How to Create a Social Media Content Strategy for your Small Business in 2022

A social media marketing plan is necessary for a small business if you want to get leads or sales from your target market. In this post you will learn how to create a social media content strategy for your small business that you need.

You might have seen that everything changes fast; all the social media platforms are evolving every month. Or you may have read about “algorithms”: the YouTube algorithm, the Instagram algorithm, the TikTok algorithm etc. And, if you are new to social media, that can be a little scary.

I wrote a post: 10 benefits of social media for business, in which you can read why you need social media to promote your small business.

But like I said before, everything changes in a heartbeat.

Normally I would start this post about how to create a social media content strategy by talking about the consumer, your ideal customer, but I want you to have a clear concept about the algorithm.

Yes, to learn how to create a social media content strategy you need to know what an algorithm is.

What is an algorithm?

According to this article from the BBC, an algorithm is a list of rules to follow in order to solve a problem.

For example, a recipe to make a cheesecake is an algorithm. The instructions you follow to find your friend’s house is an algorithm.

Ok, let’s apply the algorithm concept to social media in this post about how to create a social media content strategy.

the technology savvy algorithm

What is the problem that TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook have?

Keeping their audience on their platform. Think about this: all social media platforms are businesses. They need to sell ads. To do that, they need to show the advertiser that people spend a lot of time on the platform.

To keep an audience on the platform, the social media sites have developed their own algorithms.

Let me show you an example in this post about how to create a social media content strategy:

I like heavy metal, and for that reason on YouTube I always search for: Iron Maiden live 2019, Metallica live 1985 etc. So, when I open YouTube, the first things I see on the platform are videos from my favorite bands.

But when I started learning Brazilian Portuguese, I started to search for Brazilian music and I found Victor & Leo: two brothers who make Sertanejo music. I loved it and immediately YouTube started showing more and more Sertanejo bands, which kept me on YouTube.

That is how the algorithm of a social media platform works.

Another example in this post about how to create a social media content strategy. You may wonder why people who believe in conspiracy theories are so passionate about it. The answer is simple. They went to YouTube and found thousands of videos about that topic. The algorithm doesn’t care if the subject matter is good or bad. Its mission is to keep you on the platform.

The same happens on TikTok. This platform has a powerful algorithm. This article is a good example:

TikTok’s algorithms knew I was bi before I did. I’m not the only one.

Why is it important to understand the algorithm?

It’s because, if you understand the algorithm of a social media platform, you will know what the algorithm loves, and you can align your content to it.

For example, on TikTok people jump on trends. This is good in that it gives you visibility, but your target audience will see many people doing that trend.

What TikTok really loves is original content, but that original content must entertain.

The algorithm of Instagram Reels also loves entertainment content.

How to create a social media content strategy: the secret

So the secret to learning how to create a social media content strategy is a combination of: entertainment + information.

If you can give valuable information in a funny way your content will get good reach on Instagram Reels, TikTok and YouTube, because that content helps the algorithm to keep people on the platform.

the technology savvy social media content strategy

How to create a social media content strategy for your small business

Now that you know the secret you can start creating a social media marketing plan for your business or brand.

Define your goals

In this step in this post about how to create a social media content strategy, leave your desires behind. It’s time to set realistic goals.

The way to do this is by creating S.M.A.R.T. goals.

Each of your goals should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

An example of a S.M.A.R.T goal could be:

We will use smart bots to respond to our Facebook inbox to lower our response rate by 10 minutes by the end of the month.

It is also important to set goals because without them, you have no way of measuring success and your return on investment (ROI).

One piece of advice I can give you in this post about how to create a social media content strategy: Please do not measure vanity metrics like the number of followers you have or the likes you get.

Those metrics have zero impact on your business; that is the truth.

Instead, focus on:

Reach: This metric measures how many users have seen your social media post. The higher your reach, the more “viral” your content is.

Clicks: If you’re linking out to a landing page or blog post on your website, see how many people click on the link. This is what’s called your “click-through rate”: the percentage of people who see a link and click it.

Engagement: Track the social engagement levels on your post to see how effective it is at making your target audience do something. Social media algorithms like to prioritise content that sparks conversations. The higher your engagement rate, the more involved your audience is.

Conversions: the number of queries in your inbox from potential clients? Or how many people sign up to your email newsletter each month etc.

Hashtag performance: If you’re using hashtags as part of your content strategy, judge whether the terms you’re using are driving more eyeballs to your social media post. By monitoring your hashtag performance, you can see which ones work best for your brand—so you can double-down on them.

Sentiment: Tracking sentiment is also super important. To keep on top of your brand reputation, you need to know whether people mention you positively or negatively across social media.

I know that you will also have business goals, like getting more sales or more leads. For that reason it would be great if you can align your business goals to your social media goals.

For example, if your goal is to get 100 leads for your business, you could say that 50% of those leads have to come through social media.

That is how you can combine your business goals with your social media goals.

Now you are learning how to create a social media content strategy.

Get to know your audience

Once you have defined your goals it is time to get to know your audience. You need to learn everything you can about your audience.

the technology savvy audience

Why?

A terrible mistake entrepreneurs make is thinking they know of a problem and have the solution for it, but they have forgotten about the people.

If you have the solution for a problem, you need to think:

  • Does the solution have an audience?
  • Who is my target audience?  

If you do not have the answer to these questions, you are in big trouble.

As we saw before in this post about how to create a social media content strategy, social media is about content creation. If you don’t learn everything about your ideal customer, you won’t create valuable content for them.

Ok, when you think about getting to know your ideal customer you think:

  • age
  • location
  • average income
  • typical job title or industry
  • interests
  • etc.

That is good, don’t get me wrong, but it is not enough.

