Social Media: ContentI presented on the topic of “Using Social Media to build brand, foster relationships and drive revenue” to small business owners. While just about every attendee recognized the importance of including Social Media in their marketing outreach, everyone was trying to figure out how to embark on a sustainable social media campaign without breaking the bank.  That question may have popped into their minds because I started my presentation with the “big challenge”.  The truth is, while Social Media is a powerful quiver in the marketing toolbox, you must beware! When executed incorrectly, creating and distributing content via Social Media becomes an unbelievable time and money suck with very little return on investment.

The great news is, we have some fantastic tools that address: (1) whether you should embark on a campaign, (2) how to embark on the campaign, (3) how to measure your success and optimize performance.

I assume you are ready to put your toe in the water so let’s get started right now on some basics. From a marketing communications standpoint, there are four key areas to focus on: (1) Your Story, (2) Packaging the story, (3) Distributing the story, (4) Measuring results.

Sample social media content calendar.

This post focus on “Your Story”.  Of course, Your Story always starts with your brand. I define brand as the Unique Bundle of Promise (uBOP) that you deliver seamlessly day in and day out to your stakeholders (prospects, clients, employees, investors, etc…). The great news is, Social Media provides an incredibly powerful forum for you to share Your Story with stakeholders because you own the message and can interact, engage and guide your audience as they consume your message.

Conveying Your Story is a huge undertaking.  Here’s an easy way to simplify the process. Write your uBOP on the top of the paper and divide the page into two categories: (1) Content Rich Stories, and (2) Fluff Stories.

Content Rich Stories take a bit more time to craft so you’ll post them less frequently.  These stories typically cover industry trends, product innovation, buyer profiles and the like.  These stories give insight into your product or service, where you fit into the marketplace and the unique service you are providing to your audience.  These stories also give you an opportunity to show your product or service in action – whether in written or visual form. However, by the very nature of the category name, these stories require heavy lifting on the side of the business owner (or content writer) to develop so your posts in this category will be less frequent. This post, for example, would be considered a Content Rich Story.

Get Started: Go ahead and write headlines for a list of stories that position your offering as industry leading.  Next to each headline list who will tell the story.  Options of people to tell the story include: you, a team member, distribution partner, a client, etc…

Give me 15 minutes to show you how to create a powerful social media content calendar.

Next work on your Fluff Stories. I love Fluff Stories.  These stories also tell the story of your brand – only a bit more informally.  Stories under this category may include Top Tips, promotions, contests, and quotes.  You may even take liberties here and repurpose content from others.  Tip:  Don’t put your brand at risk.  When you repurpose content, make sure you have researched the source of the information! These stories are more “transactional” and should encourage your audience to engage.   A “fluff story” on may include:  Top 5 Tips to Master an Interview with Media.  Keep Going: Just as with your Content Rich Story list go ahead and list out the Fluff Stories that you’ll use to convey your message.  Again, next to each headline write down who will tell the story.

We have  fantastic content calendar template. If you would like to check it it out contact me.   And, check back with our blog as our next posts will include: packaging the story, distributing the story and measuring results.

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