It’s getting crowded out there on the social media channels. Social media is packed with people, brands, companies, dogs, cats, and everything else in between – everyone and everything has a social media account.
So how do you get your brand and company to stand out from the social media noise – and your competitors? It all comes down to having a real social media content planning and publishing strategy.
While it would be fun to just post random Tweets, photos, and Facebook content when the mood strikes – this is not a recipe for success. Instead, just like you’re proactive with your social media engagement and in putting intro practice professional social media listening – you need to do the same with your social media content.
Think of your social media content as your brand and company voice. What you post tells your followers, competitors, and industry analysts what you care and think about. And as you know, one wrong Tweet or a misplaced Like on a Facebook post can create a social media storm.
Just like you we want to avoid storms and chaos…. So keep reading to learn the ins and outs of social media content planning and publishing. And don’t forget to read the first two posts in our Let’s Get Social series: Let’s Get Social: Learning About Social Listening and Let’s Get Social: Learning About Social Media Engagement.
Why Social Media Content Planning Matters
Social media content planning matters because social media is one of best ways you have to interact with and develop connections with real people who want what you have.
Think of your social media channels and the content you post as your person on the street connection to your customers and audience. One person reads a post from you, it resonates, so they share or retweet it, then someone else reads it, the content resonates, and the cycle continues.
This is what well planned content and a strategic publishing schedule does for your brand and company. And yes, just like we want you to be thinking about SEO and keywords with your blog content – we want you to do the same with your social media content.
We’re going to borrow from the smart folks at Marketo here, and drill down into the five reasons why social media content planning is so important:
- It helps you maintain a consistent cadence. Cadence or consistency is key when it comes to building a relationship with your audience. With a social media calendar and plan you can schedule your content and know that you’re not missing days and are maintaining a consistent content stream.
- You can map time-sensitive content ahead of time. It’s important to remember that your social media content, blog content, advertising, product releases, and other news are all connected. A social media content plan and publishing strategy ensures that time critical content is ready-to-post well in advance.
- You’ll take your social media marketing out of a silo. Social media content needs to come out of the closet and be something that everyone in your company is invested in. Marketing, PR, sales, SEO, digital, content teams, etc. all need to know what your social media channels are and aren’t doing.
- It serves as a system of record. It can be hard to keep track of where and when you posted what content. A calendar allows you to look back and review what you posted and dig into the analytics to understand why a post resonated (or didn’t).
- It enforces the “411 Rule”. The “411 Rule” specifies that you should aim for four educational/entertaining posts for each soft-promotional post (oh hey – we’re at a tradeshow) and each hard promotional post (please buy our product). A planning and publishing rule with similar ratios helps keep you focused on what needs to happen next on your channels.
Top Social Media Content Planning and Publishing Tips
Above all else, your social media content needs to be natural. Your audience is savvy and has very little tolerance for over-written or too marketing heavy content. Remember that as much as your social media channels are a marketing and brand tool, they also need to be social, engaging, and in-touch with your audience.
Quality content is the key here. Just like your blogs, website content, email newsletters, etc. – the higher the quality of your content – the better it will resonate and connect with your audience.
Hint: we know that social media can be overwhelming. You’ve got a lot going on and planning your social media content is unfortunately not a top priority (even though you know it should be). This is why we’re here – contact us and we’ll help you get on-track with your social media content planning and publishing.
When we talk, make sure to remember these top social media content planning and publishing tips (and do ask us the hard questions about this advice):
- Use the right social media channel the right way. Each social media channel is unique and you likely have a distinct audience on each channel. This means you need to know who is on each channel and what works best for each social media channel. We could write an entire post on this topic, but instead, we want you to contact us to find out how you can uniquely use Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat.
- An inclusive publishing strategy. Your social media publishing strategy must take into consideration the unique needs of each social channel and your overall brand strategy. It’s important to remember that your social media channels, blogs, and other content all work together to support common messaging.
- Know what’s coming up. Remember rule #3 above – you need to work with the rest of your company when planning and publishing your social media content. You need to know when product releases are planned, trade show dates, key marketing pushes, etc. You also need to stay up-to-date with the latest in SEO research and make sure your social media content is using the right language in the right way.
- Make action easy for your audience. Think of how your audience is following your social media channels and make sure your content works on each channel. Make the links easily accessible, make sure your social media content is mobile-friendly, and make it easy for people to use their smartphones to follow, subscribe, share, and read your social content.
- Know what is happening out there. You need to know what your audience is doing with your content. Are they sharing, retweeting, posting comments, etc.? When you have a social media content plan and publishing strategy, you have the time and energy to interact and engage with your audience. You can also ask these people what they want from you on social media – maybe they want more posts, more videos, polls, etc.
We want you to understand that your social media success doesn’t happen by simply posting when you feel like it. Just as you plan product releases and digital marketing campaigns – you need to do the same with your social media.
Social media is here to stay and we want you to benefit from this powerful tool. Contact us and we’ll keep you away from social media storms and chaos and make sure you’re really helping your brand and audience.