Are you scrambling last-second to post content on social media? Oh boy.
That can literally be one of THE worst feelings.
It’s not only stressful, it almost always feels like something is missing as you scramble to find compelling content to post.
What is the best way to avoid last-second-social-media-posting-stress?
Set up a game plan!
Now you may be thinking, “well. . . yeah. Of course, I need a game plan, but I don’t know where to start.” Then, this post is for you.
I’m going to outline just how easy it is to set up a social media plan to perfectly manage your strategy in as little time as possible. . . how about less than an hour a day? Sweet.
WHY DO YOU NEED A PLAN?
For a social media strategy to run smoothly, you gotta give yourself breathing room. I hate waking up in the morning and starting my day feeling overwhelmed because I’m stressed about “posting on social”.
If you don’t have a plan, you’ll constantly feel like you are behind on your social media strategy. Plus, your content will be less effective at resonating with your ideal customer.
When you don’t have a plan in place, it also makes it harder to be consistent in your posting.
Each new day is filled with unexpected moments that can derail you from your list of to-do’s. Planning ahead will help you stay ahead of the daily surprises.
STEP 1: GET YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA HOUSE IN ORDER
Every perfect plan takes a little organizing to get started.
Incorporate these four ideas into your strategy so your daily social media tasks run much faster and smoother.
1. Templatize your social as much as possible.
If you post a lot of images, quotes, or ebooks, use a tool like Canva or Photoshop to come up with a template you can use for all of your image postings.
Templatize the fonts and colors that you use. Not only will this save you time, but it will help with your branding strategy by making it more cohesive.
2. Prewrite canned auto responses.
If you receive a lot of the same questions or comments, come up with generic auto response messages that works for all of them.
Place your auto responses in a Word document and simply copy and paste your messages as a reply. Super simple and super timesaver!
3. Prewrite updates for YOUR content.
From blog posts to images, you can easily organize your personal content into a spreadsheet and rotate through them.
I like to use an automation tool called MeetEdgar to prewrite and store my updates.
MeetEdgar, takes automation a step further by cycling through and republishing your past content. This is great because it brings your evergreen content back into the queue every couple weeks/months. It means less work for you and more traffic to your website.
4. Figure out which tools you want to automate your social media plan.
Automation tools save you time.
And, time is money.
I know it can feel like, “it’s too much right now to spend $25/month on an automation tool.” But, the reality is, it will help you stay ahead of the game and you’ll be more organized to focus on growing your business.
I have used a ton of social media automation tools over the past 8 years. Here are my favorites:
- FACEBOOOK: Hootsuite, CoSchedule and Meet Edgar
- TWITTER: Hootsuite and Meet Edgar
- PINTEREST: BoardBooster
- INSTAGRAM: Hootsuite, CoSchedule and Mosaico
- YouTube: TubeBuddy
I believe most of these automation tools give free trials. Test a few of them out and see which ones work best for you.
STEP 2: START USING A DAILY SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN
Wooohoooo! Queue cheering.
Now that we’ve gone through getting your social media house in order, I’m going to walk you through a day-by-day schedule you can use to streamline your social media.
Let’s start by reviewing the 5 things you need to make sure you’re doing consistently for a sweet social media strategy.
Incorporating these 5 things into your weekly schedule is going to make your life easier.
Now, here’s the day-by-day breakdown…
Note: My social media plan includes Saturday and Sunday as I don’t always work a full eight hour day during the week. For me, I’m able to devote more time to social media when I schedule the time into my weekend.
If you don’t want to include Saturday and Sunday in your schedule, just add 10 extra minutes into your weekday. It’s really that simple and doesn’t require taking up your full day.
Day 1: It’s all about your content
What content do you already have in existence? What future content do you want to create? Are there any great pieces of content that you’ve come across online?
Let’s get this all down into an editorial calendar.
Editorial calendars are a great way to keep things organized + they help you plan your posting strategy. Plot upcoming product launches, sales, holidays, et cetera, into your calendar and incorporate those things into your content.
I love using CoSchedule’s Calendar to plan and track my content.
If you don’t use a tool like CoSchedule, you can use the Editorial Spreadsheet I have in my Social Media Resource Library.
Of course, don’t forget rule #1 when planning your content. Always ask yourself, “Will my ideal customer love seeing this post?”
If you are struggling to come up with content ideas, then take a look at my image below. This can serve as a guide for those weeks when you’re feeling low on creativity.
Day 1: Take 50 minutes to compile and plan your content for the week, and then 10 minutes to comment back to followers on your social pages.
Note: As I go through this weekly plan, you will see that I set aside 10 minutes every day to comment back on social posts.
Day 2: Schedule it out
Now that you know what you want to post about, it’s time to write your captions and schedule your content! This makes your social media efforts run SO much smoother.
I have found that I work quicker when I put my captions, url links, and hashtags into an excel spreadsheet. This is because I can either upload that spreadsheet directly into my publishing tool OR I can copy and paste the captions + links + hashtags directly into the social media platform.
If you want to use my scheduling spreadsheet, you can access it in my Social Media Resource library.
BONUS: if you want to see social media scheduling in action, then sign-up for my free SWEET Social Media Challenge. This 5 day challenge walks you through creating + scheduling 31 Days of Social Media Content in Under 4 Hours.
Back to the post…
After you plot your social media posts into an Excel spreadsheet, it’s time to schedule that shiz out. You can either upload your spreadsheet into your social media automation tool, or copy and paste your content directly into the social media platform and publish or schedule.
Here is a great guide to follow with how often you should schedule your social media posts in 2017.
