SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT
Surely you have been spending time on Facebook or Instagram, passively browsing your feed without any real purpose. We've all been there - not judging. And as surely, you have also suddenly stopped on a specific post and decided to allocate more attention than what you we're doing so far. How come?
It's probably because of -you've guessed it- great content! Or should we say thanks to great content. Because what brands post on social media has the power to impact their fans and non-fans in a way that has no common measure. Let's be honest, we're all tired of seeing the same old posts from restaurants with nothing but empty chairs and perfectly lined up glasses (also empty). It doesn't convey any emotions, it doesn't tell a story and it definitely doesn't bring any valuable information.
In a Millennial-owned digital space, it’s not enough to show up on every platform and occasionally update your audience with whatever information you can grab. The way to stand out on social media is to identify specific brand objectives, create useful posts that align with those objectives, and distribute content on the right platforms.
Creating a relevant Content Marketing Plan
At Garçon! we put content at the very core of our social media strategy. Whether we are teaming up with a classy hotel, a trendy restaurant or the cutest skincare brand, we draft a solid content plan to ensure we cover all grounds (message), stay topical (follow trends), anticipate (holidays, anniversaries, events) while creating an engaging journey for our fans (storytelling). Here is a shortlist of our 5-step process to nail social media fame:
1. Define your objectives
2. Set up strong content pillars
3. Develop your own storytelling
4. Distribute content wisely
5. Stick to your schedule
This plan enables us to always come up with fresh and engaging things to say across all our clients' social media platforms. We always adopt a say MORE with LESS meaning that we would rather keep it short and exciting rather than overwhelming users with pointless information. Social media is about being subtle.
1. Define your content objectives
Depending on whether you are after developing awareness, educating fans or driving sales, this will orientate the type of content for you to create. This process involves digging deep into your brand values as well as exploring your audience.
The more specific your marketing goals are, the better you will be able to tailor your social media content to match those goals. Usually, the main objectives for brands on social media can be split into 5 categories :
- Increase brand awareness
- Generates sales/leads
- Increase community engagement
- Grow your fan base
- Drive website traffic
Our recommendation: a bit of everything but prioritize. It might sound obvious and it actually is. Think about it, you don't follow a brand because you want to see copied-pasted posts every day. You are seeking new information, the brand's fresh take, you want to be teased, you want to be surprised.
Imagine a restaurant on social media: do you really want to see a single photo of one of their dishes day after day? Not really. Now what about this restaurant shows up sneak peeks at behind the scenes, features actual customers experiences, teases you on an upcoming signature, offers online reservation incentives while it recommends an exciting lunch set through a short video? Way better. And it would have basically checked all the above boxes in a smooth and engaging way.
Bottomline: prioritize your goals and plan content that can sustain them.
2. Set up Content Pillars
And by the way, what is a content pillar?
A content pillar is a group of topics or themes which design the basis of your overall social content strategy. Also called buckets, pillars are relevant topics for each of your niche audiences. Each of your pillars should contain different types of content such as blog posts, videos, photos, animations, GIFs or tweets.
Take our client Mama Pasta for example, a lifestyle eatery with a couple of locations in Bangkok. With clear objectives to develop brand awareness and to drive footfall, our content pillars included branding (lifestyle posts), education (constant introduction of new items on the menus), experience (collaborations with local micro-influencers) and online sales (highlighting the delivery side of the business).
As seen in these 4 Instagram social media posts, we created content to spark genuine interest about one exciting new menu item, developed a casual post about takeaway, one to share an influencer experience and finally one mouthwatering GIF showing the preparation process.
Sample of our content pillars for Mama Pasta Bangkok.
3. Craft your own storytelling
One thing is sure: your story is how your brand will be remembered by your customers.
Building a unique brand story on social media means telling it through various social platforms. It can be a challenge though, to figure out the best way to translate the brand story you’re familiar with inside your company to social media.
Brand storytelling on social media isn’t something new or cutting-edge. No. But using storytelling is a great way to build authentic relationships with prospects, earn loyalty from actual customers and social media is a great platform to do this on.
Basically, each post going out on social media should answer "yes" to these 3 questions:
Will this bring my followers any valuable information?
Does it make my followers crave for more?
Will my brand voice be perceived as genuine?
Last one is vital. If you really want your stories to resonate with your customers, then speaking in their tone of voice is key to harmonizing with them. Keep in mind that social media users are not after too much details as their attention span is super short. They want something casual, easy to read and honest. Be yourself, use your own words and make customers the hero of your story.
4. Distribute content wisely
If you have done your due diligence when defining your content goals and pillars, you have then established which social media platforms are keys to support and enhance your content. There's a 90% chance Facebook and Instagram will be in the mix but whether you wish to move forward with LinkedIn, Twitter, Tik Tok, LINE or any other platforms, this choice is tactical.
Because there's no point in duplicating content across different social media channels. Each platform has a different audience with different expectations in terms of content consumption. A broad generalization could be that Instagram is about sustaining a lifestyle, colorful and exciting image while Facebook users are more into storytelling and educational content. This varies from one region of the world to another and there are a lot of parameters that would need to be taken into account here, however the conclusion is that you need to give a good reason for your followers to keep up with you across all your channels.
If we take Open House at Central Embassy as an example, we created and distributed content homogeneously across their Facebook and Instagram pages while tackling the same topics through different angles and takes. Here, we leveraged Facebook as the place to seed useful information about upcoming events while pushing Instagram to give post-event glimpses at how great it turned out.
5. Stick to your schedule
We are down to the final stage.
With an overwhelming news cycle and a non-stop flow of content, trends and ideas, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of managing multiple social media accounts. It is highly likely that without a proper content calendar, one might miss a deadline or just forget to post a content. And once the mark is missed, well there's no going back.
Having great things to say is the first step. Making sure they go live at the right time and without any hassle is another. As social media managers and content creators, we plan up to 150 content per week and create our social calendar months in advance. This gives us enough flexibility to add/remove/tweak content if the need comes up.
In a practical way, having a detailed content calendar per social media platforms gives more clarity and helps build a long-term content strategy. If a certain type of content, let's say sales-related, seems to be bringing the highest performances during a short period of time then it gets easy to react, bring forward sales-related posts that might have been planned later down the month and act quick on it.
We get a lot the question about how often we should be posting on social media. And we always give the same answer: there's no rule. Some recommend posting as regularly as possible to stay top of mind, while oiling Facebook's algorithm engine. Others suggest only posting if you have quality and relevant information to add to the conversation. We tend to agree with the last one. Posting just for the sake of it is pointless and will only make brands appear needy and spammy. Here's our general rule of thumb:
Instagram Stories: 2/week with a min. of 4 to 5 content/story
LinkedIn: 2/3 week
Having a thorough content schedule and sticking to it is the key in having a successful content strategy. That way we always ensure constant, relevant, valuable and topical posts to all our fans.