Sort your year of social media in a day

May 13, 2024 10:04:46 AM

How would you feel knowing your social media channels are sorted for the whole year? And what about if you could do it in just one day? If you’d like to cross off months’ worth of posts right away, then read on. It’s all about structuring your social media strategy and smart scheduling.

Begin by knowing who you’re targeting

Start with what matters most – your audience. If you’ve been working with a Business Mentor, you should be able to identify who your customers are and what they want; think preferences, pain points, and desires. Keep them in mind for everything you prepare for your social posts.

Create a social media calendar

A social media calendar will help make planning and monitoring straight forward. It means you can see what’s happening at a glance. You can download free social media calendars in various formats from suppliers of marketing software or with a quick search online. They range in complexity but all you really need is a worksheet with a row for each week. Excel works fine!

Delve into dates that can deliver

The first tranche of content you’ll create is date driven. Once you have your calendar template, note important dates for your customers and business. These might include days, weeks or months of observance. For example, NZ Music Month may key in your industry or perhaps World Soil Health Day is more relevant. Include special closures, sale periods and local happenings.

Spend some time writing short posts directly into the dates you’ve identified. Remember to think about how these are relevant to your audience rather than you. For instance, your first sale might be a chance for customers to stock up on stationery before the school term.

Show off your values through your content

The next tranche of content you’ll create is to demonstrate your brand’s values. If you have a Business Mentor, they’ll help you get clear about what truly drives you and your business at the most fundamental level. For instance, safety and quality might be two of the values that are pivotal to what you do. Social media gives you an opportunity to ‘show’ rather than tell your audience about these.

Choose some spots throughout your calendar year where you’ll dedicate posts to your values. Spread them evenly and aim for 2-3 posts on each value. Thinking about how you ‘live’ your values can generate ideas. As an example, you may put your staff through first aid training each year. You could write a note celebrating them or even invite them to share a comment about what they learned.

Position yourself with pillars

The third set of content you’ll focus is around content themes or pillars. These should be closely tied to your customer’s interests. It’s also helpful to choose themes where you have a lot of expertise or insights to support you. If you add new products regularly, you might write a batch of posts as a ‘what’s new showcase’. Similarly, if you’re in a service industry, you could create a set of posts that share answers to the most common customer queries.

‘Reusing and recycling’ applies to social media as much as other areas in life. For example, if you have existing material such as a blog or a press release, you could make ‘quote’ posts or turn the ideas into infographics or helpful checklists. Keeping to your pillars gives you more opportunity to do this. The idea with these themes is that the posts are helpful to your audience and also show off what you do.

It won’t be long until you’ve dotted content throughout your annual social media calendar. And that’s the hard part done! Even if you just have one or two posts each week, that’s much better than a big burst that fizzles to nothing. You can also focus on getting everything ready to schedule with images, videos, hashtags and more.

Add images, videos and branding

If you don’t have your own image or video library, you can find stunning royalty free images at a range of sites online. Online design tools and other office programmes can help you create compelling, on-brand images as well. Some of your content will suit a simple text post, such as customer testimonials. It’s also worth asking your suppliers if they have images you can use – they’ll often be grateful and will re-share your content.

Hashtags and ‘handles’ are the finishing touch to add before you post. Take a moment to explore trending or popular hashtags for your content and business.

Schedule to save time

If you’d really like to ‘set and forget’, scheduling your posts allows you to do this. Marketing tools are capable of doing this across different types of social media. Alternatively, many of the main channels also have a way for you to do this on their own platforms.

The best part about scheduling social media in advance is that it frees you up to truly engage and respond. Social media isn't a one-way street, and you’ll get much more from your hard work if you get involved with comments, messages, and mentions.

Review and respond

Importantly, planning and scheduling your social media in advance isn’t about setting it in stone. It means that even when you’re busy, your brand has a consistent and balanced presence. However, by staying flexible, adjusting things as you see results, and engaging with your audience, you’ll keep improving your performance. And you’ll have more time to create tailored posts as new ideas arise.

Make the most of Business Mentors

If you’d like to explore and define the values, pillars and target audiences that can drive your marketing and social media, talk to your Business Mentor. They can help you pinpoint what sets your business apart and what might be holding you back. In addition, BMNZ offers a range of courses where you can upskill from industry experts. Our blogs on social media, marketing and more are full of more ideas.