Prepare for organic social growth

Business benefits

Run a pre-launch process that sets your efforts up for success and establishes organic social media fundamental skills.

Research your target social media audience’s pain points, platform preferences, interests, and demographics.

Use social media platform analytics and audience research tools like SparkToro to learn more about your target audience. Do this for each target audience and social media platform.

Choose 1-3 social media platforms on which your brand will focus, based on your company type, resources, and where your audience already is.

While you can use more social media platforms, if you have the resources, focusing first on platforms that fit your brand’s needs best ensures you are putting your time where your brand will have the highest chance of success.

For example, if you have a B2C product that benefits from visuals, you may focus on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, where the formats available may better showcase your product.

Prepare a seed list of at least 10 warm contacts who are willing to share or engage with your social media content on your platforms of choice, when you first post it.

Look through your list of contacts or your CRM to segment for brand advocates who may be willing to participate. Reach out to them and ask if they are interested in kicking off engagement for your social media posts right after you post. If yes, add them to your approved list.

Practice using the head-body-tail storytelling framework, which includes a hook, story, and call to action, by brainstorming several short-form story ideas for social media.

Use this framework as you create organic social media posts. To practice, follow the framework guidelines:

  • Head: Hook your audience in the first 5 seconds of your video or beginning of your text.
  • Body: Tell your story in the body of the video or text.
  • Tail: Call your audience to action in the last 5 seconds of your video or text.

Answer what societal issue your brand cares about and how your brand helps others. Then analyze where these answers overlap to answer what change you want to see in the world – your Big Ideal.

For example, a fitness company that makes products for home workouts might have the social media value proposition celebrate exercise and make it accessible.

Build an organic social campaign brief template to capture the purpose, goal, audience, and platform of each organic social campaign, at a minimum.

At the start of a new social media campaign or post, answer these questions:

  • Purpose: Why does your brand and this social media post exist? Look back at your value proposition to answer this.
  • Goal: What are you trying to achieve, like generate demand or drive traffic?
  • Audience: Who are you trying to reach?
  • Platform: Where can you reach them? What platforms does your audience already use?

Create an organic content template that includes the subject, theme, format, distribution, minimum viable conversion, and the KPI you’ll use to gauge its performance.

Use these questions to complete the content template:

  • Subject: What can you meaningfully talk about in this post or campaign, like a trending topic or expertise that your brand can add value to?
  • Theme: What is the one thing this shows?
  • Format: What sort of content will you create?
  • Distribution: How can you amplify the content to your target audience?
  • Minimum viable conversion: What’s the smallest measurable engagement at each stage? This will inform your call to action.
  • KPI: What’s a good proxy to measure the MVC?

Create a list of potential hooks for your social media content that answer the question why will anyone care about this content?

Each piece of content should have a hook that people care about, such as:

  • Keep in touch
  • Nostalgia
  • Affiliation to reduce stress
  • Making others feel good
  • Tribalism
  • Self-discovery
  • Clarity
  • Social validation
  • Value signaling
  • Currency
  • Memes
  • Hope

For example, sports teams use tribalism to make people care, while many companies use animal videos to make people feel good.

Validate your social media ideas: confirm that they are simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional, tell a story, and shareable.

Use these questions to assess your social media ideas and drafts:

  • Simple: Is it instantly clear what’s being shown? Does it set clear expectations from the beginning?
  • Unexpected: Does it make me stop and look?
  • Concrete: Is it real and concrete? Is it fluffy language or easy-to-understand?
  • Credible: Do we as a brand have the authority, reasons, or credentials to talk about this?
  • Emotional: Does it speak to the human experience?
  • Story: Does it have characters? Beginning, Middle, End?
  • Shareable: Would someone look good sharing this?

Big Ideal framework isn’t self-explanatory; either move it down to the step explanation or add a summarized explanation of the framework to the step.

This whole step and explanation is confusing. Why ‘campaign or post’? What’s the benefit of mentioning campaigns here? We’re not going into the strategy of putting together a string of related pieces of content, so it seems irrelevant.

Most people will think of paid ad campaigns when they see this terminology, so it adds confusion rather than clarity. Unless there’s a really good reason to talk about campaigns, I’d take it all out of this step and the next few.

Same as with previous framework reference, if possible. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but we want to avoid setting things up so people have to expand the step explanation to understand the step itself. Alternatively - since this one looks more complex - can you link to a playbook that runs people through using it, or another resource?

It seems weird to have this step right at the end, when so much content planning needs to be platform-dependent.

Reordered and reworked quite a bit of this to make it make sense standalone. Added the elements of each framework referenced.

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