When you work on your business, do you make a plan or do you leave things to chance? If you’re successful, it’s likely that you make a plan. Perhaps you sit down on Sunday nights and map out your week. You schedule the times you will work on your business. You set times to meet with team members. You are intentional about the sales and recruiting opportunities you want to create.
Did you know that successful social media use should work the same way?
If you really want social media to work for you, you need to make a plan. Often this happens in the form of an editorial calendar. Many people think that only big companies need an editorial calendar, but any business can benefit from one. An editorial calendar is simply a plan, usually created monthly, that lays out what you will post, where and when.
Why is this helpful?
- It forces you to think about opportunities. For example, think about a holiday like Mother’s Day. If you post ON Mother’s Day, you really don’t have an opportunity to use that holiday to drive sales. But if you plan ahead, you might plan a contest or giveaway, gather the marketing assets you need, and decide when it would be valuable to post and give your customers time to make a purchase and have it delivered by Mother’s Day. Planning ahead allows you to get the maximum impact.
- It allows you to use your time efficiently. Rather than spending time and effort daily thinking about what to post, and then having to run around trying to find the right picture, website, etc, you can get yourself into a creative mode and plan all your content for the month out at once. Then each morning you can make your post and already have the assets (photos, videos, etc.) at your fingertips.
If you’ve never created an editorial calendar before, it’s not hard to start. I’ve created a template that you can use. You can get it here.
Here are the basics:
- Make a column for each of your marketing outlets. This can include social networks, blog, newsletters, etc. The template I’ve provided lists some common ones, however you should add whichever ones you use. (NOTE: Don’t think you need to use everything in the template! Make it your own by adding and deleting to make it fit your business.)
- Think about your month as a whole first. Are there any holidays or campaigns that you want to focus on? Perhaps you have a new product launch, or a recruiting special. Decide how far out in advance you want to begin promoting that with a marketing campaign.
- Once you’ve identified campaigns, consider a schedule for regular, daily posts. For example, you might make Mondays your day for motivational posts, Tuesdays your day for content driven posts related to your product line (such as recipes or health tips), Wednesday your day for promoting your team and opportunity, etc. A regular schedule will make it easier when you plan the actual content, because you know what type of content you want in each slot.
- Next, plan the actual content for each day. Don’t just write the post, but think about the assets you will need and where you will get them, whether you will post similar content on multiple networks, if you will need help from a subject matter expert, etc. The template I’ve provided gives you a space to plan this out.
By planning ahead, you will make it much easier to post good, quality content on your social networks that lead to increased business.
How do you create content for your social networks? Do you plan ahead? What tips do you have? Would love to read your experiences in the comments!