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Social media is a critical pillar of any integrated communications strategy. At Franco, we leverage social media in close partnership with paid, earned and owned efforts to elevate our clients’ integrated communications programs.

When used strategically, social media can boost brand awareness, increase website traffic, generate new leads and result in strong customer acquisition. But, with ever-changing algorithms and demand for originality, it’s easy to suffer from creator’s block – we’ve all been there!

So next time you find yourself in a rut, consider these four ways to keep your social content creative and effective:

1. Go back to the mission.

Every post should serve a purpose. While some companies may not be ready to drive traffic to their website or share resources for customers, there is always something that can be said.

When in doubt, a brand’s mission and overarching communications goals should serve as a primary source of inspiration for all social content. Revisit your brand messaging and review your mission and values to influence fresh content and re-inspire your social strategy. Don’t shy away from pulling verbiage used in any owned content – this keeps messaging consistent and is an efficient way to navigate writer’s block.

2. What are your competitors doing?

After revisiting your own messaging, keep an eye on your competitors and their social media strategies in action. Dig into:

  • When and where are they posting?
  • Which content is supporting audience growth?
  • Which posts – and how frequently – are they boosting content?
  • What type of content receives the most engagement? And why?

Investing in a third-party tool for competitive monitoring and analysis can be especially helpful for platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. LinkedIn provides quality competitor analytics right from your business page for routine monitoring and benchmarking, as well.  Use this as a starting point to inspire new ideas and drive improvements in your strategy.

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3. Assess your content buckets.

Content buckets are core categories that serve as the foundation of any social media strategy. Examples of content buckets may include:

  • Employee recognition and recruitment
  • Brand education
  • Customer testimonials
  • Promotional content
  • Media coverage and industry news
  • User generated content
  • Content resources (blog posts, e-books, whitepapers)

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If you have content buckets mapped out but they feel stale, it’s time to reassess. The first step is to conduct an audit to figure out the “why.” Why isn’t this content resonating with your audience in the same way other posts are? Why isn’t this content supporting audience growth?

Consider experimenting with different visuals – images, graphics, videos – to see if that makes a difference in performance. Do your posts include a clear call to action (CTA)? Consider changing where it falls in the copy. Testing different variables and evaluating performance is the best way to ensure your social media strategy is data-driven.

If you need to create buckets from scratch, start by visiting your website. This is a good take-off point and idea starter to see how content is categorized and how priorities are weighted.

4. What’s going on in the world? Use it (or don’t).

National observances and holidays are the perfect opportunity to participate in timely conversations and pique your followers’ interest, but only if it aligns with your brand and your audience.

It’s important to use appropriate language when recognizing specific holidays. If you choose to recognize cultural holidays or days of remembrance, research how others speak about these topics and be sure to incorporate the purpose of the day in social messaging.

For example, your copy should never read “Happy Memorial Day!” Since this is a day of remembrance rather than a celebration, consider something like, “Today we express gratitude for our fallen heroes. Thank you to the brave individuals who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Sometimes it’s better to say nothing at all. As an example, if your company is choosing not to observe September 11, that’s okay – but pause on posting promotional content or other unrelated updates. Chances are, that post can wait.

It’s also important to stay on top of the news and what’s happening throughout the world and local communities. If tragic news breaks or a crisis occurs that impacts even a segment of your audience, it can come across as insensitive and inappropriate to continue publishing on social media with a business-as-usual approach.

All in all, even if you feel like you’re in a rut, we’d never recommend completely removing shared media from your strategy. More than 70% surveyed in Meltwater’s 2023 State of Social Media report stated they see organic social media playing a more important role in driving business and marketing efforts. While full of trial and error, organic social is a great way to increase brand awareness and build an authentic connection with your target audience.

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Alexis Schuchert is an Integrated Communications Specialist at Franco. Connect with her on LinkedIn.