The three major principles of content strategy for social media? Create, curate and eliminate, said Amy Laskin during the Social Media and Mobile session at Content Strategy Applied 2012.
Amy, a former Ogilvy content strategist who recently started a new position at Bed, Bath & Beyond, reiterated a number of times that while many companies see social media as “free marketing,” it’s actually quite expensive. “It’s free, but you have to plan, and it takes significant time and money,” she said. “I caution companies: don’t do it until you find the resources.”
She started with a primer on the main social media platforms and their ideal use:
- Facebook: Building and rewarding loyalty, problem-solving
- YouTube: Education, entertainment, personality, brand sharing
- Twitter: News and announcements, customer service, personality, real-time response
- Pinterest: Essential for retailers and any brands that are very visual
A few observations that came up during Amy’s session:
- When creating content for your social media, make sure it’s content that fits your brand and uses your voice. For example, SAP can’t get away with doing the shaky handheld smartphone video thing on their YouTube channel.
- “I’m not a big fan of the tools that push one thing out to different channels,” Amy says. “It doesn’t respect the differences between your audiences on those channels. And your most loyal fans will follow you on multiple channels, so they don’t want to see the same thing over and over.” Thinking about versioning, not repurposing.
- Social media strategy is: “What is the brand going to put out?” Content strategy for social media is: “How do we achieve those goals while serving the user needs?” Amy said. Content strategists are the user advocates.
- There is the opportunity to curate content in order to express a point of view. That content doesn’t need to appear on every channel, only the most appropriate channels.
- Eliminate liberally. “Don’t be a content hoarder!” Amy said. Be “ruthless” about getting rid of the junk that isn’t necessary anymore.
- Create a calendar and expect it to change. Create themes and outline your supporting messaging, but know that content will change as things happen in the company and in the world. (Amy showed an example of an editorial calendar she put together for a fictitious chocolate brand):
- “I feel that metrics have some value, but they’re not the only thing,” Amy said when asked how to justify showing “Likes” as ROI for social media investment.
- When thinking about mobile (a topic that we barely uncovered during the session): curate like crazy, think tasks instead of exploration, and consider that browsing does become important when your content is location-based.
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