When times are busy, and you need to be in three places at once, posting to social media usually is one of the first things to be sacrificed from the to-do list. Finding time to write a witty Twitter post or update your Instagram with photos of new products is hard, which is why it’s essential to front-load your efforts on social media with a content plan; so you know exactly what to post and when to do it.
If you’re new to the idea of a social media content plan and want to start paying more attention to your online presence, then this is the perfect blog for you!
What Does a Social Media Content Plan Need to Include?
A social media content plan is a continually evolving document that will grow as your social media campaigns develop. If your business has never tackled social media before, then starting with the basics is what we’d recommend. In 2020, all businesses should, at the very least, have a Facebook page. These pages take 20 minutes to set up and populate with the basic information and can serve as a great launching block for your new social media campaigns.
Before starting your social media voyage, you’ll have wanted to identify what kind of brand voice you’ll be using. Will it be self-deprecating like Innocent, confident like Carlsberg, or professional like HSBC? The voice will likely depend on the sector you work in, so make sure this been considered first.
Your content plan should include all of the social platforms that you plan to use, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram. Some businesses will suit certain platforms better, so consider what sort of content you’ll be posting and how best to reach your target audience.
If you already post to various social media platforms, we’d suggest logging on to Google Analytics to review which platforms provide the most web traffic. Although this isn’t the sole purpose of posting to social media, if people from that platform are engaging with your brand, it’ll likely be better to divert resource to that one, rather than one that doesn’t provide website traffic.
Times and Dates
A content plan serves the purpose of mapping out the coming week or month for you in terms of social media. We would suggest using a tool such as Excel or Google Sheets for this, as you can quite quickly create a basic calendar-style grid pattern.
If you are posting to platforms multiple times per day, you’ll want to include time slots or the ability to choose between AM and PM posting. Generally, most people will be active on social media during the evening, so perhaps saving your strongest posts for then would be best.
Content – Text, Images, Videos & Links
The majority of social posts are made of a combination of four things, text, imagery, videos and links. Planning what you’ll be posting ahead of time allows you to better map out how your campaign will develop over the coming days and weeks. If you have a new product or service being launched, one post isn’t going to be enough. Instead, you’ll want to generate hype around this announcement, so being able to create a multi-day campaign allows for a clear stream of information.
These are just the basics to get you started on your social media adventure. Next, we take a look at why you should be using a content plan, rather than just winging it.
Why Do You Need a Social Media Content Plan?
There are a number of benefits that come with incorporating a social media content plan; these include:
Posting Regularly and Consistently
If people have liked your Facebook page or followed you on Instagram, it’s because they like your brand and want to hear more from you. Whether this is because they want to know about new products, be the first to hear about a sale or just love your banter, in clicking that button they have allowed you to communicate with them.
One of the tricky things with social media is giving your audience enough content so that they stay engaged with your brand, but not so much that they become bored, or worse, annoyed with your posts. Posting too regularly can dilute your brand, so having a content plan allows you to closely control how many posts you’re doing each day and to which platform.
Save Time in the Long Run
Although drafting up your content plan can seem like a big effort at the start, it will almost certainly save you time in the long run. Thinking up social media posts on the spot is both annoying and stressful, so having space and time to think about what you’re going to be posting means you won’t be sacrificing on quality when you’re rushing to get something out.
Plus, once you get into the habit of drafting up posts, it’ll become much easier to create a plan that matches your brand voice and will seem much less of a chore.
Hand It Over
If you spend time at the start of the week or month drafting up your social media posts, you’ll be able to hand this over to one of your team (if it’s not already your job) to take care of the posting side. This frees up your time to carry out more important tasks.
More Strategic Posts
Once you have become confident with your brand voice, you can begin to create longer social media campaigns that follow a theme. This creates an incentive for your audience to keep coming back to see what’s been posted on that day.
It also allows you to plan around upcoming events such as national days public holidays, meaning you can engage with your current audience while exposing your brand to people using popular and trending hashtags. This makes your current appear current without you needing to be available on the day to think of the best possible post.
Don’t Always Stick To The Script
With this being said, it’s important to remember that social media is about the here and now. Planning social posts can be a great way to feed your audience’s appetite for content, but it’s also essential to retain an element of spontaneity.
People on social media, above all else, are looking for connection, therefore incorporating a human side to the way you communicate, along with candid (but not rude) responses to what’s happening in the world will be sure to win people over.
If social media isn’t something you’re confident with, why not get in touch with us? Here at Ducard, we specialise in knowing how people search the web and use social media, so we can build a campaign that’s perfectly tailored to your business.