Preparing a Social Media Plan
Those of us who manage social media platforms and content — and those who don’t — know the news cycle never ends. Habitual phone-checking has become the norm, whether you’re browsing your social network feeds for the latest on Twitter or just because you’re bored.
Therefore, there is a constant need for fresh, timely content on your brand’s social profiles. How can this be accomplished without being completely overwhelmed?
Make time to manage social media
I’m always a big proponent of planning — and having a social media editorial calendar as part of your social media strategy can save you valuable time and effort.
“A social media editorial calendar includes promotional and helpful content that is both seasonal and timely for your company or organization,” said Coles VP Public Relations Chris Mercier. “It helps you organize your thoughts and writing projects into concise messages that support your brand and appeal to your audience.”
Sure, creating a calendar can be time consuming on the front end, but then you’ve got a plan in place to guide you in your daily social media activities. You’ve already done research into appropriate topics and articles and when you want certain posts scheduled.
“It basically gives your brand a blueprint of your outreach goals for the next month or so,” said Coles Senior Copywriter Christopher Lloyd.
And it keeps your brand on track with your online strategy.
Calendar contents and creation
“Most social media editorial calendars include specific messaging topics, verbiage and links,” Lloyd said. “This allows for posts that feel spontaneous and fresh but can be vetted beforehand by all parties with a stake.”
Here are some items to include in a social media calendar:
- Topic to highlight along with copy
- Appropriate links and Web addresses
- Headline for post
- Related hashtags
- Photos, videos or other visual content
- Publish date and time
Think through what events and initiatives your brand might be involved in, and make sure to develop content to promote them.
Also, research national holidays and observances, and wrap some related social media content around those dates.
“Editorial calendars are worth the planning time,” Mercier said. “They help you get organized and deliver valuable content to your customers.”
Allow room for adjustment
“Planning ahead helps avoid panic and can serve as a roadmap to determining the best fit for your content and help you organize your writing projects,” Mercier said.
But just as planning and preparation saves time, leave a little breathing room for some social media flexibility.
Lloyd mentioned a great example: Oreo’s social media messaging when a blackout shut down the 2013 Super Bowl. With some quick thinking and a bit of a shift from their social media strategy, Oreo’s brilliant tweet made major headlines.
In addition, if you schedule posts too far in advance, you could get into some trouble. If breaking news happens or a tragedy occurs, your brand could look insensitive by running a scheduled post during a crisis.
When produced and used the right way though, a social media editorial calendar saves you time and energy and helps you consistently publish high-quality content.
“By putting in a little thought and strategy, it will help you stay true to your brand goals and audience,” Mercier said.
And we’ll develop and distribute the content to get you noticed. Contact us today!Edit this post