I’m starting a new social media blog post series to provide you with practical advice and the specific tools and services that I use on a daily basis while planning for and creating social media content. In this post, I am going to focus on just one area: content planning, the first step in creating a cohesive social media plan.
Have a fantastic – and social – day! – Karla
I think that Benjamin Franklin said it best when he said that by “failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Most people don’t wake up every morning to think about what on earth they are going to post on their social media channels every day. They have a life to attend to and so do you!
To approach social media in a sane, time-efficient way, I do suggest that once a month you schedule a few solid hours for yourself to devote to brainstorming for your social media content strategy. The following is a breakdown of what a typical brainstorming/planning session looks like for me.
Step 1: Brainstorming
Ask yourself (and write down the answers to) the following questions:
- What goals am I trying to reach and what products and services am I promoting to achieve them?
- What major events do I have coming up that are worth highlighting?
- How can I inform my audience about the real estate listing/buying/investing process?
- How can I motivate and inspire my audience?
- How can I personalize my posts so that people I work with can get to know me?
- What events and holidays are coming up?
- What do I want to motivate and inspire my audience to do? (Call to Action)
(Note that depending on your target audience and goals, you may add to and/or change your questions. These questions are an essential overview and by no means a standard rubric. When working with clients, I tailor questions to their industry, target audience, and other much more specific characteristics.)
Step 2: Define Content Types
Having a proper social media content plan will help you make sure you cover all of your bases without the stress of coming up with new material. After brainstorming, what I normally do is organize my answers into categories to make a list of post types that I want to make sure I use throughout the month. I don’t like leaving any stone unturned, so this helps me make sure I cover all my bases.
Here is an example of how I would have answered organized this, for instance:
|What products and services am I promoting?||List every different product and service as individual post categories|
|What major events do I have coming up that are worth highlighting?||Facebook Events, Live Tweeting/Posting During Events,|
|How can I inform my audience about the real estate listing/buying/investing process?||Share Articles, Relevant Statistics, Case Studies, Mortgage Rates|
|How can I motivate and inspire my audience?||Quote Posts, Testimonial Posts, Photos of Buyers Having closed or Sold on their Homes, Seasonal Advice for Maintaining Homes|
|What do I want to motivate and inspire my audience to do? (Call to Action)||Contact Me Posts, Visit My Website Posts, Upcoming Event Posts, Call Me, Refer Me, Etc.
|General Events and Holidays||Company Birthdays, National Holidays, Local Community Events, Fun Social Media Holidays, etc.,
|Personalize||Introduce people to your life and personality; make them feel like they know you. People do business with people they know and trust, remember?|
|Curated Content||Videos, Photos, Articles, etc.|
|Have Fun||Share Weekend Forecast, Have fun photo contests, fill-in-the-blank, caption this picture, funny pictures, quotes, relevant articles, etc.|
Planning for and developing a good variety of content may seem tedious at first, but your follower base will grow and engage with you more because they will trust that you are genuine in providing information and services that are relevant to them.
Step 3: Organize Post Types & Plug into Calendar
Now that you have content types, you need to decide how many times a day you’d like to post. I would recommend you begin with two – three posts a day (generally I recommend posting more, but we’ll get into that and post timing in another post when we discuss scheduling.)
Jumping into social media requires a long-term commitment, and it may be frustrating to spend time on something without seeing immediate returns. By plugging your content posts into a calendar, you will help yourself stress a little less by knowing that the content you are sharing is covering all of your bases.
Something to consider: According to RallyVerse, a social media company from New York City, their “Golden Ratio” is 30% Owned Content, 60% Curated Content and 10% Promotional Content. Balance is required if you don’t want to burn out your follower base and turn them off to the content you’re sharing.
Remember that your social media following are building a relationship with YOU, and you are providing them quality content that will help THEM in return. Fostering any relationship requires give and take – social media is no exception. You should never forget that. People that just use social media to sell are demonstrating that they don’t understand how relationship marketing works. Social media is no exception in the respect, as the concept around “social” is about building relationships.
Activity: Print out a new version of next month’s calendar and do the following:
- Fill in important engagements, holidays, and events at predetermined dates.
- You’ll see that once that is completed you will have a lot of blank space left over throughout the month, fill in the calendar with different post types until you have 3 different post types (from your list above) in each date
(Note: I like to use fine-point multi-colored sharpies to fill in my calendar, using a different color for every different type of content post. This helps me make sure that everything is pretty spaced out and not too repetitive.)
Once you have this, you are going to have a very basic skeleton of what is going on throughout the month, so you won’t be scrambling for what to post on a daily basis.
Coming Up Next
In my next post, I’ll be covering the actual content creation process. With easy ways to source information, finding videos, relevant articles, creating smooth graphics and more, you’ll be able to have a lively assortment of content sources for your social media content. Stay tuned!
– xx –
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