Do you need a social media strategy or a content strategy?

Sharon Tanton

Social media strategy or content strategy? Some people will argue that they’re one and the same thing, but we see them differently. Here’s why, and where to get started.

What is valuable contentSocial media strategy or content strategy? Both? Neither? I don’t know! Is this a trick question?

Some people will argue that they’re one and the same thing, but we see them differently.

It’s social media that usually throws up the issue. ‘We don’t know what to say on Twitter’ often highlights the need for a strategy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a pure social media issue. It’s easiest to see the difference if you look more closely at the challenge you’re facing.

If you need a social media strategy you’ll be asking yourself a different set of questions from the ones that will be on your mind if it’s a content strategy issue.

Social media strategy

So for example – ‘We don’t know the best way to make sure our blogs get seen by the right people on social media,’ and ‘When and where should we posting our videos for the biggest impact’ and ‘Which platforms are our target customers using?’ and ‘We’re creating all this amazing content but our consultants aren’t even on LinkedIn – how can we get them to join in?’ are all social media strategy questions.

They assume that you know your customers well, and have a stream of content to share with them. You need to understand how to best use social media to build relationships, and you have a bank of valuable content at your disposal that you can use to engage and build trust.

Content strategy

If you’re faced with – ‘we don’t know what to say on Twitter,’ ‘what makes a good Facebook update?’ ‘I have literally nothing to say’ ‘who even reads this stuff?’ ‘What’s the point of social media?’ ‘I don’t know what I can possibly write that would interest anybody’ ‘is anyone out there?’ ‘Are our customers even on social media?’ ‘I don’t know what to say or how to say it’ – then you need to look at your content strategy first. Understand your business goals, your customers and their challenges, develop some fantastic content that will help them, and then look at how you share it on social media.

Think content first

Worrying about social media strategy before content strategy is like fretting about the details of your dinner party recipe plans but forgetting to buy any of the ingredients.

If you want to use social media to spread the word about what you do, develop relationships, and build your business then you need something to share. Something that will engage people, lead them back to your website, sign up for your newsletter, come along to your workshops, tell their friends about you, take action on your behalf.

You need some content first.

Content to help you with your strategy

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