6 Layers of Social Media Content Strategy

Content creators are often inspired by their surroundings when developing ideas for their social media profiles, but their content strategy is the guiding principle that makes it all work.

Maybe that means I’m hungry, because why else would I come up with a hamburger analogy for developing a content strategy.

One way to look at a company’s social media content strategy is to ask the questions of who, what, where, when and why, but I’m sticking to the hamburgers. I must still be hungry.


The meat of your strategy, and don’t worry, this will be the only bad pun in this post, is the high level topic of your content. Whether you are sharing content on a blog, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, you need to know what you are writing about. Effective social media content is educational or entertaining. People don’t really want to hear about your products. Your website already does that.

Prospects and customers want to find solutions to their problems. They want to know how to do things better or more efficiently. Airlines don’t blog about their ticket prices. They share travel tips or information about popular destinations.


Cheese makes a burger tastier and keywords make social media content more relevant. Do you know what keywords are important your followers? Many marketers focus on keywords for search, as in what keywords are prospects searching for, but in the endless stream of social content, it is imperative to know which keywords are drawing their attention on the social web.


Condiments are a matter of personal preference and my preference is ketchup. A key element of your content strategy is your target audience and their personal preferences. Many companies create personas to define who their target customers are, so they can create relevant content. Talking to a CTO is different than talking to a CMO. They have different concerns.


How do you slice the pickles that you put on your burger? They can be sliced in circles, sliced the long way, or even with a crinkle cut device to make pickle chips. These are the different kinds of content you can publish, like written blog posts, photos or videos. There are lots of ways to tell stories and share best practices with your target audience. Knowing what kinds of content resonates and drives the most traffic back to your blog lets you create the right mix.


A big lettuce leaf adds crunch and texture to a burger. The voice and tone of a company’s content adds texture to the words, photos and videos you post to make them more interesting and entertaining. Humorous videos about routers are more likely to connect with viewers than factual, straightforward product videos.


And it is all held together by the bun. This represents where you post your content. For many businesses a blog serves as the hub of all their social content. All content posted on their social media profiles points back to the blog. The bun keeps everything organized, together and properly branded.

What are the most important elements of your content strategy? Have you thought about all 6 layers in the example above, or are you stuck in the hot dog of content strategy?

This post originally ran on the Radian6 blog.

Update: The infographic below was created based on the above post by Mark Smiciklas on Social Media Explorer


Jeffrey L Cohen

Jeffrey L Cohen