Social media is a fast pace environment and it will not stop for anyone. New trends happen everyday and go out of style before lunch. Sometimes it’s hard to look ahead, when so much of the content strategy happens in the heat of the moment. However, changing your mentality from a day-by-day to a more strategic thinking, is the key to turn this passion into a profitable hobby.
For part six of this guide, we want to tackle content strategy and what it takes to make social media your full time job. Strategic thinking is not something you can just have overnight, but a skill that you develop with enough time creating and consuming different social media content. While this might be a process, we’re here to help you achieve those goals and reach the numbers you’ve been wanting to make.
Thinking Ahead Of The Trends
Trends come and go, but a good strategy can last forever. The problem with a viral/trend approach to social media is that while it might work for the short term growth of your account, on the long run, it might not have the same effect. There’s a difference in getting viral views, than getting community views. Here is the most obvious differences:
As you can see, when you think of strategy you need to consider true engagement. With a community approach, you might get 50 comments, but those 50 comments will be real people who know your content. You can reply to all of them to boost engagement and make real connections. While with virality, you may get that one viral video, but the next video might not perform that well – and still, no one will know who you are. Five minutes of fame is not a realistic goal if you want to pursue content creation as a full-time job. What instant gratification does is prevent you from becoming an authentically good creator.
Trial and Error
Now, this doesn’t mean you can have a very popular video. The trick is knowing how to go from that successful video to a steady content strategy plan. You can’t just hop onto the next trend, cross your fingers and hope for it to work. You need to create a strategy around your success and failure. This is when you truly develop that strategic thinking. You can do this by implementing a trial and error technique:
If you have successful content, ask yourself:
- What went well?
- What kind of tone or style worked for me?
- Did the transitions help?
- Was it the song choice?
- How can I replicate it?
Then, begin comparing your successful content from your not so popular content:
- Compared to my more popular videos, what was lacking?
- what do people seem to like more about this particular post?
- What new strategy should I not use again? Which one should I keep implementing?
The more you post the better you’ll spot what works and what doesn’t, and you can create a content plan around it.
Yes, we said “don’t rely on trends”. But, don’t waste a good trend opportunity that fits your brand either. It’s all about finding that perfect balance. A good strategic thinker will always keep an open door for new ideas and opportunities. Your content plan needs to be solid, but it should have space for new ideas as they come. Think of your content plan as a Christmas tree.
I know. Bare with me.
You first have to set the foundation: the tree (your account). After that, you can set the lights (your specific brand and mission). Later on, you want to add the ornaments to make your tree unique (your unique content). As you hang each ornament you want to always leave space to add more. You never know when you can find that perfect red Cadillac ornament as you walk through the halls of Walmart. In conclusion: You always want to leave space to make your tree (content) even better. Don’t rely on trends, use them strategically for your benefit.
Partnerships and Outreach
Partnerships are relationships and similar to having a relationship, you need to build upon them. You can just make them happen out of thin air. When your social media presence is established, you may have brands a product managers reach out to you. The most important thing to understand is that, like a relationship, you are not just friends with everyone. This is your time to choose what you want and not just take the first deal that you’ve been offered. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Choose brands that align with your identity and mission
- Set up several meetings, exchange emails, video calls and get to know the people you’ll be working with
- Research the brand to its core. Go back to its beginnings and find out anything you need to know about them
- Don’t accept the first deal you’re offered just because it looks good. Find out the best possible deal for you
- Understand your value (what you’re bringing to the table) and the value they are bringing too
- Create goals and expectations and communicate them clearly
Strategic Thinking Takes Time
Changing your strategy will take time and patience. Remember, strategic thinking is all about being one step ahead. It’s about not settling to good content, but always pushing for great content. And finally, it’s also about always looking for opportunities to grow and having the willingness to execute your vision from your head to the page.