Content Planning for Social Media
Content Marketing on Social Media
Can we talk about social media? Do you feel pressure as a woman in business to be constantly creating and posting content everywhere to market your business? There are so many platforms to cover. You could end up spending your whole week just trying to keep on top of posting in all the different places. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, X, Threads, Clubhouse (is that still a thing?) YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest etc. It can be quite overwhelming if you try and do it all.
I got my knickers in a twist earlier last year when I first started the FAB Business Club by setting up separate accounts on Facebook and Instagram for it, as well as my existing personal brand and style business, then I also had LinkedIn too! Not to mention all the other places I dabble inconsistently. It was all too much and totally not sustainable to manage it all on my own.
The trouble is that social media is what I use to promote my business. It’s necessary for me to show up consistently to remain visible and front of mind for when my potential clients are ready to buy my products and services. It’s no good being a well-kept secret if you need your business income to pay your bills.
I had to decide what I wanted to do as a priority and what I could then do consistently to make it work for me without being an onerous task. My solution was to add my personal style and branding work into upgrade levels of the FAB Business Club so it could be a one stop shop for women in business who are their brand. That way it all joins up and I’m not trying to spread myself too thinly running two totally separate businesses. Ta da! I can talk about it all under one umbrella – sorted!
Step by Step Planning System for Social Media
I also have a system that I’ve been using for a while now that helps me plan, stay organised and avoid being overwhelmed. Before I got myself into this rhythm, I used to be very ad hoc with what I was doing. It was quite stressful, and I never seemed to have enough time. I’m going to share my process with you in case you’re like that version of me – hopefully it might spark a few ideas for you to adapt to your own way of working.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to what I do:
1: Use a planner/calendar of some kind to plot out your content.
I prefer to handwrite notes, so I print off a free one for the year from www.calendarpedia.co.uk onto 4 sheets of A4 landscape, each page has 3 months as I prefer to plan my work in quarters. You could use Trello or any other kind of digital thingumabob though. I do actually copy it onto Trello once I’ve decided what I’m doing as I like the way it syncs across my devices. It’s very handy if I’m posting from my phone in my horizontal office (aka bed) in the morning.
2: Research and add in any of those ‘awareness days’ first.
I only use ones that I can find a relevant link to my areas of interest but there’s a “day” for most things if you look hard enough. There’s even national banana bread day today (lockdown trigger anyone?).
3: Plan in any events/seasonal things
Especially if there’s stuff you might be hosting e.g. Workshops or programme launches etc. This means you can reverse engineer your marketing by working backwards and giving yourself time to plan when and how you are going to talk about it and create a buzz in the run up to the event.
Generating Content Ideas
4: Generate content ideas
Ideally, they need to be things that will resonate with your ideal client. Think about the things you use as content being either educational, entertaining, energising or engaging. It helps if you categorise the themes, you talk about under headings and make sure you spread them evenly across the week/month. Some people call these content pillars.
I find it useful to have 4 themes that I want to talk about. Another tip I find useful is to then write down as many subtopics under your 4 pillars/themes as possible. Break them down as much as you can into micro topics. A good way to do this is to use a different post it note for each topic then you can move them around under the headings.
5: Fill in the gaps on your calendar with the content ideas
Using the topics from my content pillars I then like to have a weekly pattern/daily theme to my posts. I do vary it occasionally, but it helps me with planning to keep a loose structure.
I currently have:
· Monday – a quote to inspire my writing.
· Tuesday – some kind of tip
· Wednesday – coaching/food for thought
· Thursday – connection/what makes me tick.
· Friday – product/service
It takes a bit of preparation time but when I’ve followed these 5 steps, I have a plan for the following 3 months. So for example, I know that on Weds 20th September I’ll be posting about measuring success (topic) in a coachy/food for thought (daily theme) kind of way. It really helps keep me focused and avoid that blank page feeling every morning.
LinkedIn has been my preferred place to hang out on social media from a work point of view for the past few years. I used to think it was all stuffy and v businessy but it’s much more friendly than I expected. I’ve made lots of interesting connections there and generally find people really helpful.
On the whole, I actually write my posts each day, but this planning means that I’ve already got a starting point. I always write them in a Word document and then copy and paste them into the platform. You might find it easier to batch write posts and schedule them but it’s not something I find easy to do. I spend a bit of time each morning engaging on LinkedIn and treat it like virtual networking. I respond to people who comment on my posts, and I go a find interesting things to read and comment on myself.
Since I’ve been planning my content in these 5 steps, I’ve saved all my posts into a content library so that I can recycle and repurpose them. There are probably lots of different ways you could do it, but I save my posts by month in an Excel spreadsheet. I can then search for words within the workbook and copy and paste bits when required. (My 20th September post around measuring success will be inspired by a post from July 2021!)
The other thing I do is collate my daily posts into my Friday Five email. I share stuff daily on LinkedIn and realised that my special mailing list subscribers might be missing out on my musings, hints, and tips.
Facebook used to always be my preferred platform and I used it every day exclusively for the first few years of being in business. I still post there several times a week but find the reach and engagement is better for me on LinkedIn. I batch (mostly repurposed) content and schedule from Meta Business Suite which I find quite user friendly and cross post on Facebook and Instagram. That’s probably not the best thing to be doing according to any marketing guru, but it’s convenient for me just now.
My favourite thing to do is create the graphics. These images are created in the first instance for Instagram. I like that to look nice I then save those images into a library and reuse them with my LinkedIn posts. This is my fun thing to do, and I love creating on Canva in front of the TV on my tablet. I batch create graphics that all join together to form a ‘wallpaper’ style continuous grid – go check it out if you don’t follow me already and you’ll see what I mean.
As someone who is not naturally organised this system works well for me. It has structure but still allows me to be creative and in the moment with my writing on a daily basis. I hope you’ve found it useful to hear my method – it’s been gamechanger for me.
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