Going for the (Content) Gold: The Skills Needed for a Winning Content Strategy

By Amanda DiAntonioIt’s no secret that tonight all eyes will be on London as we usher in the 2012 Olympic Games. For the next two weeks we will watch athletes push themselves to the limit in order to win that coveted gold medal. Each event requires different skill sets from its athletes. I believe these skills can be utilized in your social media content strategy. Here are 5 Olympic events that relate to what you share on social every day:

1. Gymnastics – Balance

As we watch various gymnasts compete in this ever popular Olympic event, one of the constant skills required for success in each routine is balance. This is also an important requirement for your content. Constantly sharing articles or asking questions becomes monotonous and will eventually cause your audience to get bored. The key here is to find a balance. Publish a mix of content including: call to actions, articles, quotes, pictures and anything else that works for your brand, but never stick to just one type.

2. Swimming – Consistency

For a swimmer, the difference between winning and losing a race can come down to the 10-thousandth of a second (see Michael Phelps’ 100m butterfly finish in Beijing). Swimmers understand the importance of consistency in training because one wrong stroke could ruin a chance at achieving victory. Social media managers should also understand the importance of content consistency to achieve victory. Sharing a great piece of content every two weeks will never keep your audience engaged. It is your job to determine when your audience is most responsive and once you do that, provide them with valuable content every day.  While some may see this as a no-brainer, you can probably fill the Olympic stadium to capacity with brands who don’t apply this important rule to their content strategy.

3. Cycling – Endurance

Olympic cycling is not an event that is decided quickly. Cyclists train for long distances where they must constantly give their all – there is no time to rest. The same rules apply to your social media content and in many ways this is an extension of the aforementioned consistency. If you are providing excellent content, you continue to provide excellent content and if your content needs improvement, then you work to improve it, but there is not time to rest. Social media is here to stay and once you establish a presence, there is no turning back so be prepared. The day you stop producing content, is the day you lose the race.

4. Basketball – Teamwork

Basketball, among other Olympic events, is above all a team sport. Each player relies on each other to win. So as you can imagine, my next piece of advice is to utilize your team. Creating endless amounts of content can become very tedious. Bringing in fresh ideas (whether you use them or not) will inspire you, as well as others. Sharing ideas and opinions can also help to build a stronger relationship amongst your team and there is certainly no harm in that.

5. Archery – Accuracy

What does it take to get that perfect bullseye? Accuracy. This concept when applied to content is extremely important. People now look to social media as a constant source for news and information. They don’t have time to follow up/fact check every piece of information they read on their feeds. So, it’s up to you to provide content from reliable sources. Of course people do make mistakes so as one likeable author says, admit to those mistakes and do your best to fix them.

These 5 elements represent aspects of a social media content strategy that are very important, but every social network and audience requires some specialization. Figure out what works best for your brand and keep these skills in mind when competing for your gold medal in social media. For more tips and best practices on how to build a solid content strategy, check out our SlideShare presentation below.

What do you think are the most important elements of a social media content strategy and why? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Want to learn more about how to build your content strategy? Let us teach you at SXSW in 2013. Vote for our workshop here!