Day 2: take 50 minutes to schedule your content and 10 minutes to comment on social media postings from your followers.
Day 3: All about networking
One of the most important components of social media is networking.
I once heard a great analogy about social media networking that I’m going to share with you.
Let’s pretend social media is a cocktail party.
At this cocktail party you could either:
- Be a wallflower and keep to yourself.
- Walk around the room and talk to a few select people.
- Get out on the dance floor and make friends with a bunch of new people.
Now, which strategy do you think is going to take you further?
If you said “Get out on the dance floor and make friends with a bunch of new people”, then do a high kick!
Here are 3 ways you can get out there and join the cocktail party:
- Spend time reaching out to influencers and commenting on their content.
- Join the conversation in Facebook groups or Twitter chats.
- Follow hashtags on Instagram (that are specific to your industry or niche) and build relationships with the people you see using these hashtags. As you get more comfortable with networking on social, you’ll discover what works best for you.
Day 3: Bring on your social charm, let yourself be known and get out there to build sincere, rewarding connections for 50 minutes. Then, spend 10 minutes commenting back to your followers.
Day 4: Go Live with video
Warning: I’m about to get on my “video marketing is the way of the future” soapbox.
If you aren’t currently creating video content, then make it a goal to add this to your social media strategy in 2017. Here are just a few reasons why:
- Live videos have ten times more comments than pre-recorded videos and social videos. This generates a whopping 1200% more social media shares than text and images combined.
- Video increases conversions by 80% when included on a landing page.
- Consumers are four times more likely to watch a video to learn more about a product and 96% of consumers find videos way helpful when making purchase decisions.
Live Video is one of the easiest ways to add video to your social media strategy. That’s because it doesn’t require shooting tons of footage or editing.
If you prefer to not incorporate video into your social media plan, you don’t have to do this. However, I really, really LOVE Live video. So, I added it to this plan and encourage everyone to use it.
Day 4: Focus 50 minutes or less on creating a Live video. Then spend those extra 10 minutes commenting back to followers on social. If you’d rather not use Live video, use Day 4 to review and compile content.
Day 5: Back to networking
Twice in one week!
This is such an important part of your social media plan, so let’s focus on it again. You need to network with a variety of influencers — influencers who don’t have a huge following, those who have a following similar to yours, and those who have a big, all-star status following.
How do you reach the big influencers?
One of the best ways to network with them is through Instagram Stories.
I’ve noticed that well-known influencers respond back to me through Instagram Stories, but don’t usually respond if I comment on their Facebook or Twitter page. That’s because their Facebook and Twitter pages are often managed by a virtual assistant. Give Instagram Stories a shot and let me know how it works!
Day 5: is for networking more with influencers, and of course, 10 minutes to respond back to comments on your social media pages.
Day 6: Analyze your content
This is a key piece to a successful social media strategy.
You need to review your analytics and insights WEEKLY. Psssst…. You know it’s uber important when I write it in all caps. ha!
This is because your analytics and insights tell you which content is getting a lot of attention and engagement.
When you see that a piece of content is reaching a lot of people and receiving clicks/comments/shares… then this is a key indicator that you’ve “nailed it on social”.
The next step it to add similar content into your future posting schedule.
For example, earlier this week I posted an Instagram photo to my Facebook Page. This photo featured my to-do list for the week and talked about how much I love a fresh list.
Within hours, this post had received a larger reach (than most posts), multiple comments and reactions.
What these insights tell me is that my audience LOVES the to-do list topics. And you better believe I’m going to be incorporating this topic into future Facebook Live Classes, images, blog posts, et cetera.
Of course, it can be less thrilling to discover your content strategy isn’t performing well. Believe me, those moments do come. But, don’t give up. Keep trying and testing. When you push through to find that sweet spot, you’ll be so glad that you did!
Day 6: use this day to pay attention to your insights and determine the direction your content should take to appeal to your ideal customer. Then, set aside your 10 minutes for responding to social comments.
Day 7: Schedule Pinterest posts (or brainstorm content ideas)
I schedule this out as its own day because it requires about an hour a week to organize.
It is super easy though.
I use Board Booster to help manage and automate my pinterest strategy.
As I am scheduling Pins for the week, I pay attention to the different topics (related to my industry) that are performing well. You can tell this by:
- Looking at the number of re-pins a piece of content has received.
- Looking at your own analytics to see which of your pinned content has performed the best.
Let’s say you’re interested in sharing information on something related to “Social Media Marketing”, look for Pinterest examples that have been re-pinned by a lot of people to determine if it’s a popular topic of discussion. Then, test it out with your audience.
Day 7: Focusing on Pinterest will help you brainstorm new ideas as you circle back around to Day 1 for the next week. You’ll be able to reflect on what you saw on Pinterest the day before and use it to create and compile content on Day 1.
Boom! Your social media plan is in place.
And, it can take less than an hour a day. By following this outline, you will have time to compile and create content, connect with influencers, and automate your strategy for your perfect social media plan.
Let me outline the plan one more time (sometimes it helps to see it organized in different ways):
- Day 1: Create and compile content for the week.
- Day 2: Schedule your social media content for the week.
- Day 3: Network on social media.
- Day 4: Do a LIVE Video.
- Day 5: Network on social media, again.
- Day 6: Analyze your content.
- Day 7: Schedule Pinterest + brainstorm content ideas.
You are going to rock it! Your new game plan is sure to help you avoid that overwhelmed, frustrated what-do-I-post-on-social moment.
What are your favorite ways to stay on top of your social media strategy? Share below!