Formulating a Content Strategy

Having a solid content strategy for your brand's social media networks serves several purposes.

• Attracts users into your social community.
• Keeps them engaged and extends conversations.
• Aids in increasing your brand's site ranking through search engines.

Building an effective content strategy however can be challenging. Many brands make the mistake of not thinking their strategy through or having none at all. This normally results in underwhelming an audience with content built on one-way conversations, constant sales pitches or unrelated material. The outcome is a tarnished social reputation; users will either tune out or remove themselves from the brand's community. Therefore, it's important to plan ahead and formulate a content strategy that revolves around whatever objectives you may have.

When I'm browsing the Internet or out-and-about, my mind is constantly looking for creative and engaging material worth sharing for the brands I manage. Since social media is based on spontaneity and real-time events, having a process in place becomes critical to the success of your content strategy. Here's a hint to harvesting that content. Be mindful of things that fall within these four areas:

For the sake of conversation, let's say Hawaiian Water XYZ is the brand you are managing.

1. Branded. Posts that feature your brand.
Example: Photo of Hawaiian Water XYZ packaging with caption, "we are looking for testers to try our new product, hit us up if interested!"

2. Industry. Posting material related to your brand's industry.
Example: Studies have shown that Hawaii has some of the purest water in the world.

3. Topical. This is material that affects your brand.
Example: The Hawaii government has created the Hawaii Deposit Beverage Container Program which consumers can redeem their empty water bottles for a $0.05 deposit.

4. Lifestyle. Think about what your brand represents or how it relates to a person's way of life.
Example: Sharing images and photos from the Honolulu Marathon finish line.