What no one tells you about social media marketing… But should!

Social Media Marketing

Why Do You Need a Social Media Marketing Plan?

Benjamin Franklin once said: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Marketing is only successful if you keep a close eye on what is effective and what isn’t. Creating a social media marketing plan allows you to use the tried-and-true marketing method of trial and error.

As I have said before, social media can be extremely overwhelming if you are not well-prepared. Creating a plan of action is your only solution to managing your entire marketing strategy. So listen up, and use these tools!

What is a Social Media Content Calendar?

A social media content calendar is a day-by-day breakdown of content ideas for blog posts, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ status updates. You plan your entire month out in advance, which you can then incorporate into your general marketing plan to drive the rest of your content creation.

Why Do You Need a Social Media Content Calendar?

A social media content calendar significantly decreases your long-term workload. If you spend a focused, one hour brainstorming content ideas and implement them into a social media content calendar, you will eliminate at least 30 hours of work over the entire month.

Are you discouraged by the frustration you experience every time you sit down to write a blog, and content ideas are slim-to-none? Just the process of creating a social media content calendar will give you a base for content exploration.

Think that creating a content calendar is a waste of time, because you will probably change your mind regarding blog topics a week down the line? Truth is: you probably will. But you will also be extremely thankful to yourself for unused blog topics, when your imagination is sub-par.

How to Create a Social Media Content Calendar

First thing’s first, use Google to search for a holiday calendar. Make note of world-wide holidays, national holidays, even themed day celebrations such as “National Embrace Your Geek Day” in July. No holiday is off limits.Write these holidays down on a sheet of paper.

Open up an Excel spreadsheet, and create 6 columns: Date, Observed Holidays, Content Idea, Revised Content, Blog Views, and Total Shares. This is how your spreadsheet layout should look:

Social Media Content Calendar Columns

Then, input the dates and holiday information. You are not limited to the just the holidays you logged; you can also include any birthdays, important company dates, or any other dates you feel you would like to acknowledge. This is how your content calendar should look, now:

Social Media Content Calendar Dates & Holidays

Then, you want to use whatever tools necessary to brainstorm potential blog topics. My favorite content creation tool is the HubSpot Blog Topic Generator; all you have to do is select a a few keywords, and the generator will create potential blog topics for you. Though I highly recommend using this tool, do not let it be your only source for topic generation.

Hubspot Blog Topic Generator

 

I suggest taking a little time to research your competitors to figure out what they’re blogging about. Can you further elaborate? Push yourself! Also, I recommend creating a Google Alert for your industry’s most frequented keywords; you will receive an email every day or once a week with the major news and articles related to those keywords. Think of a blog idea, write it down on your content calendar. Once you are finished with your content ideas, your content calendar should look like this (if we were a fashion brand):

Social Media Content Calendar Content Ideas

If you alter your content idea, make note of it! You want to make sure you stay on top of this content calendar for future reference. At the end of the month, log the total blog views and total shares for each blog; you can then use these statistics to determine the course of action for the next month.

What is a Social Media Posting Schedule?

A social media posting schedule is a schedule of times and frequencies for posting to your various social media platforms.

Why Do You Need a Social Media Content Calendar?

Because without one, you will be aimlessly posting to social media, with no targeted optimization. This, as with the social media content calendar, will decrease the amount of time you have to spend on social media every day. When you understand optimized posting times for each platform, you optimize the scheduling process AND you spread your brand message to an audience that is actually listening.

How to Make a Social Media Posting Schedule

First, you want to make a list of the best posting times for each platform. Scratch that, you don’t need to make a list… I will provide you with one!

Twitter: 1pm-8pm with higher engagement on the weekends

Facebook: 1pm-3pm with higher engagement on Thursdays and Fridays

Google+: 8am-11am with higher engagement on the week days

Pinterest: 8pm-10pm with higher engagement on the weekends

LinkedIn: 7am-10am with higher engagement on the week days

Now, what you want to do is figure out the optimized frequency of posting for each platform. Also, no need to make a list… I got you 🙂

Twitter: 5-6 Tweets per day

Facebook: 1-2 posts per day

Google+: 1-2 posts per day

Pinterest: 10-15 pins per day

LinkedIn: 1-2 posts per day

Now, this list is ever changing as we learn more and more about social media. Social media is an ever changing medium, so you might want to refresh your knowledge every couple of months or so.

It is in your best interest to extract these lists I just provided you, and save them onto your desktop for future reference. This is your daily social media task list! The best thing about social media is that you can schedule ALL of your posts! Hootsuite is a great tool, which allows you to manage your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. All you have to do is spend 1-2 hours in the morning curating content to post, and there you have it! You have optimized your SEO, provided your customers with great content to augment their knowledge, and you have established yourself as a leader in your industry… IN TWO HOURS!

After you schedule your social media posts, use your social media content calendar to determine your blog post for the day, then publish your blog link to each of your social media platforms, and now you have original content to post to your platforms as well.

Now, doesn’t that seem much easier than you thought it would be? It most certainly is! IF and only IF you stay organized.

Trackbacks & Pings

  • 3 FREE Monthly Content Marketing Calendars (Printable) | Trade Only :

    […] 2. Blog Content Calendar- As I have written before, a blogging calendar will take 30+ hours off your content marketing efforts in an entire month. Instead of having to create your own template, I have created one for you; just like the one I blogged in “What no one tells you about content marketing… but should!” […]

    3 years ago
  • 15 B2B Marketing Tools You Need RIGHT NOW | Trade Only :

    […] You must monitor your blog activity online. SharedCount helps you to do this. Remember our blog: What No One Tells You About Social Media… But Should! You NEED to monitor your blog success for an accurate digital marketing analysis. This online tool […]

    3 years ago

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