Do you plan your social media content, or do you post when inspiration strikes or when you have a free moment? A plan can help add structure to your social media posts and save you time. Here's how you can create your own social media content plan.
Social media plans don't have to be fancy or technical documents. I create mine using a spreadsheet but you could use a word document, a notepad or voice notes, whatever works for you.
Step 1 - Your social media platforms
Identify the social media platforms you want to plan content for. I say this, rather than list all your platforms, because there might be some platforms that you are phasing out or that aren't part of your business. Make a list of the ones you're using for this plan.
Step 2 - Your aim for each platform
Broadly speaking what is your aim for each platform. Is it brand awareness? Sharing information? Entertainment? Events promotion? Lead generation? There will be overlaps but try to work out your primary reason for using each social media channel.
Step 3 - How often to post
This can be a tricky one to work out as each platform is different. If you've been using social media for your business for a while, you've probably worked out how often to post for your audience. If you're new to it, this may feel a bit like walking in the dark. Consider these points to help:
If you don't have access to insights, start off posting once a day and build up from there, experiment with different types of content and use your insights to help you plan future content.
Step 4 - Create the document
You can use a spreadsheet to create a table for each month with your social media platforms on one side and the days of the week on the other. A bit like my example below:
You can add in extra rows to represent the number of times you are posting per day. Start with one week, add colours and format it how you like. You could also add some columns to monitor social media follower numbers each week!
Once you have the format you like, duplicate this for the rest of the weeks in the month. You can then copy the whole sheet for different months.
Step 5 - Plan content in weekly
I prefer to plan weekly as this means I can keep content current and it fits in with my schedule. Carve out 25 - 60 minutes a week to plan your content. Think about what goals you are working on in your business and what your priorities are. This will help you identify whether you need to:
You can write posts out in full to post in real time, or schedule them in advance using a tool like Hootsuite.
For live content, like videos, I find that writing notes helps. You can jot them down in the planner to refer to. If you're planning to include graphics or images with your content, planning them in advance allows you to source or create them ahead of time.
Step 6 - Use your time wisely
So you now have a clear planner that shows your active social media channels, how often you're posting and when you're posting. You have filled it with relevant content and you are ready to post it in real time or you have scheduled it in using Hootsuite or a similar tool.
Set yourself a reminder for a set time each week to sit down and plan content for the following week. This will help you maintain focus, give you more structure and takes the pressure off having to think of things to post during the week.
Having your main content in place means you can use your time to check in on engagement on posts, start discussions in groups and it gives you the freedom to add extra content for Stories on Facebook or Instagram, such as events you've attended.
How did you get on?
Let me know how you got on creating your own social media plan. Did you find it a useful exercise or was it harder than you thought? If you got stuck and need a helping hand, email me for my free social media plan template to get you started!