Posting on social media consistently can be a struggle. Fires in different areas of the company can pop up and draw your attention elsewhere, and all of a sudden it’s two weeks later and you haven’t posted. Failing to plan inevitably ends up in tasks slipping through the cracks.
If your social media strategy consists of solely “on-the-fly” posts, is it really a strategy? Most marketers drive home the 50/50 rule which states that 50% of your content should be planned and scheduled, and the other 50% should be real and in-the-moment. For some of us, 50/50 just isn’t realistic – and that’s ok! Whether it’s 80/20 or something in between, planning and scheduling content will save you time, relieve (some) stress and can hopefully save those hairs from turning grey!
Taking the time to carefully create content strategically will help your business reach its marketing goals. If we know anything to be true about posting on social media as a business, it’s that consistency is key. By creating a posting routine, we are able to stay at the forefront of followers’ feeds and minds.
In order to create a publishing schedule, one must first create a planning process. At Social School, we plan our content at least four weeks out (On November 1 we will meet and plan the content for January). This enables us to handle the aforementioned ‘fires’ that will predictably materialize.
There are requirements that are outlined in the Social School marketing strategy which serve as a general planning outline.
- There are 4 e-newsletters sent out per month.
- Each e-newsletter has a theme: How-To Issue, Best in Class, On your Radar and Content Roundup.
- Each e-newsletter has at least 2 featured original blog articles.
- Every month has a different theme (decided in November for the following year).a) These themes are not set in stone – simply a guideline to ease content creation.
- Content must be a mixture of photo, video, content writing and live posting.
- Our scheduled-to-live ratio is 80/20.
We are often asked, “How do you know what to post about?” Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. We subscribe to industry newsletters (for us, it’s Social Media Examiner, Mobile Marketer, and many more) to stay on top of the latest news and trends. We keep the notable news in a spreadsheet content “bank” that we rely on when creating content.
Our four-week process looks like this:
Week 1: Plan Content
At this point, the monthly theme has already been chosen and we know how many e-newsletters are being sent out, and what the sections in said newsletter are.
- Discuss potential topics that will benefit our readers for each section of each newsletter.
- We write blog titles and disseminate the assignment (based on workload) to others within the organization.
- Assignments are given due dates.
Week 2: Create Content
During the second week of the month, we are filming videos, taking photos and writing blog articles
Week 3: Edits and Approvals
All content should be completed and submitted by the third week of the month for editing and approvals.
Week 4: Schedule and Pre-Boost
We use Sprout Social for scheduling and automation. It is during the fourth week of the month that we are plugging in all of our content and pre-boosting, if needed.
Knowing how much we rely on scheduling and planning, it should be obvious that we use a content calendar to keep us organized. You may think “I’m the only person on my marketing team, I don’t need a content calendar,” but guess what! You’re wrong. No matter what size of department or company you’re working with, content calendars are extremely beneficial. They help you get (and stay) organized, plan content for each platform individually, track posting schedule and performance, and improve efficiency.
The online social content calendars we love are:
- Google Sheets
Good luck and happy scheduling!