Where are you on your content journey?

As a Social Enterprise you are probably wondering where you are on your content journey. It’s more the case that you want to get something out of delivering content and you are not too sure of how to get there.

Before we get into this please do take a look at some of the other blog posts I have made about similar topics. I have also made some YouTube videos about this topic too.

The Start

It’s probably worth mentioning that there is no real way of knowing where you are on this journey. This journey comprises lots of different stages that I have identified. I think that this particular blog post does highlight some stages that you might also identify with.

Changing the tide

I know very well from personal experience that I love to play with my process. When something occurs to me, I try to create content on the fly. What tends to happen here is that I create quite a bit of content all at once. At the same time, it can create more work too. 

For example, when I decided to create a subscription service podcast 🎙, this meant that I had to alter my consent process. This in turn has now left me in limbo 🤔 as I’m changing my process again. In short, everything will change and nothing needs to stay set in stone. At the same time some things might need to be more rigid in the process. Here are the stages.

Planning

Many Social Enterprise businesses tend to fall into the trap of trying to create content for social media. A lot of people have described posting and commenting and following in real-time. The posting of content usually occurs as a knee-jerk reaction. Usually things like your events and meeting people are the elements that bring about the need to post on social media.

My mindset 🧠 is based on productivity and should we have known these things were going to come up we could have planned the social media content ahead of time.

This is where I suggest utilising Kanban tools like Trello. Excel does the trick too. The basic principles are that we have lots of columns which are departments. We might have an ideas column. Editing column. post-production column. The final column would obviously be schedule or post.

By planning ahead we are now able to identify what specific social media jobs we have. We can now also view these in a calendar fashion. I’m not sure about you but I do feel more at ease now I can plan my time ahead. The only real work is to now create the content.

Building blocks

This might seem like odd advice but I do repeat this time and time over again because it’s really important. It’s important not to feel intimidated or like you need to deliver amazing social media across all platforms. You need to deliver what you need to. Part of your digital strategy should be to only post to one or two platforms, to begin with. I advise everybody to do the same. I also try my best to do this myself.

For example, I’ve always wanted to increase my audience on Facebook and Instagram. I have not done that because I don’t feel like I am able to. I have technical issues and I feel closer to Instagram than I ever would Facebook. From time to time I play with video content on Instagram or add posts but would try to do this over a longer period of time. Gradually moving it into my process. Every so often I also go back and review the situation with Facebook and Instagram.

Once you have 3 posts you are then able to fully experience what it’s like to have created one post form beginning to end. After you have created 10 social media posts on that platform, you are then able to say to yourself that you know what you are doing on that platform. Being able to create more and deliver more will come with time, for now, you have enabled the skill of being good on one social media medium. 

Streamlining your content

Once you have more than 10 or so items on your feed you are on your way. This means you are now able to think ahead of time. Utilising a kanban tool (or excel) is perfect for you right now if you haven’t done it already. The reason why I am bringing this back into the fold is that it does help you with streamlining. There are often calendar tools we are able to view that allow us to view content over a longer period of time.

Now that we are able to create content and imagine it, we can now plan. Streamlining does not just refer to planning ahead. Part of this process means we can create one piece of content and add lots of elements to it. For example, your first idea will now need to include text and images. By using a planning tool you are able to put all the information in one place. Being aware of these bitesized jobs means you can complete and recycle elements more efficiently.

If you are able to also add a video or sound like podcast audio, this would mean we are now on the verge of streamlining across multiple social media platforms.

This podcast might help develop this section ! – podcast covering processes in delivering content.

Brand consistency

This part was actually not mentioned in my podcast (mentioned at the beginning of this blog). After delivering a number of content ideas through a planner we are able to spot areas where our brand and branding touchpoints have maybe missed the mark. Having a planned method like using a productivity tool, means that we are able to identify potential issues.

Review

Part of your mechanism for delivering good content must include a reviewing process. I would suggest that you review your content every month or 3 months. Organisations tend to be very slack or very good in doing this. Terrible review processes happen during an annual review. In reality, this might then push organisations towards a 6-month check. I have worked with some Social Enterprises and other organisations who have been really good at reviewing their process. In these situations, they review every month or every quarter (3 months). 

The review process is supposed to highlight levels of engagement and bring out any good practice. Good practice would be a post that has worked really well on one or many social media platforms. Within this post, we might identify a call to action or an image that has worked really well. Often identifying imagery that has been consistent across various social platforms would indicate a general sound delivery of brand development.

Planning

The next stage is first to move back to planning. I’m not sure if I mentioned this explicitly before or if you can read between the lines, but it’s really essential for you to plan and review.

Earlier on it may have been good for you to have identified an area where you could plan a month ahead of time. In this review stage, you would have taken a look at social items a month after they have happened. With this logic, you have the ability to now to plan ahead for 1-month. If you have reviewed a 3-month window, you should be able to plan your next 3-months.

If you have very different content thats fine. If you don’t have time, maybe creating a generic format for a reoccurring segment would be a good time saver. At the very least, understanding time commitments means you know how much time you need to spend on a new potential idea. Or better still, how much time you are willing to spend.

In terms of annual planning, it is possible, but tricky. My suggestion would be to take a look at universal common events. This may include Ramadan or Christmas. It could also include certain days like black lives matter or pride month. It’s at this point that you identify events in the public domain that relate directly to your business vision and brand identity.

The cycle

This cycle that I have walked through does resemble the digital strategy framework that I designed. It resembles this because all of the things that we do should never just come to an end. They should inform us on how we may deliver similar projects in the future.

As always please do consider sending me a tweet leaving a comment or consider following me on my other social media platforms. Your social Enterprise journey is important to me and I would love to hear how you are doing. If you have any questions please let me know. 

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