How does your social media planning look? Are you on fire one week with lots of engaging ideas? You’re going up, up, up…
Then the following week you swiftly plunge down. No time to do social media, no time for anything but dealing with clients and IT issues and the leaking shower and the kids’ lunches. You can’t even remember if you showered this morning. You’re going down, down, down…
The next week you’re on fire…
I feel nauseous even thinking about it. It was this roller coaster ride that got me looking for a different way of planning my social media, because I could feel myself getting sick of having to be online. All. The. Time.
I wanted to have fun again and be creative.
This is where my social media editorial calendar comes in (you can get your copy here). It’s not just a calendar that magically has you being consistent with your social media; it’s the system that I use to generate ideas for that calendar.
Now I know exactly what to post every day AND have at least a month’s worth of content scheduled in advance. Let me show you to easily plan your social media:
STEP ONE – WHY ARE YOU ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
Why are you on social media?
Now that might sound like an obvious question yet it’s worth getting clear on what your goals of being there are.
What action do you want your readers to take? Do you want them to join a mailing list, become a customer, like your page, engage with your posts or come over to your website?
You might say “All of the above!” Here’s the thing. The way you talk to people for each of those options is a little different, so are the actions you ask them to take. If you feel like you want all of the above then rank them in order of priority for the next month to give yourself a starting point.
STEP TWO – WHAT TO POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Now we get into the brainstorming part. I love doing this part with clients!
Let’s start with specific events for the next month.
Are there any major dates this month? Are you releasing a new freebie? Launching a new product or service? Are there any special days that are relevant to your business e.g. Love Your Pet Day, International Women’s Day?
Some of these dates might occur only once, some might be recurring.
Next up let’s look at the themes that you want to cover. The reason that I choose to have themes for different days of the week is that it breaks down what feels like a huge job into 7 very manageable pieces.
What could your themes for each day of the week be? Think about how those themes relate to the goal that you decided on under the Why section.
These are my current themes:
Monday – Inspiration & Freebie
Tuesday – New Blog Post
Wednesday – Share A Business Tool I Use & Paid Offer
Thursday – Reshare A Previous Blog Post
Friday – Something Fun & Freebie
Saturday – Personal
Sunday – Personal
I say current themes as I do change them around if I see one theme is doing better (or worse) than the others. Once I had formed the habit of posting every day I added in a second topic for some days. I recommend not doing this at the start as it might feel like too much. We’re not aiming for perfect from the start. We’re aiming to get started and form a solid habit.
Once you have your seven themes you can start brainstorming topics for each theme. Now the brilliant thing about breaking down your social media in this way is that you only need four topics for each theme to have a month’s worth of content for that theme. Now THAT feels much more achievable!
If you’re still feeling stumped about topics to use to easily plan your social media then grab my social media editorial calendar as I’ve included a list of 30 topic ideas to get you started.
STEP THREE – WHEN DO YOU POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
A question that I asked when I first started on social media is “what time of day is the best time to post?” Have you asked yourself that question too?
The rather annoying answer to that question is . . . it depends. It depends on your audience and when they’re on social media. Now what do you do if you don’t yet know the answer to that question?
We’re lucky that we can get statistics from the social media platforms we’re on which tell us when our people are on line. But we need to be regularly posting to get some decent statistics.
To choose your first experimental time have a think about when your readers might be online. If your target market is busy mums they’re probably going to be online early in the morning, before the kids are up, and later at night, once the kids are in bed. Try posting at those times of the day and see when you get the most engagement.
Use that knowledge to alter your posting times for the next month.
STEP FOUR – HOW DO YOU CREATE
Batch it baby! Once you know what your themes are you’ll be able to write a months’ worth of posts for each theme. It may sound like a lot yet you’re only writing four posts at a time so it’s less time and energy than you might think. I love batching as it saves me so much time and I only need to write up posts once a month. I schedule monthly writing dates with myself for each theme (except Personal as those are my on the spot posts).
Now that you’ve written up all of your posts you can do the scheduling all in one go! Put on a podcast, grab a coffee (or a glass of wine) and get copying and pasting. You can either schedule directly into the social media platform (Facebook likes you doing this) or into an app like Later (for Instagram), Hootsuite, Social Bee or Recur Post. This is also a task that can be easily delegated to a VA.
If it feels like too much to do a month then start smaller. Start with 10 days then two weeks then three weeks until you get into the swing of things.
BUT!!! I just want to be spontaneous and post on the day. I hate structure!
I get it. That is exactly what I did when I first started out in social media. What I quickly found was that it was very hard to be consistent, especially on those days when I felt that I didn’t have anything to share. Over the years I’ve found that structuring my social media has freed up my creativity and I enjoy writing the posts so much more. I still do spontaneous posts but now I do them knowing that all of the offers, freebies etc. that I need to share are all taken care of. It lifts the weight off my shoulders and helps me have more fun with my social media.
Ready to stop the roller coaster, and easily plan your social media? Come and collect your free Social Media Editorial Calendar template. This freebie includes:
> Social media editorial calendar template (created in excel so you can fill it in)
> Written instructions on how to use the template
> A video walking you through the template
> 30 topic ideas for your social media posts
Do you have any questions about how this system works? Post them in the comments below and I’ll come back and answer them for you.