Social media planning is easy with a calendar

It is common to have days when you draw a blank with your creativity. The well has run dry. The ideas bank is empty.

In such times, having a plan ready and waiting could be a great help.

Social media doesn’t stop for anyone. So, if it is one of your regular go-to marketing channels, it’s important to plan your communications so you never go silent… even when you feel like you’ve run out of things to say.

One of the most effective ways to plan out your social media content is to create a content calendar. This will prompt what content should be posted and when.

And, if you’re still stuck and don’t know where to start with your calendar, here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you come up with some ideas.

What does your audience want to know?

The most important factor in deciding what content to post is relevance to your audience.

How are you going to grow your following or attract new customers if you aren’t engaging them?

Go back to basics and refer to audience personas to give you an idea of who you are talking to. What are their interests? Who else are they interested in? What new ideas can you bring to the table?

There is no harm in asking your audience what content they would like to see from you either. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram offer users the chance to post a poll so that your audience can vote for the content ideas they like the best.

Remember to put the audience at the forefront of your mind when you are compiling your social media calendar.

What is working for the competition?

Carrying out competitor research can be helpful to give you a little inspiration.

If there are certain topics that you can see are engaging their like-minded audience, you could try searching for news articles around that topic and sharing them to see whether your audience also connects with it.

You don’t want to be known as a copy-cat though, so make sure that your content is unique.

What has worked before?

If you are seeing results from a particular type of post or topic, then why not roll with it?

There is no harm in making something ‘your thing’ for a while if it seems to be working for you.

Of course, you don’t want to bombard your audience with the same boring content each time you post, so be mindful of leaving a few posts in between before sharing similar content.

This goes for all of the content you will be posting – don’t overshare.

What is trending?

Keeping up-to-date with current affairs shows your audience that you are relevant and know what you are talking about.

Aim to mention hot topics at least once a week depending on what your posting schedule tends to be.

If you are short on time, you could always share an article or post from an industry publication to your social media accounts.

We would always recommend taking the time to comment on the news item. What is your stance/opinion on the issue? What do you have to add to the conversation? Social Media is about interaction and this more conversational style opens up discussions between you and your audience.

It isn’t called social media for nothing!

What content do you already have?

Don’t let the content you already have go to waste. Any blogs, downloads or landing pages that could be valuable to your audience can be promoted.

Content marketing and social media are all about engaging prospects, but you need an ultimate goal, which tends to be an increase in your website traffic.

Think less ‘sales’ when sharing your own content and more ‘helping hand’.

You are trying to build a relationship with your audience that will hopefully develop into a loyal customer down the line, so show them that you are willing to share information and advice.

And, finally…

Timing is everything

You have wonderful content to share with your audience, but when is the best time to share it? This is where your calendar comes in handy.

You should have a good mix of content including your own content, sharing posts and articles from other accounts and websites, as well as trying new ideas from you audience and competitor research. With this content, you can mark the days that you are going to post – taking care not to post the same content too close together. I would leave a few dates between each type of content, such as product promotion, so that your audience stays interested.

You can also include timely content such as industry specific events, charitable activities, awareness days and company activities, such as birthdays and team building.

Take your calendar and mark out where these dates fall around your regular content so that you don’t go over the posting frequency you have set yourself. Here’s an article that could help you with how often you should be posting on social media so you know how many posts to add to your social media calendar.

The best part about having a calendar set up is that you can easily see the opportunities for building a campaign around the events and content you are planning to post.  This means you can deliver some content in the build-up and create excitement amongst your audience.

 

There are some important things to remember as you create the social media calendar for your business.

The first is that you are always thinking about whether the content you are sharing will appeal to your audience.

The second is that you don’t overshare the same content repeatedly because your audience will get bored.

I would recommend completing the same process of creating a social media calendar for every month of the year to make sure you are up-to-date with the needs of your audience. It is a great time to reflect on content that is working well for you and what is not working so well either. You can always try new ideas the following month.

Do you think you could use a team to take care of your social media for you? Give OlsenMetrix a call.