Do you plan your content for the fortnight / month / quarter ahead? If not, you are probably spending much more time than you need to on your social media. We all know the importance of using social media to raise our profiles and promote our products or services but if you only ever post on an ad-hoc basis the chance are that you aren’t getting your message out there as clearly and as widely as you could.
All businesses should be using social media to regularly engage with their audience, which if done correctly will lead to long lasting relationships, which will in turn lead to increased sales. Getting your social media strategy right is key to growing your business.
Here are my top tips for planning your social media content:
Set some time aside each month to plan for the next month
I take a day every month and I use this just to write blogs, plan what content I want to share and schedule posts to my social media pages. This forward planning means that if I have a particularly busy week I don’t need to be fretting that I’ll not get anything onto my social media accounts as it’s as already been done. I do of course sometimes share ad-hoc posts throughout the month but having the majority of it done at the start of the month helps me to relax that one large task is off my to-do list for the month ahead.
Buy yourself a diary, design your own calendar on MS Excel or subscribe to one of the many apps that are available to plan your content for the month ahead. You might be a pen and paper person or maybe you prefer to do everything online, but the important thing is that you do what works best for you and what you know that you will stick to. I designed my own calendar in MS Excel and I use that to plan out my month.
Make it relevant
Using my calendar, I firstly add in any relevant dates, including holidays, awareness days and days of the year – from Hug a Bear Day to Do Nothing Day, from Rollercoaster Day to Fountain Pen Day there’s a day of the year for virtually everything these days so you’re bound to find some date that will be relevant to you and your business over the coming weeks. Using this method also ensures that you don’t miss any important upcoming dates. If, for example, you own a bakery you don’t want to miss Vanilla Cupcake Day or World Baking Day!
I then think about what I’m doing in my business for the month ahead and what I want to share in relation to those activities. If, for example, you have a new product launch you might want to do a build up the week before to create some noise / excitement around your product and this will form a large part of your content for that week.
Use scheduling tools
I schedule my posts directly in Facebook as it costs nothing, is easy to use and is reliable. For my other accounts (LinkedIn and Twitter) I use Buffer, a platform that allows scheduling to a number of social media accounts. There are lots other apps available and the one you choose will depend on the social media platforms that you use. Most offer a free package as well as different paid packages depending on how many accounts you want to link and the number of posts that you want to schedule.
Posting regularly is really important in order to continue to attract new followers or page likes as when people see regular, interesting content on your page, they believe that following you will be worth their investment in time. Consistent posting also means that your followers know when to expect content and engage with you, helping to form that all important long lasting relationship.
You also need to be consistent in engaging with your audience, There’s absolutely no point in scheduling lots of posts and then just forgetting about them. You need to respond and engage in conversations with your audience, people want to do business with people they know, so forming relationships in this way should lead to an increase in sales.
Find the right content mix
No-one wants to feel as though they are being sold to all the time, so you need to find the right balance for your business. I find that the rule of thirds is a good starting place:
1/3 of content is promotion, e.g. a picture of your product and a link to your website;
1/3 comes from other sources that align with your business, e.g. sharing relevant articles; and
1/3 engages directly with your followers, e.g. asking a question, sharing a photo.
Don’t be afraid to experiment
Finally, don’t be afraid to try new things. What’s the worst that could happen? So what if no-one engages with that post, put it down as a learning point and move on!
I hope you’ve found this helpful, if you want to know more about how I can help you with your social media strategy please get in touch.
Make sure you are following me on Facebook as I’ll soon be making my 2019 Calendar available with all the relevant UK holidays, awareness days and weird and wacky days of the year pre-populated for your convenience.