Using social media has become one of the most recognised ways to market your brand. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 92% of content marketers use social media to distribute their content. Organic reach is in continuing decline and therefore, the days of lazy, disorganised social posting is just not good enough – no matter how good your content is. Having plans in place will help you achieve your long-term marketing goals.
If you're keen to grow your social media following, gain engagement from your followers and make those all-important sales, then consistency is key. Having worked with a variety of businesses and seen projects through from the very beginning, Ouma truly understand how frustrating it can be when you don’t see the results you want or need for your brand.
In order to succeed when it comes to social media marketing, Ouma recommend having a social media calendar in place. This is something which we complete for each of our customers to make sure everything is kept on track. A social media calendar will help you to streamline the process of scheduling and posting content, making it easier to keep your publishing schedule regular.
So, how do you create a social media calendar? We’ve broken it down into simple-to-follow steps to make this process easier for you. There are a few things which you can do to ensure you stand by your plan and achieve success.
Social Media Audit
If you have been running your business for a while, then doing a social media audit can be very useful, enabling you to make the necessary changes moving forward.
What platforms are you using?
Which ones are performing the best?
Should you continue to publish to all of them?
How often are you posting to each network?
What are the goals for each network?
Who is responsible for each channel?
This is all useful information to include in your social media calendar. If you’re working with a team, it’s essential that everyone knows the goals they are working towards to effectively market your brand in the most efficient way.
Is the content that you plan to post out of date? Do you need to refresh your content? Also, what types of posts have performed well in the past and what are your competitors posting?
Once you know the answers to these questions this will enable you to make more informed decisions about your future social media strategy.
Understand social platform demographics
You will have already noticed each social platform has a distinct audience and this audience will help to shape the content that you share. Posting content tailored to each platform and its’ unique audience is an important part of any social media marketing strategy. Here is something we have recently put together on which social platform is best for your business (link to previous blog)
Fully understand these distinctions before moving forward with your social media calendar as this can help determine if what you plan to post is appropriate.
Determine your posting frequency
Your social media feeds should be dedicated to publishing and sharing quality content. Poorly executed content can be more detrimental than posting no content at all. Most people only spend a few minutes online at any one time, so you want to make sure that your posts are going out within those timeframes. Looking at the analytics of each of your platforms should help you determine the best time to post content as they will show you when your audience is most active on any particular platform.
Determine your content ratio
Your content should have a content categorisation system. This will help you to keep track of what content your followers seem to enjoy the most. You can make this as simple or as complicated as you would like. One suggestion would be to label your content; blog post, video or announcement but is completely up to you.
Determine your calendars needs
What level of detail does your calendar need?
Do you need separate spreadsheets for each platform, or will they all fit on one?
Do you need to be able to assign people tasks?
A good suggestion would be to start with more detail than you think you will need. This method will ensure you cover all the essentials. Here are some of the basic details you will need to outline for each post:
Time (for posting)
Image (if required)
Link (if required)
Now for the bit you’ve been waiting for - filling your calendar with awesome content. Don’t forget to check out national social calendars for days you don’t want to miss out on for example #nationalbeerday and #takeyourdogtoworkday these could be vital to your content to increase your engagement.
Make sure you have a process in place for filling the calendar, don’t just fill it randomly as this is when it can become too overwhelming. Decide who is responsible for filling the calendar, whether it’s yourself or your team. Many businesses schedule up to a month in advance - a fantastic way to ensure future structure. If you spend a couple of hours coming up with great content to fill the month, then you won’t have to worry daily about what content to post and potentially rushing the job.
Consider spending time every month brainstorming ideas - looking at previous content and taking note of what worked well for you and which things were less successful. That way, while creating the next months’ content, you will have a clear vision as to what really encourages your audience engagement.
Scheduling your content
The hard part is over! You’ve got your content ready to go and now it’s time to schedule it all.
You can use various social media scheduling platforms to do this for you.
These platforms will publish content all your platforms for you without you having to look at it again for the next month.
Words of advice
Having an automated publishing platform can very useful, however, we would still recommend that you interact with your audience. After all, you are trying to build engagement to enable you to transfer this audience into a buying customer base.
If you don’t interact with your audience, they will not grow into the community which is so vital for the marketing of your business. On the other hand, as your following grows, replying to messages and comments can eat up a big chunk of your day. To combat this, Ouma recommends setting aside some time on a regular basis to specifically reply to messages or comments. Being responsive to your audience encourages them to interact with you more and create a deeper sense of familiarity with your brand.
Creating and implementing your social media calendar using the strategies and
tools we have explored here, should see increased growth in your social media presence.
If you’d like to talk to us about your current social media strategy and the results you would like to achieve for your business, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. At Ouma, we’re passionate about understanding your business and would be happy to work with you to strengthen your brand.