27 Sep Why You Should Create A Core Social Media Schedule (And How To Do It)
Not too long ago we reviewed how to create a social media content calendar – in which I shared how you can plan a year’s worth of social posts in a short amount of time. A big part of creating a robust long term content calendar that works for your business is figuring out what your core social media schedule will look like. In this post we’ll go over how to build that core social media schedule for your brand or business.
Okay, so you’ve got your content strategy down – you know why you want to publish content, how often you can publish content, who you want to reach, what networks you want to publish it to, and you’ve even set some goals and expectations. Now what? You could just start spewing it out there with no rhyme or reason, but you can extract so much more from your content if you have a social media schedule for your brand planned.
A social media schedule can help you:
Create consistency and retention: Consistency is your best friend when it comes to social media. Being consistent in your post frequency is really important in order to grow a social media audience. Now if you bring that concept into the type of content you’re creating you’re giving your audience a reason to come back every week. Let’s say your audience knows that you post a tip every week, they’ll likely keep coming back for that over and over again. While they’re there they may bump into some other content they like.
Fill in gaps: A social media schedule may help you decide what content types you may need to create variety within your feeds. Planning everything out will all of a sudden give you time to think about what’s coming up and it will be easier to fill voids.
Create consistent interaction and reach: Instead of one or two posts every once in a while that may or may not perform well, a plan can help you create an audience that consistently reacts to your posts.
What works and what doesn’t: When you have a social media schedule in place it becomes a bit easier to see when your fans lose interest, when you need a little more oomph to your posts, or if you’re doing too much.
Not pull your hair out! The best thing about a social media plan is that you know whats coming up, and can plan for it – or get it all approved, which will…
Free up more time: Time you can use to analyze what content works, which days you have more engagement and much more. This ensures your next product announcement will not only resonate with you audience, but that it will create interaction and sharing, extending it organically to more than just your followers. This also gives you more time to look for timely content to share (giving your account a nice mix of live and planned posts), or join conversations.
Develop and outline your brand story: Planning out your social media schedule can help you develop your brand story and connect content dots you may have not realized were there before.
Get the most out of your content: The most important benefit from creating a social media schedule is that you’ll be able to get more out of your content. Instead of hoping people interact with important pieces you’ll be able to plan posts in order to get the most return from your audience.
CREATING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULE
A big misconception behind having a social media schedule is that it becomes too repetitive or predictable – with a little creativity it doesn’t have to be that way! Pick themes that relate to your brand or company and leave room to experiment (we’ll break this down a little more later in this post). For example a consistent “thirsty Thursday” post doesn’t always have to be a photo of your signature drink – you can create a recipe video or .gif, feature a quote about drinks, or go more of a lifestyle route. As mentioned before, even with a plan you can incorporate the flexibility to add timely posts about current happenings in your industry (or related).
When creating a content schedule think about:
What kind of content you have access to or can create. Tailor your plan to accommodate that amount, or make sure you have the time to create posts.
Research your industry and competitors to see what kind of content your audience is reacting to.
Make sure your content is relevant and related to your brand or business. Irrelevant content = useless engagement.
Keep it simple in the beginning. Analyze what’s working and collect ideas, then implement them. Social media schedules are “living” documents, and are made to ebb and flow with changes to your objectives, needs and your audience. Someone with a bigger audience, or with access to a larger amount of quality content can go ahead and create varying schedules for each network.
Like I mentioned in my post “How to Create A Social Media Content Calendar” to make your life easier I suggest choosing content themes for your social media content schedule. This way you’ll know what to post each day, with the flexibility to use different forms of content. To make things simple I advise outlining the main objectives you wish to accomplish with social media, and then create one content theme per day that supports your objectives. For example, someone with a lifestyle blog can write about many different aspects of their life, with the objectives of building up an email list, growing their social channels and driving traffic back to their site. Content themes for them may look like:
- Monday – Blog post with link back to blog
- Tuesday – Post about local happenings
- Wednesday -Share from a related brand
- Thursday – Open
- Friday – Mailing list push
- Saturday – Lifestyle post or quote
- Sunday – Off
This basic plan will give the blogger a foundation where they can make sure they are covering all their objectives, while keeping a constant stream of social media updates being published, which helps your social media presence grow. Remember to keep posts conversational, and try the 80/20 rule. Add value to your followers in 80% of your posts, and push your links (or any other call to action) 20% of the time. You can also apply a schedule to the type of posts as opposed to content themes – for example conducting a Facebook Live Q&A every Wednesday and An Instagram Slideshow every Friday.
Remember that this social media schedule is set to grow with your brand, and will eventually change, so don’t be afraid to mix things up when needed. I suggest you post some network specific content where you can so that each profile has unique reasons why your customers should follow you there. For example, I throw some personal tid bits into my Twitter account that I won’t necessarily share on other networks.
With social media consistency is key. A content plan and social media schedule will not only give you consistency, it will simplify your process, save you time which you can allocate to other parts of your business, to developing a strategy or just time for lunch away from a screen.
As always leave any questions or comments below, or tweet with me @DhariLo.