Using a Content Calendar to Save Time on Social Media

Using a Content Calendar to Save Time on Social Media

This blog originally appeared on Your Marketing Made Easy.

We've all done it - you wake up late and scramble to get to work in time for an early meeting. You're just about to pick up the phone when you realize you don't have anything queued up for social media this morning, so you quickly scramble on Google for something to post, not really knowing if it's relevant to what's going on in your company right now. Then you start your meeting, satisfied in the knowledge that there is a post or tweet out there with your name on it.

But do you really know what just happened?

You just wasted a valuable opportunity to connect with your audience in a relevant and authentic manner. What you need to do is to come up with a set strategy so that you can sit down and plan out your posts in big chunks - and even if you do happen to be scrambling for something to post, you at least know exactly what content you're looking for.

Think a moment about your business activities or sales cycle - there are probably regular, recurring things throughout the year. Do you run holiday sales? What about seasonal activities or promotions? Remember to also consider your audience and the things that will affect them. For example, if your ideal customer is a mom with school-aged children, then from mid-Aug to mid-Sept she is probably going to be in 'back to school' mode. So if you're posting about spending time with girlfriends over a glass of wine, your audience might feel a bit of a disconnect.

Jot these things down, aim for a monthly topic or goal. You might find you have empty months - if you have a business plan for the year this will help you fill in the blanks. Now that you have a general idea of what to post, you might want to drill down to a weekly or even daily theme. Motivational Mondays and Throwback Thursdays are popular. Keep the 80/20 rule in mind too - 80 percent informational/educational/entertaining, 20 percent sales (at most!).

Tip: don't try to get too specific with your posting schedule otherwise you might back yourself into a corner. If you say that you're going to post a funny photo every Wednesday at 2:13pm, there may be times when you're scrambling for a photo that fits your topic for the month.

You can get as technical as you want too - there is software out there that will help you out, or you could make your own spreadsheet to plan content. Or you could simply outline it on a piece of paper and post it by your computer. Either way you'll find your social media activities go a lot smoother!