Are you skipping these crucial steps when planning, creating and posting your social media content?

Is your posting on social networking sites carefully planned? Are you seeing the results you desire from your social media content? If not, you need to create or update your plan for building your online presence. Here are seven basic steps to creating a successful social media content creation and posting plan.

1. Identify your desired audience.
Be as specific as possible. List characteristics, wants, and common problems they face at the top of your social media content creation and posting plan.

2. List places where these people already hang out.
Will you find them on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or a specific professional forum? Are they members of your Chamber of Commerce or recent conference attendees? Add columns to your plan for each location you may want to post information.

3. Listen to their needs and desires.
What are they looking for? What questions are being asked? What do they really want? Be sure to include these as themes in your plan.

4. Learn what format they prefer for consuming content.
Do they want an audio to download and listen to during their commute? Does video hold the greatest appeal? Are they busy professionals or speed readers who could read your message in thirty seconds without listening to or watching you for six minutes? Are they educators who need to preview your content quickly in order to determine if you meet their school guidelines for appropriateness? Make note of content formats on your plan so you always know what link will be most desirable to a prospective customer.
 
5. Take stock of what you already have to offer and where you are lacking presence.
Do you have articles and not much else? You could turn these into audios, break them into short blog posts, or create a series of tweets. Do you have audios or videos that could be transcribed into an article? Use previously created content to make it easier to post frequently and consistently. Use your plan to stay on track of your ever-expanding online presence.

6. Include a call to action.
Just as you know what your audience wants, you should know exactly what you desire to accomplish with your social media content. Your plan should include both an easy-to-follow call to action and a specific outcome you hope to achieve when people follow your instructions. Putting it in writing makes it easier to see where you might need to make adjustments.

7. Make note of your current social networking results.
Are people commenting on your articles, blog posts, Facebook updates, and tweets? Are they retweeting and sharing? Are readers clicking through to your Web site? Are visitors contacting you? Are they making a purchase? What do you need to change—your call to action, where you post, how often you share valuable information—to reach your goals?

A sample entry in your plan might look like this:

Social media content planner

Know your audience and what they want then create content in formats that appeal to them. Post your valuable information where they will find it easily. Share your expertise in multiple locations for maximum exposure. Include a call to action. Aim to post consistently on a daily, weekly, or biweekly basis based on your desired outcome, and track your results.

What do you need to add to your social media content plan to get the results you desire?

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