One of the biggest stressors for small business leaders is social media. It’s one of those things that you feel pressured to keep up with and it can end up feeling completely relentless. No sooner have you shared a great post than it’s time to share the next one. There’s no real way to get around the time you have to invest in social media, but our top strategy for staying consistent is to embrace social media scheduling. In this post, we’re going to explain three phases you need to go through to get on top of your social media scheduling and get 1 month ahead with your social media.
Phase 1: Planning the content
The first step is to plan your content. We can’t emphasise this enough – you have to plan your content to stand any chance of implementing it consistently across your social media channels. And the more channels you have, the more important it is to embrace social media scheduling.
Here are the key steps to planning your social media content. Please don’t be tempted to skip this (even if it seems a bit tedious) as it’ll cause you problems further down the line!
Step 1: Create a list of FAQs – aim for 100 FAQs that you get asked from your prospective clients and existing clients. You can also use social listening tools like ‘Answer The Public’ and Google search suggestions to get ideas for what your ideal clients are asking.
Step 2: Choose your content pillars. In normal terms, this means themes that your content will align with. We usually recommend a maximum of 5 content pillars to keep your content focused and ensure it doesn’t confuse your audience. For example, you could have:
- Client testimonials/case studies
- Our culture and values
- Educational (e.g. tips, advice)
- Our services/products
- Meet the team
Step 3: Create a content calendar – this is your plan. Include your posting schedule – how many times a week are you planning to post and when? Remember to consider your capacity (time and budget) when you’re doing this. You may want to post 3 times a day but is that realistic? We find that 3 times a week is often enough for most small businesses.
Step 4: Identify any social media holidays and factor that in to your content calendar.
Step 5: Identify any priorities for your social media that you need to share next month. Do you have any company updates that you want to share with your audience alongside your other content?
Step 6: Conduct hashtag research to find out which hashtags to use. Make sure you specifically research hashtags on each social media channel you use as they are different on each platform!
Once you’ve gone through these steps, you’ll have a fully-fledged social media plan and you’re ready to move to the next phase: creating the content ready for social media scheduling.
Phase 2: Creating the content
This is the most time-consuming part of the process. Although, by now you should have your social media plan so this part will be way easier than if you keep trying to create content on the fly in real-time.
Step 1: Write your copy for each post. Don’t forget additional features to bring your copy to life such as emojis! Try to write in more of a conversational tone as this tends to work better for social media. After all, it is called ‘social’ media for a reason; you’re not writing a board report.
Step 2: Create your graphics. Posts on all channels tend to receive better engagement when they include visuals. Yes, even on LinkedIn – it helps your post take up more space in the feed and get more attention. If you’re starting out, start with basic photos and graphics (we recommend using Canva for this – click here to sign up for an account). If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you can start creating short videos and share these to create an even stronger connection with your target audience.
Step 3 (optional): Get your content signed off. This is only relevant if you have other stakeholders who need to sign it off. Otherwise you can skip straight to the final phase: scheduling the content.
Phase 3: Scheduling the content
Finally, this is the part where you actually do the social media scheduling. All the hard work you’ve done in the previous 2 phases is really going to pay off soon, we promise! Follow the steps below to make sure your amazing content goes out on time, every time.
Step 1: Choose a time of the month that you’re going to do your social media scheduling – we usually do this in the 2nd week of the month to give time for stakeholders to review content
Step 2: Commit to doing it at the allocated time. This is as important as your client work and you must commit to it. If you don’t then the time will pass and you’ll be behind again.
Step 3: Choose your social media scheduling tool. There are lots of tools available so it depends on your preference, budget and the social media platforms you use. Check out this post for an overview.
Step 4: Add all copy and graphics. You can usually copy and paste copy into the tool. You may need to reduce file sizes if they’re too big or reformat the images depending on the specifications of your social media scheduling tool.
Step 5: Include relevant hashtags (check back with your social media research). These are likely to change slightly with each post, depending on what it’s about.
Step 6: Include mentions of other accounts if relevant. Double-check the handles on each account so you don’t accidentally tag the wrong account!
Step 7: Schedule the posts for the days and times in your content calendar. Hooray, you’ve finally scheduled your posts! Aim to get all posts for the next month scheduled in the month before and breathe a huge sigh of relief… until next month when you have to go through this whole process again!
We’re Freshbat – a strategic communications agency providing integrated marketing services to business leaders who embrace change and value marketing in a proactive and trustworthy environment.
Our goal is to give you more headspace, help you to make stuff happen and build better relationships by taking a fresh approach to marketing. We know you’re the kind of person who wants to be considered an inspiring and empowering leader for your business.
In order to be that way, you need to be in control of your marketing. The problem is you feel your marketing isn’t good enough, which in turn makes you feel confused and frustrated that you don’t have the resources, creativity or expertise to solve the issue.
We believe it’s just plain wrong that business leaders are tasked with keeping up with the rapidly changing marketing landscape on their own. That’s why we provide integrated marketing solutions through our worry-free marketing process.
Here’s how it works: we have an initial call to find out the things holding you back, we then create a bespoke strategy to reach your ideal clients and finally we implement your marketing plan for you so you can worry less and achieve more. We create tailored and integrated marketing solutions that bring order, strategy and results while having fun in the process (yes, it’s possible!).
Our core services include: 📈 Content marketing strategy 📱 Social media management 📧 Email marketing 👩💻 Blogging and web content
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