[Includes download link for my social media marketing PLANNING CALENDAR]

Here's exactly how I develop my online and social media marketing plan - and you can learn my system free!

If you’re like most people, you don’t have time to sit down every day and think of a blog post, or a tweet, or a Facebook status.  Not to mention all of those other pieces of marketing that you need to be doing!

It can feel like you’re working for your social media – that it’s become a part-time job!  However, you can let the power of technology work for you, and pre-schedule many of these things which can help boost your marketing and business awareness.

I’ve developed a system to help me smoothly and quickly post updates and information, and here’s how it flows:

Annual Marketing Planning

I’ve spent a years developing and using my social media marketing template (updated) to get a good overview of the types of products, services I want to discuss and promote during the entire year.  

An hour spent doing a bit of planning here makes the monthly and weekly process go much quicker and smoother.

I save this somewhere like Google Docs or Dropbox, where I can have access to it no matter where I am (even on my phone!) when I have an inspiration that needs added, or when I need to check to see which things I want to be talking about this month.

I also keep my social media calendar printed and hanging in my office, so I never have to search when I have a few minutes to spare to write a blog post. 

I also tend to write on this printed version, make changes, add ideas, and then transfer them to my digital copy periodically. I can’t help it – part of how I work still involves hands-on approach (I blame my art background!)

Download Our Planning Spreadsheet

Quarterly Marketing Planning

I review my social media marketing plan calendar for the quarter and double-check if there are things I want to add or change.  The calendar isn’t meant to set in stone my marketing plan for the year, only give me a roadmap to help me get where I want to go – and it’s meant to be fluid.

Also quarterly, I will use a service, or the social media platform’s built-in scheduling functionality, to pre-schedule Tweets or Facebook status updates.  The service we use for our social media marketing clients – which includes them having access to the exact same system to use for their own social media marketing – has several built-in functions:

  • Pull an RSS feed from your website or from Google Reader which can aggregate and pull in multiple feeds based around any topic of choice.
  • Schedule Posts for future dates, and have those feed automatically to different social media platforms such as Facebook business pages, Facebook groups, Twitter, LinkedIn personal profile or pages, Pinterest, and more.
  • Repost evergreen content – this is one of my favorite features!

 

Sure, I could go ahead and schedule out for an entire year … but only doing it quarterly (or in some cases monthly) forces me to re-visit my schedule at least that often.

Time is actually getting more efficient now as we continue to Monthly:

Tired of Running on the Social Media Marketing Hamster Wheel?

Ugh! We hear you!!

One of the best things I’ve personally done is hand off most (not all) of the social media posting to one of my team. (There’s still pieces I recommend the owner continue to do periodically!)

One of the best things our clients have done is hand off most of their social media posting to our team.

We have a dozen social media marketing specialists ready to assist you with increasing your awareness and engagement while driving more traffic to your website.

Monthly Marketing Planning

At the beginning of the month, I sit down and try to pre-write my blog posts based upon whatever theme I had set up in my social media marketing plan.  I try to make at least a rough draft for one post each week (ideally one a week per blog).  Granted, sometimes life gets in the way and I only get a draft of half of what I was wanting, but it gives me a good start.

Since my blogs are based in WordPress, this is very easy to do.  I simply create a new post, and as I’m typing I can click the “Save Draft” button.  For the posts I finish, I can go ahead and schedule those to be posted at a future date and time by using the “Publish” feature and choosing “Edit” to select the proper date.  Then when I click the “Publish” button, WordPress will hold that post in its internal queue until the date I’ve chosen, at which time it will post it for me.  

This is very handy, allowing me to write posts when I have the time, and not have to worry about needing to make time on one specific day when I need an important post to be published.

With WordPress’ built in feature to also automatically share those posts to my selected social media accounts, I have a steady stream of informational updates on my social media sites.

I’ve also set up the RSS feed with Mailchimp to automatically email my list with each new blog post.  Easy peasy!

Weekly Marketing Planning

Each week, I finish editing any articles that weren’t completed already, and set their future post dates.  I also make sure that any photos or videos have been properly attached where appropriate (remember, photos and videos get more views!).

Usually if I’m going to shoot and edit a video for anything, I do it on the weekend as well.

I also take the opportunity to go in and re-share my most recent blog articles on numerous social networks.  The quick an easy way I’ve found to do this is by using Shareholic.  I use their ‘Shareholic for your web’ browser plugin.  All I have to do is open the actual page for my blog post, and then click the little Shareholic icon next to my browser address bar.  Then I can choose the social media services where I want to share my post.

I also have a WordPress plugin that will re-share blog articles automatically called Revive Old Post, and I use both of these options (one automatic to Facebook + Twitter, one manual to all sites I choose).

The new service we use for ourselves and our social media marketing clients also allows us to fill up a queue of evergreen content for periodic re-sharing of blog content, so it’s one more thing I can automate.

This one thing alone increased traffic to my ballroom dance website when I first set it up, from an average of 5 visitors per day, to over 50 per day in less than one month.  No ads, no additional work on my part – just some automated reposting of content.  Our clients have seen similar results that only increase over time.

Daily Social Media Marketing

Almost everything above is automated, which means that it doesn’t directly require hands-on work from anyone, and that is the whole purpose of social media.  What it does, however, is help pull people to the pages in question, and when they “like” or make comments, I make sure that every day I respond to comments on social media, which is how the interaction happens.

Out of everything, the daily quick check-in to comment on other people’s posts or reply to their comments on my post is the most important part of the process.  It really doesn’t take longer than maybe 10-15 minutes, but it is time well spent.  Automation doesn’t do ongoing interaction well, so you want to always personally interact with your followers.

Hope this gives you a few ideas of how you can develop your own social media plan plus automate some of your postings!

 

Almost everything above is automated, which means that it doesn’t directly require hands-on work from anyone, and that is the whole purpose of social media.  What it does, however, is help pull people to the pages in question, and when they “like” or make comments, I make sure that every day I respond to comments on social media, which is how the interaction happens.

Out of everything, the daily quick check-in to comment on other people’s posts or reply to their comments on my post is the most important part of the process.  It really doesn’t take longer than maybe 10-15 minutes, but it is time well spent.  Automation doesn’t do ongoing interaction well, so you want to always personally interact with your followers.

Hope this gives you a few ideas of how you can develop your own social media plan plus automate some of your postings!

If you want more personalized information on how to boost your social media strategy, book a free marketing strategy session!