Content strategy planning for brands on Facebook

May 24, 2011
Posted by: Matthew Hammer, VP- Marketing

One catch phrase making the rounds in social media circles is, “Content is king.” Indeed, content has the potential to engage your readers and customers — but it can also put them to sleep. Content can have your fans talking about your company or brand, or it can have them scrolling past your status update without having made any impression at all.
In a Facebook marketing context, gathering content to use in brand status updates can be daunting if you’re new to content management or community programming. But aligning with brand goals, determining audience interests, examining available resources, and planning will help to develop and inform the content mix and provide the fans of your Page with engaging content. Here are several points and questions to consider as you work to do just that:
Align with the brand. What is your brand? How has it built its reputation? Are you service- or product-oriented? Are you fun or serious? Traditional or edgy? Each bit of content should reflect the brand.
Industry experts? Focus on your specialty — what you do best. Selling soup? Focus on the kitchen or recipes; ask and talk about favorite soups. Tie in holidays, seasons, and what’s fresh in the market today.
What is your goal? Why will your fans read your status updates or articles? Do they need a break from the routine, a how-to lesson, or something of value to share with friends?
Focus on fan interests. From our soup-company scenario above, assume people are interested in learning about new products, using existing products in new and delicious ways, and talking about food and cooking in general. A myriad of topics around that very essential need — food — can be effective for this brand.
What resources do you have? Do you have people within the company who create content? Do you have a library of information that can be used to develop small bites for sharing? Do you have people who can work with the existing resources?
Organize. Align each bit of content with brand purpose. Are you looking to inform? To entertain? To solicit opinion? Prioritize and create a list of content types for your arsenal.
Decide on a presentation approach. Short, informative status updates? Links to articles, stories or tutorials? Photos? Organize the content to fall into the types of presentation methods you’ll use.
Determine your content mix. How often will you post? Which content is key to your plan? Will your fans prefer being entertained or taught? Create the mix appropriately, with the greater ratio targeted to the appropriate audience interest.
Based upon 30 pieces of content in a month, the mix might look like this:

Create the calendar. Using the graphic developed, create an editorial calendar with links to the appropriate resources. Assign the roll-out task to the appropriate person or group to actually publish the content to your brand Page.
Just when you think you’re done, stop to consider whether you hit the ball out of the park or failed:
Review. Look at Facebook Insights and other analytics tools to measure the response rate and impact of each piece of content.
Evaluate. Did some content types fall flat while others were a hit? You may find that some efforts garner more Likes and Comments than others. Use responsiveness to evaluate the content mix, and to adjust the mix when and where appropriate.
Conclusion. Developing a process of content acquisition, management, mix, and scheduling takes time and focus. The end result, once fine-tuned, will have your Page audience engaged and talking.
This post is part of an ongoing “31 Days of Facebook Marketing” series from LiveWorld, a social media agency that offers moderation, insight, and community programming Facebook services for Fortune 1000 brands. Part of our offering includes taking clients through a Social Scorecard to grade their ongoing Facebook marketing and engagement efforts.