3 Steps to Successful, Collaborative Social Content Brainstorms

May 10, 2021

It’s no secret that developing a sound social strategy requires a lot of time, brainpower, and resources to truly be successful. But what if there was a systematic, collaborative, and inclusive approach for you and your team to generate a steady stream of ideas for your upcoming social campaigns and editorial calendar?

At our Digital Summit at Home: Content & Social online conference in Feb 2021, Equifax’s Ashley Sasnett delivered a great framework to help marketers understand how to successfully conduct their own social content brainstorms; a repeatable system to collaborate actionable ideas that drive consistent results.

The full session video is above. These are the key highlights and takeaways from Ashley’s presentation:

Thing 1: Start with Three Core Pillars of Content Creation (5:30)

Sasnett hones in on three easy-to-follow steps that marketers can use as a guide during the content creation brainstorming process for each campaign: 1) Define the Audience, 2) Bait the Hook, and 3) Decide on the Takeaway:

Define the Audience (6:30)

The reality of content is that if it is produced for everyone, it results in working for no one. By keeping this top of mind and creating content geared towards engaging one persona, social algorithms will more easily be able to serve this content to the right audience.

Bait the Hook (8:10)

Similar to fishing, keeping things simple when it comes to social content and stories is a powerful method to driving results. Provide easy-to-digest content, such as factoids or positioning something new versus something old, that delivers clear value to your audience.

Decide the Takeaway (10:00)

It is critical to determine the one thing that you want your audience to get out of your content. Whether it is one thing for them to know, one thing for them to feel, or one thing for them to do, it should be crystal clear what the takeaway and/or call to action for the audience is. Measure the success of the content against KPIs and content pillars.

Thing 2: Frontload Your Efforts During Ideation (11:40)

A lot of energy is wasted during brainstorms talking in circles and trying to be creative rather than focusing on the task at hand. Sasnett outlines the following “ingredients” to bring in advance to create a good brainstorm:

  • Details (what, when, how, links, etc.)
  • Images
  • Content (list of what’s in development)
  • Measurement plan
  • BAU Ed Cal (with content pillars)
  • Time and Bandwidth
  • Budget

Ensure that you have each of these “ingredients” defined in advance of your brainstorm to keep the process focused and productive.

Thing 3: Build Process Rigor Using Touchpoints (21:45)

If you want your social brainstorms to succeed, it is very important to generate focus through rigorous process and communication. There are a number of key touchpoints that are required to make this happen before and after brainstorms, including:

  • Pre-Brainstorm Reminders
  • Brainstorm Follow-Up Items
  • Inspiration Emails
  • Performance Updates
  • Sizzle Slides for Your Measurement Readouts

TIP: Build a rigorous process for your brainstorms, leveraging each of these key touchpoints, to maintain a laser focus on the purpose and results of your brainstorming efforts.

Isn’t it time to wave goodbye to brainstorming sessions that are disorganized and often result in more questions than answers? Before your next social content brainstorm, think back to the concepts from this presentation to keep your efforts focused and on track. Your team, stakeholders, and audience will thank you.


To hear from experts like Ashley on the regular, check out an upcoming Digital Summit event — including our upcoming Digital Summit at Home: B2B virtual conference May 25-27. Three days of game-changing B2B marketing workshops, sessions, and keynotes!