6 questions to ask and answer when planning social media content

8th Apr 2017
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Everything starts with a When, followed by the Why, which culminates into the How. Most people living on this planet are unable to grasp the inevitability of this simple process. Most plunge straight into the How and nosedive into a pool of loss. Many others are disoriented about the Why and end up adding to the rising confusion of our times. A few however, start at the beginning. They start with when they should start.

While these three steps must be applied to life in order for us to think, feel, and thus, act in the right way, the key is to remember to ask the right questions – because behind every right question lies the right answer. So, if you are in the business of managing and planning social media content your technique should be no different. However, before we list down the questions you must seek answers to, let's us apprise ourselves with social media content planning and its importance.

Image : shutterstock

Image : shutterstock

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” – Alan Lakein, author

An article on Marketing 91 defines the importance of planning in all spheres of life eloquently. It says, “The importance of planning cannot be over emphasized for an organization or even for an individual. From the start of a small business, to managing a large business, from starting your own career, to the last stages of your working life, planning will be the most important tool that you use in marketing.” In short, one cannot do without planning. Now let's see the role planning plays when it’s about social media content.

Writing for Smart Insights, e-commerce consultant James Gurd says, “If people are the heartbeat of social media, content is the blood. It’s your content that people see and respond to, and that communicates your values and messages.”

Content management can become an employee's nightmare when they fail to plan. Here is a list of six questions that every person involved in planning social media content must ask themselves before taking the plunge.

What is my product?

According to an article on Digitalist Magazine, knowing your product inside out is the defining moment of your relationship with your consumers. It says, “Demonstrating strong knowledge and expertise of your products is crucial for creating a positive customer experience and instilling faith and trust within the customer. Without accurate or available product knowledge, your products may as well be worthless.”

The progress or your failure of your business is directly related to your knowledge or lack thereof, of your product. If you are not well-versed in the nuances of your product, neither will be your audience be.

Who is my audience?

For most people, a target audience consists of anyone walking on two feet with a pocket that can hold a wallet. This is simply not true. The myth-breaker lies in the term itself. When you decide to launch a product, you know that it's meant to solve a specific purpose. And depending on its offerings, price bracket, availability etc., it'll have a defined buyer. Not everyone needs an electric razor or a bot that thinks for you. It is therefore very crucial to ‘target’ your potential consumer group who will take to your product sooner than everybody else.

What do I wish to achieve with my action?

It isn't about what you want, but what you really want. This is an internal quest and requires one to align their actions with their thoughts and emotions. As a seller, what is the dream that you wish the most to come true? Sure, everybody wants success, but it can't be reached if its remains undefined. So what defines success for you? Is it:

  1. People benefiting from your product?2. Making money from your product?
  2. 3. Becoming known for something specific?
  3. 4. To build a network of like-minded people?
  4. 5. To expand?

While it may look that you want all of these, the truth is, there's always one that you want to accomplish before all others – that's your priority card. It's where your heart and mind are at and it's where you need to be. Identify your ultimate goal and then trace the steps back to where you are and you'd have achieved what you really wanted.

How exactly will my content help the TG?

The answer to this will depend directly on your knowledge of your TG. If you know them well enough, you will, more often than not, know what kind of content they respond to the best. However, it's well advised to ask that question at all times anyway, especially before the idea goes into production. In doing so, you will not only save much time, but will be able to channelise the efforts (which could have gone waste) to something that will resonate with your TG truly and completely.

Am I using the right platform to promote my product?

Choosing the perfect platform, or platforms, to promote your product is an important strategical quest. While you may decide to be present on multiple platforms, chances are you will not be able to maintain each with the same vigour and urgency, especially if you are a small business. The best bet is to choose your platform according to your product. Start small but start strong, and once you get a hold around numbers and begin to understand the workings of a platform from within, apply the knowledge you have gained on other platforms.

Finding the right network for your content is like choosing the right neighbourhood for your kids to grow up in. Once you find this, you can develop your content accordingly.

Are my posts tactical and interesting or lost in time and boring?

The world is a hot wok of incidents, accidents, occurrences, and happenings. With trending being the buzzword of our amnesiac civilization, it pays to park your content alongside news that your TG is hooked on to. This is one of the most effective ways of creating content that works. However, if you choose to be non-tactical, chances are you will lose out on opportunities that could have grabbed you a bevy of eyeballs.

Planning and preparation are but two steps whose rewards and punishment can be long lasting. So keep the log of your When, Why, and How in place and you will see your results turn out even better than had you planned for.

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