[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. 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 goes:
I’ve spent a bit of time using my social media marketing template updated in October 2017 to get a good overview of the types of things 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 copy, make changes, add ideas, and then transfer them to my digital copy periodically.
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 its meant to be fluid.
Also quarterly, I will use a service like dlvr.it to pre-schedule Tweets or Facebook status updates (see my update below about why I’m not currently using dlvr.it). I like the dlvr.it service because it will let me do numerous things:
- Pull an RSS feed from Google Reader which, for example, I have set up to pull general dance information in Fort Worth, and feed it to a “ballroom dance in Fort Worth” page in Facebook that most people don’t even realize is associated with me using Buffer. (I also push my posts to that page, which is the whole reason it’s there).
- Schedule Tweets for future dates, and have those feed automatically to my Facebook fan page for Hit the Ground Dancing. The reason I like dlvr.it over HootSuite (which allows you to repeat tweets at scheduled intervals) is because I can choose any number of “routes” that I want my posts to take. So I could feed this same tweet to numerous end routes on numerous social media sites. Updated October 2017: lately I have been using a paid subscription to Buffer, which is easier for me since I curate multiple accounts for clients.
- Set up multiple sites and routes. For example, on Facebook alone, I have eight different “pages” that I can choose to post on. I can use one dlvr.it account to post for my work with a client, another for my ballroom dance blog, for this blog, or for some of my volunteer activities.
I could post much further out using dlvr.it, Buffer, or another service, but only doing it quarterly forces me to re-visit my schedule at least that often.UPDATE:
WordPress now has built-in the ability to share your posts directly to Facebook, Twitter, and a few other locations. So I no longer use dlvr.it; I just post-date the blog articles/posts in WordPress and let WP push it to my social media when it goes live. I use Buffer to pull RSS feeds with interesting articles from around the web and manually post those on my social media sites.
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.
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).
This one thing alone increased my traffic to my new dance website from an average of 5 views per day, to over 30 per day in less than one month.
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!