Do you use a social media calendar?
Have you used other calendars?
How many times do you get up in the morning, stare at your phone or computer screen, and wonder aloud, “What the heck am I going to write about and post today on social media?”
Too many times to mention, I bet. It’s only natural that blog writing and other social media posting falls through the cracks sometimes. LIFE HAPPENS! You know it’s important to your company’s brand, but it’s not always easy coming up with topics to write about.
We have a 9 a.m. meeting? Yikes! Hold on — let me just click around the internet like a maniac to find something for the morning tweet.
Scrambling for social content is not a new phenomenon. We have meetings. We run late. Things come up. And it’s really hard to get any meaningful amount of work done when you have the next social media update looming over your head every 30, 60, or 90 minutes. It all moves so fast that you might periodically feel a case of the vapors coming on, which is why pre-scheduled social media content should be your new best friend.
You’ve heard of social media calendars before, but do you know what they are and how to use one?
Chances are you don’t. And that’s okay… I didn’t either when I entered the realm of social media marketing. But once I learned about it and how to use it, it change how I marketed my businesses on the social web.
Creating and publishing great content can be a lot of work, so you need to get organized and figure out a schedule that works for your business. When you’ve got a content calendar you can commit to, social media marketing becomes a lot less daunting.
A SOCIAL MEDIA CALENDAR SHOULD:
- Help develop your editorial strategy
- Cut down on time wasted
- Help you to be more focused
- Help you to be more strategic
- Help you to stay organized
- Help you to stay more consistent
- Help you determine when and how much to post
- Help you determine what social media platforms to use
CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT CALENDAR
- Include Social Media Icons
- Easy to read
- Has good content
- Should reflect who is responsible for what content
- Should reflect who is responsible for what social media platforms are used
- Broken down by Month, Week, and Day
- Topics that are relevant and engaging
NOT DOING YOUR RESEARCH
You have a brilliant post planned on Facebook or wherever, but when you or your team sits down to create it, you realize that it requires a lot more knowledge on the subject than what you have at your disposal.
The deadline is looming…
The bosses are angry…
And you struggle to produce what you know is a mediocre piece of content…
All of this can be prevented by doing background research before setting the due date, but you can’t do that unless you have all your content planned out ahead.
How a social media content calendar can fix this:
If you have the publish date set and the writer assigned in advance, this allows the copywriter to evaluate their expertise on the subject matter. If there is more research to be done, or another writer is better suited to support on the task, a content calendar allows your brand to do this without disrupting the deadlines.
IDENTIFY CONTENT THEMES
Now you’re ready to start brainstorming content themes. Take into consideration what your audience wants to see, how you can educate or entertain them, and what products and services you want to promote.
Also identify what your business’s internal priorities are. If you’re a fashion line, your primary priority is to sell clothing. If you’re a musician, your primary goal is to sell albums or book shows. Start thinking about how you can incorporate your business priorities into your content.
Once you’ve compiled a list of themes, assign two themes to each day of the week on your content calendar.
I recommend a 60/40 or 80/20 split between educating and entertaining, and promoting your business, products, and services.
You don’t want to promote your offerings all of the time or people will lose interest and stop visiting your page.
POSTING CONTENT THAT PERFORMS POORLY
You have a team of talented writers, or maybe it’s you or just another person in your organization. You have what you think is a great social media promotion strategy, and a lot of interesting topics to cover.
Despite all of these resources, your content marketing efforts are not meeting your own expectations, and the executive team at your organization is starting to question whether an investment into a content marketing strategy is worth it.
Many publishers new to the field of content marketing make the mistake of funneling all the resources in the direction they think is best, without listening to the needs and interests of their audience. If you don’t have a target audience in mind, then you risk inconsistent performance for your content, and a questionable ROI for the entire strategy.
How a social media content calendar can fix this:
The best way to see what kind of content to plan for the future is to perform routine checks on what kind of content is well-liked by your audience, and make regular adjustments based on these insights.
- Set up regular check-up times to record the important metrics on your content.
- Platforms such as Google Analytics help you track the vital numbers for your content’s performance. Some important numbers to take note of are unique page views, number of clicks, and referral source.
This data will help you figure out which ones of your posts get the most readers, which ones are good for generating leads, and what social channel is referring the majority of your readers. Use this information to adjust your publishing schedule, as well as the type of content you post and the social media platform you use to promote this content.
WHY YOU NEED ONE
- It helps to keep track of what’s working and what’s not working.
- It keeps you on track for posting consistently
- It keeps you focused on your content topics and engagement
- It makes you more productive in a highly competitive world
A social media calendar can help you consistently promote high quality content, cut down on the amount of time you waste, and organize and curate content.
Try to stay a few weeks ahead in your content creation because it’s easy to fall behind when you’re posting something new every day.
As your audience grows more familiar with your content and your business, they’ll start expecting to see posts at certain times. Keep to your schedule and post your content at the same time each day. You can use tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to do this, and as an added bonus, they’ll post on multiple platforms for you.
If you aren’t using one, you should reconsider.
Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion+ in sales annually.
Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.
Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, increase revenues, and raise more funds.
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