So we have heard the expression “Content is King”, when it comes to social media, content has great responsibility in leveraging engagement in order to reach your objectives. But how and what type of content should an organization post? This is when a well-defined content strategy will come into play.
The key characteristic is content cannot be boring, yes it might be king, but the king must be respected, influential and engaging. Remember today in social media content is considered as currency and currency should be traded, exchanged or share in order to amplify the reach of the message.
For the three types of organization to be discussed such as non-profits, government and private sectors, three main differences in a content strategy are: The audience, the type and the distribution.
It’s imperative to determine the target audience for each one, for example: Non-profits might target donors; these donors must share the same values for a cause as the non-profit stands for. A governments audience can be defined as a group individual subjected to a government’s policy and laws. For a for profit organization a target segment of customers matching a specific demographic and existing customers would be considered as their audience. A sole individual can be classified into one of these different audiences, and as a result the type of information or content developed by each organization will differ.
It is common that social media content is coded in the form of images, microblogs, blogs and videos, but each one should response to a different strategy and purpose. Content can be original, co-created, curated (organized), aggregated, licensed or user generated.
The purpose of content should be to inform, persuade, validate, instruct and entertainment. Both form and purpose are important in a content development strategy. Governments generally use microtargeting strategy to inform and instruct new laws, policies, position on national security or government economic results. For a non-profit a storytelling strategy is common as they seek to generate an emotional connection with their cause and persuade their audience to join the cause and donate in support of. A for profit organization the main objective is to engage customers and prospective customers, informing about their product and service. For this reason their strategy focuses into generating conversions/sales and maintaining positive sentiment levels through adequate customer service.
The type of content will help define as well the type of platforms to use in the social media atmosphere. Even though the top three social media platforms (twitter/facebook/Google+) support the majority of the forms of content, a series of specialized platforms such as instagram and pinterest are growing in popularity as audiences are engaged through image form.
Once the audience, type of content and platforms are defined, it’s time to deploy and distribute the content into the social media atmosphere. The forms of distribution are known as paid media, owned and earned media. It is in the organizations best interest depending on their communications budget and objectives to define the type of distribution to use. For profit organizations in general it is common to use paid media as part of their advertising efforts. In the case of government may use owned media as it can be showcase their communication by their own official webpages, facebook pages and blogs. Earned media could be a distribution channel for non-profits as 3rd parties and influencer might share the cause and amplify the message.
No matter what type of organization is represented, the quality of content will determined its own share ability. At the end sharing is the core element in social media resulting in engagement and fulfillment of an organization’s communication objectives.