What you need is to put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer.

To do that, you need to do a customer empathy map. You can read about it here: Customer Empathy Map. How to answer the 7 questions.

The customer empathy map is a different approach to getting to know your customers. You will have to read about your target customers in order to answer the 7 questions for developing the customer empathy map.

My recomendation in this post about how to create a social media content strategy for you is to practice how to create Customer Empathy Maps.

Get to know your competition

If your business is new you may think that you don’t have any competition. Trust me, you have competition.

To find your competition you have to do research on Google, ask friends or watch YouTube videos.

Once you find your competition, you have to see what social media platforms they are using to promote their business or products.

Then, after you have that information, you have to do a competitive analysis.

My recommendation in this post about how to create a social media content strategy for a competitive analysis is:

  • Which social media platforms are your competitors on?
  • How many followers do your competitors have?
  • How many likes, comments or shares do your competitors have?

What can you do with this information?

With this information you have to try to find a weakness in your competition.

For example, if your competition has 10 000 followers on Instagram, but only 50 likes on per post , that means their followers don’t like the content, so you have an opportunity to create better content than your competition.

This is a common practice that I do when I work for brands; I try to find a weakness in the competition.

But you may be thinking, how does an account have 10 000 followers but only 50 likes per post.

Well, what normally happens is that some brands run paid ads to get followers on Facebook, or they run paid ads to promote their content.

That is good, but sometimes it happens that people give a like just to receive a like, but then the brand doesn’t make an effort to engage with the new followers, and in the end those brands can show off a big number of followers but they lack engagement.

Like I said before in this post about how to create a social media content strategy, you can take advantage of this and make valuable content.

You have to do an audit of your social media platforms

Yes, once you have opened accounts on social media platforms and uploaded content to them, now you have to do an audit to see what has been working or not.

This is important because you can glimpse all of your efforts and replicate your most successful content.

Also, it is important to do the audit to know if your target audience is on those platforms.

You can say: I am going to open a TikTok account. You do it, but have no engagement, so maybe your audience isn’t there.

Work the SEO angle and do keyword research

Let’s talk about this part very carefully in this post about how to create a social media content strategy.

First, if your social media content strategy has a blog, you will need to think about the SEO angle and do keyword research.

You will need to find the right keywords when creating posts for your blog. That could take some time, because you need to think about your SEO angle.

What I want to say in this post about how to create a social media content strategy is this: SEO is changing so you need to define how you are going to write your content; you need to define a writing style that connects with your audience.

The only advice I can give you in this post about how to create a social media content strategy is that you need to write more and more posts so you can get better at writing.

Now for the second part in this post about how to create a social media content strategy.

You can ask: Keyword research for social media? Yes. It is important to do keyword research for your social media.

For example, you want to start a TikTok account. Besides being funny on that platform, you have to give valuable information.

How to give valuable information? By answering questions. To do that you can go to Quora or Reddit and search for questions. That is keyword research.

Examples:

  • 5 reasons why you must start creating content now
  • Your social media strategy is probably failing for one of these 3 reasons

As you can see, these are sentences that I created from questions I found on Quora and Reddit.

Choose your distribution channels

Now for the most important part in this post about how to create a social media content strategy. You have to choose your distribution channels.

Are you going to use a blog? Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? TikTok?

This is crucial for reaching your target audience.

That is why you need to know your audience and figure out where they are.

At this point in this post about how to create a social media content strategy I only can advise you to investigate in detail every one of the social media platforms and discover which one is the best for your business.

For example, for my blog, I am doing reels on Instagram to promote the brand; my goal is to create a community there and then drive traffic to my blog.

I am creating exclusive content for reels but I am also on TikTok where I make comedy videos. My goal on that social media platform is to create a community and then promote my Instagram account.

As you can see in this post about how to create a social media content strategy, I chose my distribution channels and have created exclusive content for each channel.

This is because each channel has its own language and its own way to communicate with their audience.

Is it a lot of work? Yes. But if you want to create a community around your business it’s the way to do it.

Create engaging content

Now for the most difficult or easiest part in this post about how to create a social media content strategy: creating content.

All social media platforms are moving to become a video platform, because it is trending right now.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t still create content with photos or in your blog, but right now short videos are trending.

What do I do?

For example, when I write a post, I promote that post by making a story on Instagram, posting it on Facebook and Twitter, and then I write and answer questions on Reddit and Quora.

Now in this post about how to create a social media content strategy, to create engaging content the most important thing to do is to create pillar content.

I write about digital marketing, so for that reason my pillar content is:

  • social media
  • SEO
  • blogging

Now, inside social media I can talk about:

  • Facebook tips
  • how to grow on Instagram
  • TikTok tips

Inside SEO I can talk about:

  • keywords
  • backlinks
  • on-page SEO
  • off-page SEO

That’s why it is important to create a content calendar for your blog and your social media platforms. That is my main advice in this post about how to create a social media content strategy

Ok, to create a content calendar for your social media platforms you can categorize your content in types, for example:

  • promotion
  • education
  • inspiration
  • entertainment

The way you can separate your content is different for every social media platform.

For example, on Instagram I do education and inspiration content.

On TikTok I only do entertainment content.

I create content according to the social media platforms.

Measure and improve

You have to measure every post you publish on social media. This is because you have to know what type of content is giving you reach, leads and followers.

Social media is very “unpredictable” because entertainment posts, for example, can give you reach and followers but not leads.

But educational posts can give you leads but not followers.

For that reason, you have to measure and improve your content strategy all the time.

Final words about how to create a social media content strategy

My final piece of advice in this post about how to create a social media content strategy is always: Create valuable content for your target audience. That is the best action you can take. Always give value to your followers.

And always measure your content and improve, always improve.