I have fond memories of the A-Team and this favourite saying of their leader, Hannibal Smith. Maybe it’s because I’m a left-brain systems freak – so I love a good plan.
Content marketing brings together the creative right brain and the analytical left brain. Creativity to generate interesting content and analysis of the best time and place to post it. So our social media plans are a joy to behold with lots of coloured cells, content, links and images. It allows us to be creative and keep things organised at the same time.
If you’re putting together a social media plan these are the elements we include.
Having the dates column fixed on the left allows us to can scan all the different social platforms and see what the mix is for that day across them.
Times of day
Ideal posting times can vary from platform to platform depending on when your target audience for that platform are most likely to be browsing. If you’re not sure try posting at different times of day and see when you get the most response and engagement on each platform.
We use content categories to ensure there’s a mix of content covering different types of post, we use three main categories with sub-headings in each.
- Corporate: relating directly to the company products or services, testimonials
- Influencer: opinion, shared news items/blogs/articles, tips, advice
- General: quotations, thought for the day, anything amusing, thoughtful or randomly interesting.
A good mix if you’re posting once a day might be 2-3 x Corporate, 3-4 x Influencer, 1-2 x general.
Some people have a theme each week or regular weekly features – e.g. Wednesday Wisdom, Friday Feeling, Monday Madness, This Week’s Hot Tip, etc.
It’s important to understand the difference between sales and promotion. Sales pitches tend to turn people off, with the possible occasional exception of a limited time special offer (better still if there’s a coupon code for a discount for your social audience).
Where possible add a link to the source for news items or blogs/articles you’re commenting on.
Graphics and photos get more attention than text only, and video trumps a still image. This doesn’t mean you need to post a video every day, but get comfortable with a platform such as Canva to give your images a professional finish. If you’re posting on Instagram or Pinterest an image is essential – or you have no post.
Get in the groove
Instead of creating your posts on a daily basis, do at least a week at a time. This allows you to get into the groove of finding and creating content, which takes far less time than doing this on a day-to-day basis. It also means you get a better overview of the whole week, which is useful when you’re working around a theme and saves reinventing the wheel.
Organise your images
When you’re creating images organise them into folders – Products/Services, Testimonials, Quotations, etc. Some of these can be reused – very, very few people will scroll down over the last few weeks posts to check if you’ve used an image before.
Schedule your planning
Allocate time in your diary each week to do the social media plan. Make sure you allow time to create the images and upload/schedule your posts too. If different people work on the plan, it’s important to ensure everyone knows when they can add their contributions so duplication doesn’t happen.
Go ahead! Put your social media together and you’ll can channel the A-Team’s quote ‘I love it when a plan comes together’!