The Three C’s of Content Strategy for Social Media
In the last few weeks I have been developing a Social Media Marketing and Management model for a new client.
Before that process began we had several discussions about the types of content they wanted to work with, the types of content that I recommend we should utilize, how to create quality content that would be of value to their customers as well as how to find content which exists in the social ecosphere already and the channels with which that content should be communicated through.
To be sure, this process is one that takes time and getting to know the client deeply so as to be able to help in the conception, creation and curation of their content, a significant part of any plan or model that involves Social Media, as it is the content that gets people talking about their company online with more regularity.
So I thought that it would be valuable to briefly describe what I call The Three C’s of Content Strategy
Conception – Creation – Curation
Conception, or conceiving, of content takes an open mind with a lot of open eyes. The eyes are used to look our into the world of social media (also known as listening) and see what your target audience is talking about, what seems to matter to them and how that relates to the products or services that you offer.
The open mind comes in the form of being able to think creatively and openly about what types of content does or doesn’t exist and how to relate that back to your branded products or services. The crowd produces a wealth of information, so don’t feel that you need to create every piece of content that will ultimately end up as part of your plan.
Yet, not all creators in the crowd are made equal and neither are their audiences, so bear in mind that bigger is not always better in the realm of Social Media when it comes to seeking resources of content that already exists. Relevance is the key to finding and employing user generated content.
Creation of content comes only after you have identified what the target is looking for and what forms that you chose to provide such creative content. Even if your idea is wholly original and doesn’t absolutely relate to your branded products or services it may well be a great idea for engaging with people and creating buzz around your brand. I caution you to be aware though of how you will bridge the gap between that type of content and your ultimate goals, if they differ.
Many times creating content can be simple and straightforward without a lot of bells and whistles. 95% of your content may be about one subject matter that is made up of 95% of user generated content that you simply provide to your audience in a stream. But the what, when, where and how of that stream is the next C.
Curation is the process by which you make the content you create or the content of others (make sure you have permission for copyrighted works) available to your audience. This may happen through one or more social media sites and many times it may need to be duplicated for the best results i.e. post a picture on Flickr, TwitPic and Facebook in order to start different conversations with different audiences.
The process of curation is extremely important and needs to be considered with equal weight as to those of the Conception and Creation of your content. This is where a solid plan will help keep you and your company on track.
If you are interested in reading a few more in-depth articles on content strategy I suggest you take the time to visit the following blogs: