Social content strategy advice: try not to suck

“Try not to suck.” 

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon thusly advised a new team recruit back in 2015, before they went on to win the 2016 World Series. And we, too, take his no-nonsense advice to heart when it comes to social media content strategy. And then we take it a bit further.

In an always-on digital and social media landscape, brands struggle to keep up with their online presence in ways that are meaningful to their audiences. But just being there isn’t enough; your content must be designed and produced with audience motivations and platform-specific consumption patterns in mind.

At Foxtrot Digital Studio, we have built our content development process to do more than just “not suck”. Content must move the needle for our clients’ businesses.

Does your brand content pass the test?

The SHARE test: Since the proliferation of social media channels, plenty of research has shown that people who share and engage with content within social media are motivated by a handful of very specific things. Content that appeals to these motivations is more likely to be effective in achieving your goals than content that does not. For content to pass the SHARE test, we must ask ourselves: does this content enable the intended audience to do one or more of the following things?

  • Be the source of valuable and entertaining content for others?
  • Define themselves to others?
  • Help grow and nourish their relationships?
  • Achieve self-fulfillment?
  • Spread the word about causes or brands that they care about?

The PROMISE test: Presumably, your content program is conceived and implemented to achieve certain brand and business goals. And in order to do so, your content must be aligned with and support your brand’s promise, rather than conflicting with it. Whether it’s a Tweet, a blog post, a stock image for a Facebook post or an artfully-captioned testimonial video, your content should serve a purpose and move you toward your brand and business goals, even if the impact is indirect. For content to pass the PROMISE test, we must ask ourselves: does this content meet the needs of the brand and, at the very least, not conflict with the following beliefs?

  • Your brand promise or key message X
  • Your brand promise or key message Y
  • Your brand promise or key message Z

The MOVE test: Content is essentially an artifact of storytelling, or at least it should be. And your brand’s story is pivotal in the effort to attract your audiences and engage them in the actions that result in achieving your marketing and business goals. But no story worth telling should fall flat; if effective your content should cause someone to feel something, do something or think something that moves them down a path to taking action – converting – on your brand’s behalf. For content to pass the MOVE test, we seek answers to the question: does this content meet the needs of the campaign to enable the following conversion imperatives?

  • ACCESS Can your audiences viably access each piece of content?
  • CONSUMPTION Is it reasonable to expect that your audience will actually consume this content, as presented?
  • RELEVANCE Have you ensured the relevance of the content within the context of your audience’s experience, i.e. timing, device, location, etc.?
  • ACTIONABLE Have you ensured that this content is actionable in a way that is meaningful to the audience and beneficial to your goals?

The SEARCH test: When it comes to online content, including social media, you must always plan for at least two key audiences: humans and search engines. If you forget either one of those two, then you will fail this test before you even begin. We must remember to ask ourselves: is this content created with search engine/web algorithms in mind?

  • Is it searchable?
  • Is it findable?
  • Is it ownable?
  • Is it specific?
  • Does it improve your brand’s online status?

Does your current content strategy pass these tests? Foxtrot Digital Studio is here to help you make sure your content does not suck. Let us show you how.