Social media seems pretty straightforward and simple on the surface, but it’s incredibly easy to let it fall through the cracks when there are a million different balls you’re juggling in your business and you haven’t created a clear plan. When developing your social media strategy, it’s important to create an “editorial calendar” for yourself identifying what you’ll post, on which platform, on what day, and at what time.
You want to draft the schedule to keep yourself organized for a few reasons:
Firstly, it’s important that you keep your social media properties up to date. If you go weeks without posting, the potential customers that visit will notice that inactivity and wonder if you’re still around or if you’d be responsive to them if they became customers.
Secondly, you want to space out the different types of posts in a logical manner. You shouldn’t post 27 photos in a row and then not post another photo again for 3 months. The goal is to keep your social media followers interested by providing variety and quality. When you create a posting schedule, you’re more likely to strategically share the different content you curate as opposed to just randomly posting.
Along the same lines, it’s important to have some consistency in how often you post. If you post everything real time as you see it or think of it, there will be days when you post 15 times and then weeks when you have nothing to share. Again, that’s not good for building customer trust, so you want to curate your content constantly but schedule when you share it strategically.
Finally, if you create a plan you can determine when the most effective times to post various content are in order to receive the most engagement from your followers. While you can and should look up statistics about when users are active on the different platforms, this varies so greatly between groups that it’s important you do some of your own testing. As you post, track what posts get the most engagement and note any patterns: times of day, days of the week, types of posts, etc. Then use that information to adjust your strategy and give your followers more of what they want, when they want it.
To help you out with your content scheduling so that you don’t have to sit online all day every day, as well as to help you track engagement, I highly recommend utilizing one of the many services that can integrate all of your social media platforms and allow you to schedule posts in the future. I personally use Hootsuite but there are many similar platforms out there and whichever you’re most comfortable with is the one you should use.
*** UPDATE*** As I mentioned in the original post, I use Hootsuite for my social media management and when I shared this post with my social media and business networking communities, they all seemed to say that Hootsuite was their favorite tool as well. If you’re interested in giving Hootsuite a try, click here and you’ll get a 30-day free trial of their pro version. This is an affiliate link, meaning I will get paid if you purchase through this link. I want to be totally upfront about that, but I also want to make clear that I am promoting Hootsuite because I use it and love it, not because I get paid.
Now let’s hear what works for you: Do you have an editorial calendar for your social media posts and how far in advance do you plan? What’s your favorite social media management tool – Hootsuite, Buffer, or something else? Let me know in the comments section below what works for you.
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