Blank Canvas

That is exactly what social media is.  A blank canvas.  An empty page.

There is no content on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or any other social network without content creators.  People, brands, artists, writers and news organizations populate social networks with content and bring the value to it.

Social media companies are just platforms.  They are the page.  The canvas.

The rest is up to us.

That’s why having a strategy for a specific social platform is not as powerful or as effective as having a content strategy.  The goal is not to write content for a specific form: like a Facebook status update or a tweet.  I recently met with a Facebook executive who says he needs to resist the urge to roll his eyes when people ask him about a “Facebook strategy.”

“It drives me crazy,” he said.

Why?  Because Facebook is the canvas.  You shouldn’t be creating content based on the medium.  You should be creating content based on your audience.  What do they want?  What content is helpful to them?  What kind of content solves a problem for them?  What kind of content amuses or entertains them?  What kind of content will they share?

Then the content can be integrated and used across multiple platforms and in multiple formats.  But the content comes first and then figure out the ways to utilize the advantages and unique properties of platforms to bring it to life and share it.

Here are some tips on how to fill your blank canvas:

  • Listen.  Your customers are out there on social networks talking about what they need and what they want.  Tap into those streams. Chances are they are already telling you what they want from you and your products and services.
  • Create a Content Map.  This is the hard part.  You’ll want to figure out who your content creators will be.  Then create a content calendar and a playbook (basically a best practices guide for your brand).  This is the upfront spade work and the crucial part of organizing your content strategy.
  • Publish the content on your channels: websites, blogs, social networks, applications, etc.  Make sure you are optimize the unique features and functionality of each platform.
  • Listen Again.  How is your audience reacting to your content?  What do they like?  What do they dislike?
  • Interact with your audience.  Connect.  Ask questions. Answer questions.  React to their inquiries and feedback.
  • Measure.  See what’s making an impact.  Adjust your content based on your audience reactions.

Creating content isn’t easy.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  The goal is to set-up your company so that content creation becomes a part of the way you do business.  That content is helping drive your communications and marketing channels and ultimately helping to drive sales.


Take a Deep Breath… And Organize

Here’s Your 1-2 Content Plan

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