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Is your social media game a bit jumbled? Feeling uncertain about what to post on your business page or for your marketing clients? There’s a nifty little trick called social media content pillars that might just be your ticket to organized success.

Not sure what exactly they are and how they work? In this article, we teach the ins and outs of social media pillars, and how to create them along with real-life examples. We’ll also provide you with the best practices to update and maintain your social media pillars, ensuring you always have a wealth of ideas for your social posts.

What are Social Media Content Pillars? 

In order to successfully create social media content pillars, it is important to first understand exactly what they are.

Social media content pillars are a core number of themes, values, or topics that inform the creation of all of your content. They are essential for keeping your content focused and consistent, and they help to maintain brand identity.

According to 27% of marketers, the biggest challenge they face is creating engaging content. If you are a social media manager and you are feeling lost, the content pillars should be a cornerstone you can return to, to guide your next steps.

Steps to Create Social Media Content Pillars

1. Identify Target Audience and Goals

Identifying your target audience and goals is an essential process in the creation of any business’ brand identity. The expansion into social media is only an extension of this age-old business necessity. 

You need to consider some essential questions:

  • Who is your product/service for? 
  • Where is it best to reach your audience and how? 
  • What do you want to achieve (increase engagement, grow followers, etc.)?

Firmly establishing your target audience will help you remain focused when you may be tempted to employ a scattergun strategy in an attempt to up engagement. It is more important to retain customers and build brand loyalty through relevant content than increase customer engagement and therefore customer churn for a brief period. 

And, while it can be tempting to jump on the bandwagon, stay true to your goals and your target audience will take note.

2. Brainstorm Pillar Topics

Your pillar topics should aim to keep you relevant but not flighty. Whilst hopping on the latest trend or meme can boost your engagement for a short time, it is important to choose social media content pillars that embody your mission and will remain effective despite the ebb and flow of social media ephemera. 

A social media team needs to sit down and really consider what your brand (or the client) is trying to say and also how it can best use the social media arm of your business to best express that.

When brainstorming, cast a wide net, and then, as a team, reduce your options down to clear, actionable ideas that can be translated into your social media strategy with ease. 

3. Develop Pillar Content

Once your social media content pillars have been selected, start to fine-tune your deployment strategy. Maybe you have a strategy that involves interspersing generally aesthetic content in your feed with hard data and customer reviews. To tie these together, you may choose to use a consistent format and/or color scheme to make your content instantly recognizable regardless of the particular details.

Whilst your content pillars should be distinct to avoid unnecessary overlap, it is important that you can weave a common thread from one to another in order to maintain a cohesive image of your brand and its mission.

You can also integrate our social media marketing automation tool Gain into your marketing workflow to develop your content and share it with all relevant parties for approval, quickly and cohesively. Once your content is on the right track, you don’t want to waste time chasing approvals before you can get your content out there. 

4. Plan Content Distribution and Promotion

Timing is everything and your content distribution and promotion is no exception. It is crucial to strike a careful balance between fading into the background and clogging up the social media feed of your target audience.

Promoting the right content at the right time is also crucial. If you have special content for holidays and notable events like Pride weekend, it is essential that your content is prepared, approved, posted, and promoted in the correct time frame.

At Gain, we understand how time-consuming coordinating various schedules can be, which is why we help you to centralize all your approvals instead of getting bogged down in various email threads. We also schedule your posts so that your special occasion content always goes out at the ideal time.

Examples of Successful Social Media Content Pillars

Promoting your business on social media is immeasurably important nowadays. According to Instagram, 90% of users on their platform follow a business. Social media pillars have worked wonders for all sorts of organizations, like the ones listed below.


Buzzfeed is a stalwart of the social media age, continuing to thrive for almost two decades from its founding in 2006. One of the keys to Buzzfeed’s success is that the content is just so shareable. Trends come and go but a listicle containing the latest pop culture buzzwords is always in style.

Buzzfeed’s social media content pillars have remained relatively unchanged over the years. If you take a look at their Instagram account you can see that their content pillars continue to be the aforementioned listicles, viral pop culture news, fun quizzes, and life-hack-type product placement

Buzzfeed is a great example of a company that found a winning formula and stuck with it, translating it to new social media platforms as they appeared.


Lululemon is one of the top brand names in chic sportswear with a net worth of more than $46 billion. Whilst they started exclusively making yoga wear for women, Lululemon has now expanded into a wide range of products for a variety of different people and needs. 

Their content is practical, personal, and aspirational and comes in a variety of forms, though the products are always front and center. Their social media content pillars are influencer testimonials, inspirational photo/text posts, and live event publicity. Everything is professional but not too polished in a way that makes their brand lifestyle seem attainable. 

Best Practices for Updating and Maintaining Social Media Content Pillars

1. Regularly Monitor and Analyze Performance Metrics

Keeping on top of what is working and what is not is an essential part of a dynamic social media marketing workflow. By monitoring your performance regularly, you can pivot where necessary and learn to get ahead of the curve. 

Besides, listening to the data helps you become a proactive, instead of reactive, business. If a post is not hitting your engagement targets, recalibrate and try again.

Related Read: 7 Most Important Social Media KPIs to Track

2. Stay Updated with Industry Trends and Adjust Pillar Topics Accordingly

It is immeasurably important to keep up to date with industry trends if you want to provide quality content for your client base. In order to do so, consider your own social media content pillars against industry leaders, or businesses you admire. This way, you will be in the know about any shifting sands in your industry and be able to modify your approach to stay relevant.

3. Repurpose and Recycle Pillar Content for Increased Reach

Repurposing and recycling content involves using key components from well-received media in a different form or on a different platform. 

For example, you can take some highlights from a blog post and create an Instagram grid carousel with your selected quotes. This gives the Instagram user access to the most important information in short form and maybe also drives them to the original blog post for the expanded version of the same content.

Final Thoughts

Your social media content pillars are the stones on which you will build the social media presence of your business. You need to have clear goals about who you are and what you want your content to say so you can translate that across to your target audience. 

In order to keep your branding cohesive, we recommend centralizing all your post-scheduling and approvals in one convenient place. At Gain, we aim to make your life easier, so you have more time to show the world who you really are.

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FAQs About Social Media Content Pillars

How many social media content pillars should you have?

There’s no fixed number of social media pillars that you should have. However, you should aim for at least three to five pillars. When choosing content pillars, you should always consider your audience interests, your brand identity, content diversity, and consistency and cohesion.

What are the basic social media content pillars?

The most basic social media content pillars should revolve around a mix of content types, such as educational, entertaining, inspirational, promotional, and interactive content. The variety helps to maintain engagement and caters to different social media content consumption preferences.

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