How to Develop a Social Media Calendar

Coffee6In this blog post I will show you how to develop a social media calendar. A social media calendar is a comprehensive approach to planning your social media content for the month. A social media calendar will be specific to each person or business, depending on what social media platforms they use, how engaging their audience is, and how much time they have to invest in social media. In this post I give you my approach on how to develop a social media calendar.

The first rule of thumb is to aim for quality over quantity. Nobody wants to see a bunch of junk coming form you in his or her Facebook feed or Twitter stream coming from you. A good starting point is to aim for one Facebook and two Twitter posts per day and then two or three updates per week for LinkedIn and Google+. If you are also on Pinterest, aim to pin a couple things each week. If you find that you have one or two social media platforms  where most of your fans are, you can focus your efforts there.

I like to use a spreadsheet to plan out my content for the month. You can have an overarching theme for the month and then break it down with a weekly mini theme. Fill it out day by day at the beginning of the month so you know what content you have to research and populate.

For example, a car dealership might pick an overarching theme of Vehicle and Driver Safety for the month. The weekly topics that hinge off of that could be 1) distracted driving, 2) car care basics 3) keeping kids safe, and 4) calm driving. Content would then be developed for each week that revolves around that topic.

Here is a sample of a spread sheet that builds out the first two weeks of a monthly social media calendar. Each day’s topic is identified in the spreadsheet and there are empty spaces to fill in the updates for each social media platform, as well as guide on a target number of posts.

SocialMediaCalendar

The other part of the social media picture is remembering to take a little time each day to interact with your social media followers. This can be accomplished by setting aside as little as ten minutes a day to check in on your various social media sites, respond to people, follow people back and generally engage your audience.

Need Help? If you are diving deeper into social media and need help setting up a social media calendar and updates for your business, please contact us so we can learn more about your business and let you know how we may be able to help.

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Planning Your Facebook Status Updates

Coffee_DeskOne thing I hear regularly from business owners is that they just don’t have the time to be consistent with their Facebook presence. Regularly appearing in your Facebook followers’ news feed is a great way to keep your message and brand fresh in their minds and also provides a way to build your presence as someone who is helpful and an authority in his or her field.

I find having a plan for your updates can really help when it comes to developing content. Here are two ideas you can start using now to develop your content and get ahead of the game with your Facebook updates.

Create a Weekly Schedule

Setting up a weekly posting schedule is a great way to structure your content. A weekly posting schedule is where you follow a certain theme or idea for each day of the week, every week. For examples:

  • Monday: Link to a service or product on your webpage. Be sure to include an interesting update with the link.
  • Tuesday: Provide a tip to your followers that would help them in some way.
  • Wednesday: Share an article from a news source that would be of interest to your audience.
  • Thursday: Ask a question or run a poll to generate engagement.
  • Friday: Post a picture.

This is just one possible schedule. You can tailor it to the type of content that you want to post. The goal here is that you have a theme for each day of the week.

Focus on a Theme for the Week

Another way to approach your updates is to have a theme for a given week or longer period of time. Let’s say your business is a massage practice. You could have a week of updates that focus on the benefits of massage. Each day you could post a specific benefit of massage. Another option is to take a week or two to educate your followers on the different types of massage. Each day you could describe a different massage type and who it’s good for and accompany your message with an image.  The idea here is to pick one topic and address it systematically over a given period of time.

What do you think? Do you use either of these approaches for maintaining your Facebook presence?

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Ideas for Blog Posts

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Having regular content to blog about may seem challenging. You know it’s important to have fresh content, but sometimes the idea well runs dry.

We find that blog readers like articles that are informative. They also like articles that give a peek behind the scenes at your company. Engaging content will keep your reader coming back and also provides you content to reference in social media updates and newsletters.

Here are some blog themes, topics, and ideas that you can use as a starting point:

  • A new item or service
  • An employee spotlight
  • Emerging trends in your industry
  • Sales or specials
  • A “how-to” post relating to your product or service
  • Your company or employees’  community involvement
  • An office tour
  • Current events that link to your services/industry
  • Event recaps
  • Posts that link to seasonal or holiday topics

It is helpful to sit down once a quarter and generate your blog calendar for the next three months. You can identify twelve article topics (assuming you blog once a week) and get the writing time scheduled on your calendar. If you have ideas but don’t have the time to write, you can hire a ghostwriter.
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