Whilst great content, beautiful images and bags of enthusiasm are certainly important ingredients for social media, you also need a clear posting strategy. It’s essential that you set time aside to plan out content. Whether you do this daily, weekly, monthly is up to you and your team. You should consider the following:
What types of content will you be posting?
For all content, ask yourself: Is it new? Is it interesting? Is it entertaining? Is it informative? Is it relevant to your audience? How do you know this? Brainstorm the content types you intend to use and write them down. It might look something like this…
Text, Images, Video, Sharing others’ articles, Retweeting news, Votes, Comments, Questions,
· Set a Schedule
Deciding how often to post is a key question. Regular content needs to be realistic for you to maintain. What time of day should you post? Of course, no particular time will suit every one of your followers, and your posting times will be unique to your business. You should track the times of day your followers are online (this may vary if your followers have a wide geographic spread). Use Twitter analytics to find out.
Other factors to take into account include your industry norms, how quickly you can create content, your audience’s appetite for information and which social network site you are using.
Posting on the various networks
B2B social media may gain nothing from more than 1 Facebook post per day (or per week if Facebook is not right for your Business) where as B2C could easily be posting 2-3 times per day on Facebook with offers, products, discounts and behind the scenes news.
With Twitter, which is great for sharing information in fast format, 5-10 Twitter posts a day are ideal. Literally the more you post, the more followers you will attract.
Sharing 1 LinkedIn update and one Instagram post a day is the aim for most businesses. You can get away with more on Instagram depending on your business but be wary of over posting on LinkedIn so as not to put off the people in your network who have a high chance of making or breaking your credibility. LinkedIn is not the network to experiment with – it’s the network where you need to get it 100% right and showcase your knowledge.
The time of day to post is best determined by when your followers are most likely to be active online – usually before/after work, lunch breaks, coffee time and any time at the weekend. You can experiment to find out what works best! If your business targets females between the ages of 25-45 forget posting during the school run because your audience is busy. Alternatively, if you’re targeting teachers then the end of the school day, 3.30 or 4pm is a good time to post. It won’t take too much experimenting to decide the best times of day for your business.
How will you promote your content? Updating your social media and simply hoping it will attract engagement is unlikely unless you are a major brand in which case you’re not even reading this post. Re-using the same content but dressing it up differently with different images and headlines is a decent strategy. Many opt for targeted, paid promotion, however, there are free services that help hone down your ideal target market without having to go the paid route.
Social Media Calendar
Have you written down or kept your bulk csv files of what you posted and when? Good. I suggest using it to create a calendar of when you’ll be re-posting it.
If you go to the trouble of writing a blog, then for heaven’s sake please re-use your material as many times as you see fit. Many clients in their early days of social media mistakenly think that people see ALL their content. They don’t. I’m sorry to tell you that most of it falls completely by the wayside.
Keeping a social media calendar will allow you to plan your social media content for weeks - or even months - in advance. Thinking ahead will reduce random posts, bursts of energy followed by low periods, and also allow you to build themes into your updates for example seasonal offers. I’m a big fan of Google calendar (you can add different calendars – colour coded if you like!) to help you schedule future content. From there you can set your content in whichever scheduling software you use (I use Hootsuite Pro and I’m very happy with it but then again I’ve seen Buffer heavily recommended).
Keeping a content calendar for your essential social media requirements and using a scheduling service ensures that you will never run out of material. This acts like your back up plan which leaves you free to concentrate in real-time on retweeting, commenting on the latest news and responding to others’ replies and mentions.
Good luck with it!
Find out more: if you’d like to talk to me about how to set up a social media content calendar do give me a call or drop me an email to discuss your project.