The rise of social media has opened many new channels for communication between business and customers and this means that companies have now wide opportunities for delivering content to customers. Recent statistics from the Content Marketing Institute reveals; that content is one of the most effective ways to promote your business. Almost 72% of marketers confirmed that content marketing brings new customers to their business and increases brand awareness. But as Buzzsumo reports, content saturation makes it harder than ever for businesses to stand out in the customers’ feed. That's why it is very important to have a social media posting calendar.
In this world, if you don’t want to be on the outs in the market, you have to develop your unique content strategy in SMM. A great way to do that is by using a strategically planned social media posting calendar and sticking to it in your regular social media marketing activities.
A well-developed social media posting calendar will help you:
- Plan content in-line with your goals
- Keep posts consistent and frequent
- Balance content types
- Take the time to create new ideas
Let’s investigate 5 easy steps to making your social media scheduling smart and effective. Start from the choice of the social media platforms your audience use and finish with an easily manageable calendar to use on a regular basis.
Step 1. Choose The Right Social Networks For Your Business
81 percent of Americans have a social media account and this figure grows each year. Following this growing trend, the business has to build an effective strategy in social media finding more opportunities for marketing growth and building efficient workflows.
This step-by-step guide intends to help you audit and choose the right social networks for your business. Completing these tasks will provide you with enough information to focus your social media strategy in the ideal direction.
Task #1: Social Media Audit
You have to start with listing all your social media profiles and using social media analytics to measure your key performance indicators, such as:
The number of followers per each account
- Engagement metrics
- Demographic information
- Popular content
You can gather this information manually or use some popular free tools for social media audit. Afterward, you make a simple audit template to gather all the information in one place and perform the analysis. Your main task is to identify areas which require improvement.
If you are just starting your business and do not have social media profiles yet you can investigate the profiles of your competitors in the same way. From their performance, you can take the first steps to the development of your own strategy in social media.
Task #2: Choice of social networks
The next step will be to look through profiles of social media networks. You can use a quick guide below to differentiate between them:
Careful selection of social networks will help you to build a strong audience and effectively promote your business.
Step 2. Define What Type Of Content To Publish
The next step in content planning is the formation of content social media strategy, helping to achieve your goals in target audience engagement.
Tip #1: Make unique content
The more you personalize your content, the more effective it is in driving your business objectives.
You have to verify which type of content is popular on the platform, and which content your audience like and follow. Researching interests, affinities, and influencers they follow is a total must.
Tip #2: Focus on return on investment (ROI)
When you are just at the start of social media campaigns, try to test different types of content to understand what brings more engagement and higher ROI.
Do not forget that different types of content work for different businesses and you have to experiment and find out what is best for you. For example, video is the most shared social media content in recent years, but producing quality videos requires time, money and effort, so ROI is also an important factor to consider in planning your content strategy.
Tip #3: Investigate competitors
Finally, when you aren’t sure what to post, look at the content of your competitors. You should thoroughly investigate the various types of content they publish, the regularity of publication and the most popular ones. Such an approach will help you to start your own campaigns and gain some audience from the get-go.
Step 3. Brainstorm Content Ideas
You made the decision to post some content to social media each day and made some schedule ahead. Next, you have to define the content for posting. Let’s examine some useful tips for brainstorming content ideas.
Tip #1: Use your analytics
Your social media analytics can help you to find out what the audience likes. You can investigate your competitors’ accounts and see what posts gain higher engagement. You have to study their top-performing posts and make your own ones bringing new content to the target audience.
Tip #2: Ask your audience
You can communicate with your audience in several ways. One possibility is to ask them an open question, which content they want you to share. The other one is to create a Twitter poll and list several content options to choose from. Finally, you can survey your blog users and investigate what topics are among their favorite and what new content they prefer to see in future posts.
A good idea is to share some valuable content from other media sources your audience loves. Such an approach shows that you take time to do your research on different topics that your target audience cares about and you’re not only concerned about selling your product.
Tip #3: Schedule a brainstorming session
You have to review and update your schedule regularly. Leave at least 15 minutes each day for creating new ideas, discussing the current plan with colleagues and brainstorming non-standard posts. Take some time for creativity and strategic planning.
Do not forget to analyze the results of your social media campaigns. You have to understand which posts received large levels of engagement and what content was not successful. These insights about the content will help to make proper corrections to your content strategy and improve it right away.
Step 4. Determine A Posting Frequency
Once you’ve identified the social media networks for posts and prepared some content for posting, it’s time to form your social media calendar. The best solution at this step is to make one calendar for all the social networks you use. There are several factors you have to consider when forming social media posting calendar:
- Number of posts per each network
- Posting frequency
- The time when the audience is online
You have to post regularly to each chosen network when your audience is online. Use a social media scheduling tool to simplify this process. You just produce the content and the scheduling tool does the rest of the work for you.
You can easily plan your posts for the year, month or week and they will be posted on social media page exactly at the right time. Learn more about scheduling through investigation of PromoRepublic smart scheduling tool. This tool will allow your team to create posts and deliver them to all social media accounts simultaneously, as well as to track their performance and reach. As a result, you save time and increase efficiency, growing your social media presence.
Step 5. Input Your Content, Schedule, and Adjust
The final step is really fun. Fill in your social media content calendar, set dates and time for posting. You have to post regularly, preparing quality content and keeping track of the required publication date.
Follow these tips to gain more value from your calendar.
Tip #1: Never miss important dates
A social media content calendar can help you stay ahead of various holidays, as well as of “social holidays”. You won’t miss an opportunity to engage with followers on special dates and popularize your brand.
Tip #2: Post consistently
No one will follow your social media account if you do not communicate with the followers regularly. Consistent posting increases brand awareness and makes your followers look forward to your future updates. A social media calendar helps you to post consistently by creating a schedule in advance.
Tip #3: Encourage engagement and optimize content
Having a social media calendar and regular posting is not enough. The content has to be valuable for your potential customers. It’s always good to ask your readers whether they like it, answer their questions below the posts, be as responsive as possible and build rapport. In such a case, you’ll have strong brand awareness and a loyal army of your fans.
Social media marketing might be a complicated thing if you don’t have relevant experience. The easiest way to avoid mistakes on the way is to plan and schedule your content posting. Careful research and investigation are definitely required at the start. Learn as much as you can about your audience, their needs and wants.
Don’t forget to look through your competitors’ social media accounts, choose social networks where your target audiences are, brainstorm content ideas ahead of time and make a detailed schedule for future posts. These initial efforts will help you, and in the long run, get a loyal audience and promote your business.