So many social channels, and so many content options. Knowing how to get your content mix right can feel daunting.
At Pal Studios, we believe in the community-building power of a varied social content calendar. We’ve been helping our clients, including the International Rescue Committee (IRC), develop this for more than half a decade now.
But what does this mean in practice? It means planning and producing a purposefully varied mixture of formats for use across your chosen social channels, enabling your organisation to get more from each post and maximise each moment of connection with your intended audience.
Where do you start?
Applying a categorisation system can help you decide which formats to include as part of your content output, as well as when and why. As certain content formats work best for specific purposes, using a system to categorise can help.
One method of doing this is to label your content strands. At Pal Studios, we use the labels Everyday, Proactive and Hero.
- In general, everyday content is regular content produced with a quick turnaround that helps build and maintain brand awareness.
- Proactive content represents an opportunity for long-term storytelling.
- Hero content often lends itself well to bigger awareness or behaviour change campaigns.
What can this look like?
As the IRC’s creative content partner, we’ve helped the charity develop varied but coherent output that incorporates creativity, curiosity and compassion as the main drivers for connection and community engagement online.
Here we’ve picked out some examples of what we think works particularly well in terms of everyday, proactive and hero content to inspire you…
Using the socially driven format of social video content can be useful for creating proactive pieces that drive real impact. In the example below we wanted to explore a fun and engaging way of highlighting the fact that refugees often aren’t given the language support they need to thrive. The film garnered over one million views across TikTok and Instagram within the first month of launch.
Animation can be a really powerful way to explore a sensitive subject matter. It allows the IRC to represent a range of voices and communicate intimate stories that might otherwise be too difficult to tell and could do the same for you. Animation can be a useful format to include as part of a Proactive content strand or as a Hero film, as the format can help you explore issues in more depth and tell rich stories.
Thinking about creating series content can be useful. For World Refugee Day 2022, we had two main campaign goals: we wanted to shift global perceptions of refugees and raise the IRC’s profile. This required a strong focus on Hero content, produced well in advance of the day.
Our conversations series shone a spotlight on lived experience, with refugees from different generations interviewing each other openly about their lives, challenges and triumphs.
The series was part of a wider campaign reached 9.3 million people globally, attained the 2nd highest media share of voice (SOV) on the day and went viral on TikTok with 1.7 million organic views. The films were also used to launch the IRC’s YouTube Shorts offering.
Being ready to make the most of last-minute opportunities can bring big rewards. We received a last-minute request from the IRC’s Comms team, indicating that Gary Lineker was available in South Shields one afternoon for a brief period of time and was keen to work with the IRC to help raise awareness about the plight of refugees.
We pulled together a campaign which centred around one main Hero film, used to educate the audience about the refugee-centric history of fish and chips in Britain. Paired with the announcement that Gary would be welcoming a refugee to live with him, the campaign went live on National Fish & Chips Day and was widely picked up across UK mainstream media.
Simple, quick and easy ideas can be just as effective as larger long-term campaign work. The IRC’s “Let’s talk about…” series is a lovely low-cost strand that harnesses the voices of some of the great people working in their organisation to talk about timely and relevant topics in a very Meta and TikTok friendly way. It’s a great example of simple but effective Everyday content.
Golden rules for success
Do your best balancing act. A good social media content mix is balanced, with a variety of content types and themes that cater to different interests and preferences. It’s not too heavily weighted towards any one type of content, ensuring that your audience remains engaged and interested.
Be consistent. The way to grow an audience and engagement is through consistency and compounding – once you’ve planned your content strategy and defined your content strands, stick with it and you’ll achieve results. Stay strong… this will most likely take time!
Personality over production. In 2023, realness and authenticity are the aim of the game. That means human-centred content is in and overproduced, excessively polished content doesn’t carry the weight it once did. This is excellent news for those with smaller budgets.
Make it creative. A good social media content mix is creative, with content that stands out from the crowd and grabs your audience’s attention.
Analyse and optimise: Analyse your social media metrics to understand what content is resonating. Use this information to optimise your content mix as you go.
Be honest with yourselves. If you don’t personally understand or enjoy using a specific channel, then find someone who lives and breathes it. It’s hard to make content for a platform you’re not immersed in. Help is out there if it doesn’t already exist within your own organisation…
These rules are by no means set in stone. By playing with different categories and labels, you can define and shape content strands that fit your objectives, but we hope these pointers help.
We explored how to plan content across channels at our Strategic Marketing Conference, which is available on demand.
If you enjoyed this you may also like:
- What is the Art of Storytelling on social media?
- Finding your voice on TikTok
- How to get your charity’s social media channels working harder for you
- How the FAVES model can help you meet your social media goals
Banner image: Steve Johnson on Unsplash