So you’ve got your social media accounts set up but you haven’t posted anything for weeks because you haven’t had the time, and when you do have the time you don’t know what to say – sound familiar?
You’re not alone. Lack of time and being stuck for ideas about what to post are probably two of the most common reasons business owners find themselves stuck in a rut when it comes to social media. It can be hard and time-consuming to come up with really good engaging content on a regular basis to keep your audience interested in what you have to say. This is where a social media content calendar can really help to take the stress out of social media.
Why do you need one?
It will save you time and help you plan ahead
There’s no rocket science to get your head around, a social media calendar works no differently to any other calendar. It will help you set out what to post, when, and on what platform. A social media calendar is a great way of helping you stay on top of your social media and be focused. Stick to your calendar and you’ll never miss important dates or be too late to post time-sensitive promotions.
It will help you stay relevant and raise brand awareness
Your followers will quickly lose interest and click ‘unfollow’ if your posts are too intermittent. Remember, you want to build relationships with current and potential customers by talking on social media. Using a social media calendar will put your brand in front of your customers, will keep you relevant, and the conversations flowing.
It will help you see the bigger picture and be strategic
If you’re only posting once in a while it’s easy to lose track of what you’re doing and why. A social media calendar enables you to see the bigger picture so that you can create a social media strategy that is aligned to your business goals, ensuring your message remains consistent across the brand.
Find a template that works for you
A content calendar doesn’t have to be in a complicated format. You can use a simple spreadsheet, a Google calendar, or try a free downloadable template such as this one from HubSpot. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s user-friendly and works for you.
Work out what your audience likes
Look at your social media analytics to see which posts have been the most popular with your target audience by generating the most engagement and click-throughs. All the big social media platforms have their own analytics tools - including Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, and Instagram Insights - which enable you to do this. Once you’ve got an idea of which types of posts resonate best you can replicate these on your new content calendar.
Populate your calendar with important dates
Include holidays, seasonal activity, new product launches, events, promotions, campaigns, and anything else related to your business which is important and you want to share with customers. This enables you to stay one step ahead and ensure your customers don’t miss out.
Take advantage of curated content
It’s hard to generate your own content all of the time. Content curation tools can take some of that strain away. Pocket is a useful app which allows you to save videos, articles, and other content directly from a browser or a social media site like Twitter to access it later. Feedly is a content curation platform which you can use to subscribe to news, blogs, videos, and feeds relevant to your business. And don’t forget Twitter – Twitter lists are a good way to monitor competitors, keep up-to-date with industry trends, and engage with customers.
Schedule your posts
Once you start using a social media management tool you’ll wonder how you ever managed without one! Social media management tools let you easily manage all of your social media accounts in one place, track keywords and schedule posts in advance – saving you valuable time and helping you to integrate your social media with your marketing strategy and stay on brand. Find out when your customers are most responsive by looking at your social media and web analytics and schedule your posts for these times. Hootsuite is one of the more well-known platforms, offering paid-for plans and a free basic version. The free version lets you link three social media accounts, gives you 30 scheduled posts, and provides access to analytics.
So, now you’ve got the tools, it’s time to get started and create your own social media content calendar!
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