7 Items to Check When Planning Your Social Media

Today we are talking about those two big words that lots of business owners cringe at –  social media

You know you need to do it; you’ve seen the power it has to help grow your business, and you know you don’t always have the time to dedicate to focusing on what you’re going to post!

Let’s face it, time is so valuable, and you’ve got a ton on your plate. And more often than not, we see a lot of entrepreneurs, and small business owners put social media at the bottom of the priority list because it is so time-consuming and confusing!

Well, not anymore! I want to help you plan your social media for one whole month in just 2 hours! That’s right, two hours of your month are dedicated to social media, and then you are good to go! 

Nothing feels better than knowing you’ve got your plan set for social media; you’ve checked all the boxes and can keep doing what you love daily instead of worrying about your social media plan.

Here’s a little checklist to help you sort out your process of planning and scheduling your monthly social media plan in a few hours!

Your Checklist for Planning Your Monthly Social Media Calendar:

 1. Define Your Categories

I like to separate social media content into categories. These should be a group of 3-7 post themes that encompass your organization and who you are. Some examples of categories are behind the scenes, your “why” statement, testimonials, team member introduction, and product/service spotlights. Having specific content themes makes it easier to brainstorm, batch-write, and plan your posts.

This basic plan will give you a foundation and make sure you are covering all your objectives while keeping a constant stream of content being published, which helps your social media presence grow. 

Remember to keep posts conversational and try the 80/20 rule. Add value to your followers in 80% of your posts and push your services or products the other 20% of the time.

2. Gather Your Photos

You might think this is a little out of order. Although some people write first and then pick their picture second, you want to make sure there is no disconnect between your image or video and your copy. 

It’s much easier to be inspired by a visual and explain what’s going on or share your story in a video than it is to make an image fit what you want to say. 

If you don’t have enough photos, you can always supplement your posts with stock images! Websites like Unsplash and Pexels offer photos that are creative, engaging, and an easy way to add more content to your social media without the extra work. Once you find the right images, integrating stock pictures into your strategy can help you build a strong visual brand, post more often, and showcase your brand’s message.

3. Plan Out Your Posts

Now that you have your planned-out categories start picking the days of the week you want to post about your specific categories. Whether you are pulling back the curtain for behind-the-scenes, sharing a testimonial, or giving an update on some secret new projects, be sure to plan out each category to a day of the week. Trust me on this – organization is KEY!

I recommend planning out around 20 posts a month and leaving some spaces open for special events, holidays, and updates that might come up.

4. Double Check Your Call to Action

No matter what, you want to guide your followers and new visitors to engage with you, to comment, maybe check out your website or sign up for an event you have coming up! I like to think of call-to-actions (CTA) in two different ways: simple and complex CTAs. 

A simple CTA keeps visitors on your social media platform, so likes, comments, shares, or even a DM on Instagram. A complex CTA is when the user is prompted to leave the site. When you ask a follower to read a blog post, check out a YouTube video, or sign up for your newsletter, you’re asking them to leave the platform they’re on and do something different!

Whether you make more simple or complex CTA’s, you want 75% of your posts to have a clear call to action, so your audience is always being encouraged to engage with your posts!

5. Hashtags

For a lot of people, hashtags can end up being the bane of their existence, but it doesn’t have to be that way!

Hashtags should be a part of your strategic process across all of your platforms to reach your ideal clients! With this being said, be sure to respect the hashtag rules for each social media platform. 

Instagram allows around 30 total for posts but will start to penalize you for continually reusing the same hashtags. Facebook recommends 5-10 per post, and LinkedIn prefers about 3. 

Be sure to find a mix of hashtags and be ok with adjusting them each week, so you get the best visibility possible across all platforms.

6. Posting Frequency

There’s a lot of competing information on how often you should post on social media. Some marketers recommend posting as regularly as possible to stay top of mind. 

And while posting frequently is one way to stay in front of your audience, don’t choose quantity over quality. Be wary of sharing content that is irrelevant or redundant to meet an artificial posting quota.

Insider Tip: I recommend posting three days a week, but if that’s a little much for you, start with two posts a week and see how your audience responds!

7. Live Engagement

Even though this is the last item on my checklist, this one may be the most important! 

Today more than ever, we are all seeking engagement on social media; so how do we up your engagement? Here’s my favorite trick:

Be sure to stay on top of when your post is going out so you can start engaging 10 minutes before and after your post goes out. 

Not only does this increase your post’s ranking in the algorithm, but you are reaching and engaging with more people in your industry who are more likely to engage with you!

Don’t forget, social media isn’t all about you. From commenting on posts to retweeting and publishing the content of others, getting noticed on social media means being an active participant. Interacting with fans and customers allows you to show off your personality and build relationships with your followers and other organizations. 

Content planning can be such a time-consuming task, but with the tips I’ve listed in this post, you can get a bulk of it out of the way – leaving time to concentrate on creating impactful social media campaigns or connecting with your online community. Creating your social media content calendar and scheduling posts out can also give you time to think about the initiatives you have coming up and how you can get the most of them without being frantic about publishing posts every day.

Looking for help with your social media? Whether you’re looking for a social media manager or want to take the DIY route, I’ve got servicesresources, and products for any stage or project. 

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