By: Pola, Director of Digital Marketing

Launching a new social media channel for your business or brand? The first step to a successful social media presence is recognizing the need for a social content strategy and plan.  Start with outlining your goals for the page – Customer Acquisition? Brand Awareness? Creating a Loyal Fanbase? Your objectives can be a mix of all of these and more. Continue by identifying industry leaders and pages that feel are doing a great job. What is it that you like about their content? Perhaps it is the level of engagement they receive per post, or the high-quality graphics used. Apply these insights to your strategy. Once your objectives are outlined, follow the seven steps below for best practices in social media content:

1 – Choose the Right Channels

Think thoroughly through the social networks on which you want to be active as there is no requirement to be on them all. In fact, it is often better to consolidate and set yourself up for success on fewer social channels rather than spread yourself too thin by trying to be present on them all. Check out this guide from Buffer for great tips on choosing the best platforms for your page.

2 – Identify Your Brand Voice

Our recent blog post, Trends in Social: Authenticity, talks about the importance of brand voice: Brand voice is one of the most important elements of online and offline presence. On social media, having a consistent tone and style that followers find compelling will drive loyalty and engagement. If your brand’s voice aligns with consumers’ perception of your brand, it feels authentic.

Read the entire post by visiting:  http://www.5wpr.com/new/social-media-authenticity/

3 – Plan Ahead and Keep a Schedule

Optimize your posts by planning ahead and keeping a schedule. This will make it easier to maintain a steady social presence while ensuring maximum impact for each and every post.  “My feed has a focus on food so being in touch with holidays and seasonal ingredients is important to my content. As per when [I post] my content, I have learned a few tricks about my own audience and that just goes for uploading, testing, trying, watching and trying again! A tip I always tell people is think about the time zones the people that follow and engage live in. I have a big audience in NYC and LA so late night posts work GREAT for me. Right as NYC is scrolling through about to fall asleep, LA is getting out of work.” – Influencer Lauren Paige Magenta, @laurenmagenta

4- Vary Your Content Types

A diverse content strategy is beneficial for keeping your audience interested and engaged. This includes varying the types of content you post. Types of content include: links, original photos, videos, graphics, repost/ regrammed assets from your audience, testimonials and live streams. Incorporate a healthy mix of content types into your social media calendar and analyze the results to determine what your audience reacts best to.

5 – Get Creative

Getting (and staying) creative can be difficult. Joy Miles (@lunchesandlittles) is a food influencer with an incredibly innovative and unique Instagram profile.  Her creativity has allowed her page to quickly amass over 35,000 engaged followers. Here’s what keeps her creative: “My three children are definitely the inspiration for my feed. When I became a Mom I was really worried that I was going to “deprive” my babes of all the colorful, fun food options, in the name of health. And, I didn’t want that. I wanted to be a fun mom and wanted what I made to be able to compete with the store-bought, commercial versions in my kid’s eyes, but health was also paramount. So, I challenged myself to make healthy treats and meals more fun, and in the process taught myself that with the right ingredients, and a little extra time even the healthiest meals could be appealing to kiddos. It is all about presentation, and sometimes even what you name a recipe. Now, I try and share what I have learned with my audience, sharing family recipes, fun food and healthy treats, that are fun, healthy and easy.”

6 – Keep it Mobile-Friendly

Nearly 80% of social media is now consumed on mobile devices. Keep this in mind when putting together your content mix and follow through on all parts of your customer funnel by ensuring everything from your website to the videos you post on social media are mobile-optimized. UnifiedSocial.com offers this great infographic on driving social success via mobile.

2016 U.S. Cross-Platform Future in Focus

comScore 2016 U.S. Cross-Platform Future in Focus

7 – Analyze, Analyze, Analyze

Performing regular audits of your social media metrics allows you to hone in on what is really working (or not working) for your audience. Analyzing the results will provide key insights and learnings that you can incorporate into future calendars to make the most of your social efforts. Most major social platforms have built-in metrics functionalities for pulling data. Quick links: