12/19/2016 12:00:00 AM
Startups' Guide to Content Startegy
In Part I, we spoke about what social media can do for startups and we identified the main objectives of social media strategy. In this part, we will speak about what kind of content you will be publishing. ‘Content’, here, is whatever you post – and it is one of the most important aspects of a successful social media presence. So let’s talk about content.
Once you’ve clearly defined your startup’s objectives on social media you must then: Properly plan your content distribution, create the right content, automate your content, audit your content and improve it and then analyze your content and learn from the data then adjust accordingly.
Let’s tackle those one at a time!
Content Calendar & Planning
One of the keys to social media success is to always be ready, prepared, and not to leave things to chance. The content calendar is meant to keep you on top of your strategy by planning ahead.
There are two types of calendars:
- Weekly: For day-to-day content publishing.
- Annual: Pre-defined across local, regional and global events (World Cup or Ramadan/Eid).
Below is a sample of a simple weekly calendar to help you get started with building your own.
Now that you’re all organized, let’s talk about the fun part. Content creation.
There is a wide universe of content formats that can be posted on social media: Videos, stock images, screenshots, infographics, memes, presentations, original designs, action shots, and personal photographs, behind the scenes shots, quote graphics and images with a striking colour palette.
There are so many types of content it is easy to get carried away and end up spending a lot of your budget on content creation tools. To save you both the money and the trouble. Below is a list of tools that are either COMPLETELY FREE or BUDGET FRIENDLY.
Video creation tools
- iPhone: Your iPhone 6 can shoot 4k quality and iMovie is already installed!
- VivaVideo: Video editing app for Android and iOS - PRO version is not expensive either.
- Windows Movie Maker: A windows desktop app with editing and creation capabilities.
- iMovie for Mac: A MacOS app with editing and creation capabilities.
- Filmora: A budget video editing tool. You can buy a life time copy for $99.
- Animoto: Budget Online video editing tool with editing capabilities.
- Distill: HD Video Resource with 10 free videos every 10 days for commercial use!
- Icecream: Lets you to draw and add text to videos and take screenshots.
- Google Slides: A free alternative to Microsoft’s PowerPoint, after creating your animation, you can simply export the file as MP4. Take a look at use case here.
Stock image resources
- Startup Stock Photos: Totally free high-quality startup photos.
- PicJumo. Provides hundreds of free stock/high-quality photos.
- Pixabay A search engine for stock photos.
- Stock Pholio and Magdeleine.
- Unsplash. A large collection of high-quality stock images taken by amazing photographers from around the world.
Chrome Extensions helpful for content
- Evernote Web Clipper - take screenshots easily!
- Save to Drive - Save any image to drive on the fly.
- Office Editing by Google - Edit your documents.
- OneTab - Put all your owned tabs in one tab.
- Share to Facebook by Facebook.
- Send AnyWhere - Send up to 10GB to anyone, anywhere!
Branding and customizing your social media posts
Free content is great, but you can’t just post stock content without adding your branding to it! Here’s a list of free editors and creation tools that can help you work with free content to make it your own:
- Canva: With preset sizes of all the type of images you might ever create for any of the social media accounts you have, Canva is the number tool on my list!
- Pablo by Buffer. A great free tool for marketers to create images with branding on the fly.
- Gimp: A Photoshop alternative. (Free & Open Source)
- ly: Amazing & cheap online tool for Infographics
- Social Media Image Resizer: Resizes any photo to match the ideal size per platforms
- Windows Ink Workshop (Win + W): Great tool for taking screenshots and annotations
- Adobe Spark Post (Web and iPhone App): One of the greatest apps ever for remixing and creating both images and videos for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or blog posts
Automating your social media
While you should never automate your customer interactions, you should definitely automate your social media because managing social media can take a lot of your time. With the help of couple of free tools, you can start automating the process, so you can focus on other stuff.
You can use IFTTT to automate many of your daily tasks - not just social media. It’s a free web-based service that allows users to create chains of simple conditional statements, called "applets", which are triggered based on changes to web services.
Example IFTTT Applets for Social Media Managers
- All your tweets in Google Spreadsheet. After you connect your twitter to IFTTT, whenever you tweet, it will be added to a Google Sheet. Helpful for auditing and tracking!
- Track New Followers. Every time you’re followed, the user will be added to a Google sheet.
- Tweet your Instagram photos to Twitter as Native Photo
- Build Twitter List from a certain hashtag - Works great when collating a list of people who interacted on your competitor's hashtag so you can target them later!
- Automatically post from Twitter to Facebook when you use certain hashtag
Well, the list is endless, you can use a pre-made ones like the one above, or create your own.
Content audit and analytics
Auditing your content is a crucial part of your content strategy success; it’s what tells you how well you’re performing a content audit template should tell you:
- Your profile’s performance (followers and growth).
- How many followers did you gain month-over-month.
- Your Weekly/Monthly engagement and reach.
- Posting frequency - how many posts do you publish daily/weekly?
- Engagement: how many conversations on a weekly basis. Engagement types can be direct messages, retweets, likes and shares.
Each social media platform has its own analytics tools. You can also create your own, but thankfully, once more, our friends at Buffer created this content audit tool to help you keep track of your content.
Just like with startups, strategy is great but execution is the name of the game. Just like you need to execute on your idea, social media strategy and objectives need a ruthless plan of action. Be creative, be organized but most of all be disciplined. Go get’em tiger!
BONUS: Social Media Manager Checklist
Here’s a checklist for social media managers. Download and print this checklist, go through it every day, it will make a difference.