What should I post next? I’m sure you’ve asked yourself this question before. Managing social media for a (personal) brand involves a number of different tasks such as creating and publishing content, engaging with your community on different platforms, reporting on your success, and measuring your return on investment.
But what makes the strength of a brand on social networks? One of the deciding factors is the quality of its content as well as the way in which that content is delivered. Content is what helps you develop an audience, build meaningful relationships with your community, create value, and shape your brand’s identity on social media.
If you are active on multiple social platforms, you might often find it difficult to create content because it takes up most of your time. So how can you organize the way you deliver content? That’s right, with a social media calendar! Having a social media calendar not only can save you a lot of time, but it also allows you to plan important dates better in advance.
Let’s take a look at some tips on where to start and how to organize your content across multiple platforms over time.
Write what you post
What type of content do you share? Writing the Writing the different types of content that you are called to promote on social media gives you a better overview of your content mix and allows you to deliver your content accordingly. For example, here on Twitter Counter, what we share across all platforms is our blog content and interesting and relevant stories from reliable third-party sources, tips and tricks, rich media (images, videos), updates up-to-date products, events and promotions.
Decide when and where to post what
One way to do this is to dedicate a day of the week to one type of content: for example, Monday tips and tricks, Tuesday blog posts, Wednesday promotions and contests, etc.
However, personally I’m more of a fan of mixing different kinds of content and sharing every day of the week. This way you keep your content diverse and your post more flexible. Keep in mind that on social media it’s okay to repeat content as long as you present it in a new way using a different visual or copy for example. In fact, repeating content on social media is essential for increasing traffic and expanding your reach.
What platforms you will use and what type of content you will share on each platform Of course, how you use each social platform to distribute your content is entirely up to you as it often depends on your audience. What is important to keep in mind is to experiment with different types of content on different social platforms.
Here’s an example of what Twitter Counter is posting across all platforms:
Since Twitter is a higher frequency platform compared to others, it is important to maintain a balance between your own content and the content of third parties. So, with the 20/80 content rule in mind, we try to select interesting content from other sources that we share with our own. The majority of the content we share consists of our blog posts accompanied by images, Twitter polls, promotions, sweepstakes and product updates.
Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn
We use Facebook and Google+ to post almost exclusively our own content, for example useful tips and tricks from our blog posts, product updates and promotions.
On Instagram, we post a mix of behind-the-scenes footage along with some helpful tips and tricks.
Our content strategy for Pinterest is similar to that of Twitter by pinning our own blog posts as well as content from other sources. Pinterest is a great platform for sharing infographics that we run with third parties.
If you are crossposting across multiple platforms, keep in mind that while you can essentially post the same content to each medium, its structure and copy should be tailored to the specifics of each platform.
For example, on LinkedIn, link posts with a longer copy work better than on Facebook, while on Twitter, images or video are the best option to accompany your tweets and increase your reach.
Decide how often and when
While there are general rules about how often to post for each social media platform, the ultimate post recipe is different for each account as it often depends on the industry and audience, the type of content you post, and of course from the platform itself.
For example, for Twitter from the Twitter counter account, we found that switching to a once-per-hour, 24-hour posting strategy had a positive effect on our overall account engagement.
In general, according to recent research on Buffer, a good starting point for posting to all platforms is:
To note: it is important to experiment with different frequencies for each platform. Timing is just as important to maximizing the exposure of your posts based on where your audience is.
For Twitter, Followerwonk can tell you when your Twitter followers are online, and Twitter Counter calculates the most successful hours and days in a week based on your engagement metrics.
Facebook Insights offers information on the best times to post for maximum reach while for Google+, the science of social media concludes that 9am to 11am weekdays are best.
Mark important dates
Planning your content in advance allows you to prepare for significant dates that could impact the success of your content and KPIs. But what qualifies as important dates? Marketing campaigns you plan to run throughout the year (e.g. Black Friday or Christmas), product releases, other important dates like New Years or Thanksgiving that are a good opportunity to connect with your audience and finally important events in your industry and beyond, such as conferences, sporting events, etc. Simply Measured provides a fairly handy example of a calendar of these important dates.
Create your content and resources
And now for the creative part! Creating your content in advance and choosing your visuals can save you a lot of time and stress, especially during those big marketing campaigns you are considering.
When writing your copy on social media, keep in mind that length matters. Social media scientist Dan Zarrella suggests that tweets between 100 and 115 characters are more likely to be retweeted.
On Facebook, posts up to 40 characters long perform better in terms of engagement, while Google+ and LinkedIn request longer updates. For a quick checklist of what to keep in mind when writing social media text, take a look at this amazing infographic from Quick Sprout.
Choose your model
CoSchedule suggests using three different models: one for your annual plan for a helicopter view, one for the monthly, and one for the daily.
Depending on your visual type, you can either use a template or use your planner to plan your content in advance.
I like to plan the yearly calendar in Excel but for a monthly and weekly overview I recently rediscovered Trello. You can switch from dashboard view to calendar view, use color coding for different types of content, and add your visual assets as attachments. Here is an example :
Besides, Buffer’s new social media calendar addition is very useful for weekly previews too. And if you’re looking more for an all-in-one overview, then Google Calendar is for you.
There are definitely different ways to build your social media calendar and all kinds of content types, times, and frequencies you can try. What’s important is to keep a close eye on your KPIs so that you can assess your content tactics and the effectiveness of your calendar. Here are some of the key metrics you should look at:
Social media traffic
This is one of the most important metrics for measuring the success of your content and it can easily be measured through Google Analytics with a breakdown by traffic source.
Engagement remains an important metric when it comes to assessing the impact of your content. Sure, you can look at different levels of engagement, but for Twitter, I always check overall engagement by week as well as the times and dates that generate the most engagement on Twitter Counter’s Best Time to Tweet graph. This way I can readjust our Twitter calendar accordingly.
Leads and conversions
For many brands, leads and conversions are one of their main social media marketing KPIs. Google Analytics can help you track these metrics, but if you’re looking for a more user-centric approach in your measurement, Amplitude is one of the tools that lets you track your audience’s journey from social media throughout. of your funnel. You’ll probably need some tech help setting up your tracking, but once you do, the magic happens!
The good old audience growth! No matter what you do on social media, it’s one of the first metrics you look at, right? Next to that, audience retention is an equally important metric, as negative audience growth could be a sign that something is wrong with your social media tactics.
Now your turn ! Are you using a social media calendar? How about the pros and cons? Let us know in the comments below.