your main goal is to get content (as opposed to high reach or engagement from the influencer) you can partner with influencers/content creators for a relatively low price. If you’re needing field photos, which we highly recommend as we consistently see them perform well, head into the fields with your iPhone and take some pictures. Luckily, we work in an industry where it’s hard to take a bad picture!
Step Two: Plan
I know you’re so excited to hear the black and white answer to the question, “how far should I be planning my content?” While it may not be the easy answer you were hoping for, it really is however far in advance works for you! Now, you do want to be careful to not get caught up in planning content six months in advance. You want to leave room for trends that pop up and make sure your content is sounding authentic for the time it’s being posted. At DMA, we typically plan content for the clients we serve at least one or two months ahead of time. This ensures our content is perfected before it’s posted while still leaving us room to make changes in the moment.
There are several different methods and resources to help you plan ahead. While we use platforms like Sprout Social or Gain at DMA, I’ve also used the old-fashion way of plugging images and content into a spreadsheet. There’s no wrong way to do it! While the platforms we use at DMA have some extra bells and whistles that help us plan/give us insight, there is no wrong way to do it! If you haven't already downloaded our 2022 Social Media Calendar, now is the time. We lay out important dates, holidays and events to make social media content planning one step easier.
Step Three: Strategize
Now to the fun part! While you’re planning, have a strategy in mind. Ideally, your social media content strategy should link back to goals you’ve either set for yourself or goals the company expects you to meet. For instance, if you’re expected to reach an impressions goal - share, share, share! The more content you share means more potential eyes will see it. If you’re trying to meet an engagement goal, your content needs to be, well… engaging! Ask questions in your captions, use hashtags, etc. Yes, set goals for impressions, engagements, new followers, etc. However, also think through what is personally important for you! Is having an aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed important for you? If so, that will impact how you layout your content. Is keeping your Pinterest boards clean and organized important to you? If so, that will impact how often/what you decide to pin.
So, establish your goals and strategize your content accordingly! However, the most important part of social media strategy is to listen. Start with a plan you think will work best but then be willing to adjust. If you’re seeing consumers engaging more with field photos over recipe photos, but you already planned to share 3x more recipe photos the next month - leave room to adjust! If you’re not seeing the boost you thought you would one month, see what could be missing. Could you add in a different category to see if that will spark interest? This is why we don’t recommend planning too far out - leave room to adjust your content to see maximum results!
How is your social media content planning and strategizing going? Are you killing it or are you in need of support? Whether you’re needing help planning, shooting content, or boosting results, we’d love to chat! We do this all day long for a range of different clients and would love to help you too. Give us a call!