How to Strategize Your Social Media Planning
We all know that we need to have a presence on social media in order to be relevant and build a strong following these days. I’ve seen some articles suggest that you should be posting up to 10 times a day on Instagram and 5-8 on Facebook...that just sounds bananas to me! How is anyone supposed to find the time to keep up with that?!?! I am much more inclined to follow the theory that 1 quality post a day is far better than 10 for the sake of 10. I can also be totally honest that I am not always consistent. A few months ago my Instagram game was on fire but lately I have let my presence wane a bit. I am planning to get back on track soon and I’ll be doing it using this handy little worksheet I created.
I like to think things through in analog. Give me some good old pen and paper to scribble down my notes and work out my thoughts. I also love a good planner page but have found that every version I downloaded from other entrepreneurs generous enough to share their social planning methods just didn’t fit the way my brain worked. There are a few things that I need to break down in order to make sure that my posts are logical and aligned and not running all over the place or repeating too often.
1) I need to see the entire month laid out
2) I need to see all the social platforms I’m active on at the same time
3) I need to see the how posts relate to one another in the schedule
These are just the basic way my brain processes all of the chaos that is social media. So, having hit a little roadblock trying to mentally tackle all of this I created a worksheet for myself. It may seem super simple, and it it, but this layout outlines all of the above items in a way that keeps it aligned and clear so that I can tackle the entire month at one time and see how posts relate to one another, how themes are repeated and plan ahead for things like National Doughnut Day.
It's broken down by overall month, then you can plan out 1 week at a time for 4 weeks. Starting at the left of each row you can determine your topic for the week; this is how I like to formulate a post schedule because of how I blog. As you move through the days to the right, there is a row for each of the following...
"B" – Blog / "F" – Facebook / "I" – Instagram / "P" – Pinterest
Once I had this format I could finally tackle the biggest part of all...what the heck to post in the first place! Here’s a few other tips that I adopted in order to keep things flowing easily and consistently with my social media...
For example, I do #RealTalkTuesdays each week where I just lay down some goofy, honest confessions about how life isn’t perfect. I typically share something embarrassing or silly that people can relate to. It’s one of my favorite days of the week! Try to come up with something that’s relevant to your account and style, or if you need a little inspiration jump on the bandwagon of a theme that already exists like #MoodBoardMonday or #WednesdayWonder.
For example, if I plan to share my blog post on Monday then I know I also need to share it on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest that day, as well. I can then plan how the follow-up posts will play out through the rest of the week. I might share a mid-week reminder like, "Did you miss this week's post?" Then on Friday mention the download freebie. This way I can engage throughout the entire week (or two week or month, whatever works for you) utilizing just one piece of content. With Facebook and the new Instagram algorithm you never quite know when your audience will see a post so why not share a few to make sure your content gets in front of them. Don’t assume that everyone will see it just because you put it out into the world!
If you’re like me and not prone to posting ump-teen times a day, then take advantage of cross-sharing. You can easily post to Facebook, Tumblr and many other platforms from Instagram and vice versa, and you can Pin pretty much everything on the internet to Pinterest so take advantage!
Every post doesn’t have to be epic, life-changing advice. Be sure to give yourself a break in your social calendar so you aren’t spending every waking moment on your phone. I don’t label it this way but I do Stock Saturdays where I take the pressure off of myself and simply use a stock image. This one is usually just a simple question encouraging engagement like, “What is everyone up to this weekend?”
Once you have your strategy for the month get your posts ready to go with a scheduling app that sends you a quick reminder. You can write your captions ahead of time and an alert will notify when it's time to post. Just a few quick taps to make it live and you can put it out of your mind again. I personally use Later and I love it because of the calendar feature (it's basically a repeat of my analog calendar) but there are some other great options out there like Buffer, Planoly and HootSuite with different features that may suit you better.
Last but not least, if your brain works like mine then download the worksheet freebie! It will do wonders for helping you streamline your social strategy and post schedule!
If you like this post, want to see more posts like it or just have a question or comment feel free to email me!