Strategize that content

Content is king. And usually I’m okay with that because I love writing. When I first started as a community manager, I was spitting out fun, new content about cats left and right. “Who would ever complain about this?” I thought.

Answer: I would. That’s who.

It isn’t easy to develop content your fans not only want to read but engage with three times a week, every week…for the rest of your life. Well, not your life, but at least until you can pass this brand onto some other poor soul.

In order to avoid sitting in front of your computer on a Wednesday at 5:30pm with absolutely nothing to post about when you really want to go to happy hour ($5 margaritas!) you need a content strategy.

Create content buckets. Define the different categories of content you’re going to produce for your brand. This doesn’t mean polls, questions, and tips. Those are types of posts that you can use within each of your content buckets. The actual buckets are things like ‘Health related’ and ‘Funny posts.’ Try to develop between three and five buckets for each brand to keep things interesting. And make sure it is what your audience wants to hear – not just what you (or your boss) want them to hear.

Make a content calendar. Do this before you even start writing. This is what you want to write – the space that needs to be filled for the coming month. You can create a Google calendar and add an “event” for each day you want to post. Give the event a bucket and a type, like ‘funny – poll’ or ‘health-question.’ This helps you ensure you aren’t producing the same content over and over and over and over and over…

Write the content. This is where those content buckets come in handy. Instead of creating random content on the fly, stick to the buckets. Be one with the buckets. Mix things up with polls, open-ended questions and insider tips and tricks. Remember: the goal is always to get your community to engage with you. Not just read and move on. That isn’t memorable for anyone (especially not your boss, who is looking for some action on their Facebook page…wait, what?).

Lay it all out in an editorial calendar. This is the nitty-gritty stuff. Create an Excel worksheet or Word doc with a big table that has everything – the week of the post, day of the post, actual content (Facebook in one column, Twitter in the next) bucket and type, picture and any links to include. It is always better to have everything in one place. Otherwise you post a poll asking users for feedback on a photo and, oops, no photo.

All this will enable you to click that ‘Share’ button well before happy hour starts.

But how do you know if the content you created is actually working? Stay tuned (which means I’m still figuring it out and True Blood is on).

(Special thanks to my manager, Helen, for arming me with this super sweet strategy for success)

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5 thoughts on “Strategize that content

  1. Pingback: The Spaghetti test: Define your community by what sticks | Andrea Aileen

  2. Pingback: How to: Re-purpose your content for Twitter | Andrea Aileen

  3. Pingback: Back to basics: The role of Community Manager | Andrea Aileen

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