Where has 2021 gone? As I look to the end of the year, I think about the time I’m going to take off and then wonder, what am I going to do with my social media.
In November 2020, like many, I was exhausted and was looking forward to having the family home for summer holidays. While my main social media channels are automated, my Private Facebook Group runs off of the blog posts I write each week. If I was going to have a decent break, that meant no blogging.
What to do?
There were four lessons I learnt from planning and scheduling out two months’ of social media content:
– know what you’ve got,
– know what they want,
– physically map it, and
– audiences are happy if it’s scheduled (just don’t forget them).
Reach doesn’t suffer if content is relevant and engaging.
Note: You can apply what I did to any social media platform, page, or profile, even if you don’t have a blog.
Know what content you’ve got
I knew that I had A LOT of blog posts to draw on. I’m fortunate that I have blogged weekly for the past 7 years.
I don’t have an index of my blog posts, but I do have them in one spot, on my website, and searchable.
I did learn the value of having a catalogue of assets, so that I know where all my freebies and products are. It certainly is a time saver, and it was eye opening just how many things (and landing pages) I had produced (and forgotten).
Note: If you don’t have a blog but you do have a number of social media posts, even long form posts, or FAQs on your site, then you have an index of content. Go through and make a list of the topics you’ve written about as these can be updated and used over your break.
Know what content your audience want to see
My content isn’t based on what I want to sell to my audience. My content is based in research, science, and psychology and thankfully marketing is finally realising the role of these in engaging content.
Research shows that engaging content relies on understanding and appealing to the self-image of your audience. Their self-image falls into five parts: fears, needs, beliefs, values, and goals. Understand these and apply it to what you do/sell and you’ve got engaging content.
When I scheduled my content, I knew it had all been written with their self-image at the centre. When I chose what to schedule, I looked at what issues they would confront in their business over the summer and this focused my content.
Bonus: My Facebook Group runs with set topic days. This helps with consistency and is based around the two main topics my members want: tech tips & psychology tips. Set days can help social media scheduling and creates structure (which people like).
Physically map your content plan
Old me is groaning, I used to be the kind of person who flew by the seat of her pants, loved the flexibility, and loathed the time when I needed to write/post/schedule content and nothing came to mind.
Going into summer, I schedule ongoing client work, & tie up existing work. That meant that my content had to be scheduled in any spare moments I had. To do this I had to find and write out which blog I was sharing on each day for the 8 weeks. Yes, I post 7 days a week in my group. Yes, that meant choosing 56 relevant blog posts for my audience.
All of my content starts with pen and paper to map it all out. I filled out an 8×7 dated grid with content, leaving space for seasons greetings, promotions of products and events I was running at the time, and relevant hashtags. I also created a hashtag for the #summerseries so that members would know what was live and what was scheduled content.
Bonus: A spreadsheet is a lot easier for this stuff as you can cut and paste links into the content plan and then when scheduling.
Engage with your scheduled content so your audience knows you still care
Even though I was on holidays, I was still active in my group. In fact, I told my group that I was going to remain active regardless that all the content they were going to see over summer was scheduled.
Bonus: People need to know that they’re important, they want to be part of something bigger, and they want to know you care.
It also meant that I posted new and relevant content as it appeared in my newsfeed. I wanted my members to know that although I was on holidays, I was still watching out for their best interests and keeping them informed.
I made sure I responded to posts and comments. My members knew I was on holidays and that meant that every comment I made was time away from family making them feel valued – no one expected me to comment although I said I’d remain active. It also meant that my group was active in their feed because we were feeding the algorithm with engagement.
Every response made on social media improves the know, like, and trust with members (even those who stalk) and that means they are more likely to buy from me and advocate for me.
I’m glad I scheduled out my group content. It made me revisit my content. It reinforced that I do help. I also learnt the power of indexing the resources I give away and sell.
During the break I was able to look back through my client notes and find new content to develop. I was also able to see where there were holes in my overall content focus.
I will definitely be planning and scheduling out my content this summer as it gave me the flexibility I aim for in running my own business.
Kara Lambert, BA(Psychology) Grad Dip (Mgt)