Social media content creation, the existential files: Who, what, when, where, how and why?

by Annabelle Olivier

“At the center of the universe is the consumer,” or so says Panos Mourdoukoutas, Forbes contributor and Chair of Economics at LIU in New York.  In an article published in Forbes, Mourdoukoutas goes on to say that a sound business mission must begin and end with consumers.

When planning social media content, it only makes sense to apply the same rules and therefore ask yourself who you are writing for. The answer to that question will determine the what, when, where, and how, of all your social media-driven content. For example, if your target audience is middle class, stay-at-home-moms then you may want to post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, as opposed to LinkedIn.

In the above example we’ve determined where to post based on the target audience, but when to post is just as important. If I want to engage the stay-at-home-mom on Pinterest, apparently the best time to do so is on Saturday mornings when she’s looking for a scrumptious recipe or daydreaming about her next Ikea hack.

Pinterest infographic
Best and worst times for sharing on Pinterest. Infographic via

Your audience will affect the voice and the tone of your message. How you choose to communicate those ideas will also be determined in large part by your clientele. Will you write a weekly newsletter, will you blog or should you vlog instead?

When thinking of who you are writing for, remember that you are creating content not only for the almighty consumer, but also on behalf of your company, brand, or even yourself. Self-awareness matters. What do you want your customers to feel when they interact with your brand? What is your message?

What you write should be based on your business goals and that comes back to knowing your audience. In all these existential meanderings, we’ve determined that who is at the centre of the universe but we haven’t yet pondered why.

Why are you writing this content?  Are you trying to educate your audience, get feedback, inspire, or just derive more business? Why you are writing a particular message will influence how you write it and should also dictate the tone.

Why you are writing will also have you looking at different parameters to measure your success. If you’re searching to inspire, you might look at how many shares your message has received. If you’re looking for feedback, then the quantity and quality of comments would be a good indicator of how engaging your message was. If you’re looking for more business, the amount of click-throughs generated by your content might give you some insight, although knowing the percentage of click-throughs that lead to actual sales may be a more useful metric in determining success.

Now that you’ve pondered the  six W’s, and lingered on the who and the why of social media content creation, you should be on your way to writing some awesome copy.

5 thoughts on “Social media content creation, the existential files: Who, what, when, where, how and why?

  1. Great post…especially interested in the aspect where you discussed tone of the content, and how you want to come across to your readers…what if there are many contributors to your blog? How would you be able to assure consistency with the way the posts were written? Thinking about even bigger multinationals who may have contributors from far and wide, does every post have to follow (at least the impression) of the same tone or can it be different for each contributor?


  2. Leslie Goldstein

    Enjoyed your post and found it informative. Your discussion about the reasons why we would write content has made me rethink the importance of considering the question “what”. I also like the inclusion of the infographic to illustrate your point about the timeliness of posting content.


  3. The structure of your post really helps communicate your point. You set us up, back up your initial points with independent resources (FastCompany graphic) and continue to walk us through your explanation. Your reassuring tone also makes us feel as if you’re helping us, not telling us, as we approach our project. You brought a lot of information together in a very clean post.


  4. Pingback: Reinventing yourself in the digital age | Content Creation

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