Social media content is not that hard to do, once you have a plan. Creating that plan, well that takes a few minutes. The goal of your social media pages should be to educate, entertain, and build authority. Yes, of course, you want sales, but when you do these three things people will trust you and your brand and are more likely to purchase from you or refer you to a friend. Social media should be a part of a comprehensive marketing plan, including email and advertising, but if that’s not in the budget yet, organic, non-paid social media is a good place to start.
When I sit down to write organic social media content for a client, I do my best to educate, entertain and build authority, while keeping in mind their overall marketing goals. This is what I do for each month, but a bit more goes into it beforehand. Take a look at 5 Questions To Ask About Your Social Media to get an idea of where to start.
These 7 Steps To Write Social Media Posts is a fluid list. I generally go in this order, but sometimes I switch it up or combine steps. This is also just a guide. Do what works for you and your business.
Step 1: Make A List
This one’s a biggie, which is why I’ve “listed” it first. I sit down to brainstorm content ideas, I ask myself these questions: What do I want to promote? Are there any sales or specials coming up? How am I going to educate, entertain and build authority this period? Is there a theme for the month that I should stick to? I do my best to answer these questions.
Step 2: Look At A Calendar
After I make my list, I pull up a monthly calendar. Depending on how many times we post per week, looking at a calendar lets me know how many posts to write. I take note of any upcoming holidays or events that we need to promote. I also take a look at the National Day Calendar to see if there are any days that they can be a part of. I also take note of any blogs that we’re posting or how we can repurpose previous blog content.
Step 3: Evaluate Your Assets
Most social media posts perform better with an image or a video. Take a look at the images you have on hand, and if they fit with your month’s theme, fantastic. If you want to write posts centered around those images, even better. If you need to take pictures, cell phones do a phenomenal job these days, so there’s no need to go out and purchase an expensive camera. Another option is user-generated content. See what your customers are posting about you and use those images, with permission and credit, of course. Another great tool in Canva. It’s a free website where you can design graphics to go along with your posts. There are paid options, too, if that’s in your budget.
Step 4: Write Content
Notice I haven’t really written anything yet? Doing all of the above prep work makes writing the posts easier. I turn my brainstorm list into fully functioning social media posts. I generally use a monthly theme so that it all blends together and has some sort of cohesion. I use quotes, fun facts, answer FAQs, use the national days, holidays and share articles.
Step 5: Plan It Out
Time to get out a calendar again. If you need some inspiration, this article from HubSpot has really helped me. It lists the 11 Social Media Calendars, Tools, & Templates to Plan Your Content. Take a look at it to see which planning systems will work for you. I use Google Docs to keep it all organized and easy for my clients, teammates and myself to access. I open the calendar and print it out so I can see everything all at once and move posts around as necessary. I put in the time-sensitive ones first, then fill in the others around. I try to do one type of post per week, i.e. a quote or article, but it all depends. Save leftover posts for another time or month.
Step 6: Put It All Together
I create a Google Doc with ads (if we’re running them), and a timeline of all the organic content including the copy and images. I then send it to the client for approval*. Doing it this way will help you to look back at your content, without logging into the platforms, year after year.
*A note on approval: yes, they hired you to do their work and should trust you. But in the end, it’s their brand and reputation so they should approve it.
Step 7: Schedule The Posts
There are a lot of great scheduling tools out there, like SproutSocial or HootSuite, but they cost money for you to get the most out of them. Facebook and Instagram have in-platform scheduling tools that work just fine. So does Twitter. LinkedIn doesn’t as of yet, but if I’m posting there, I create a calendar notification for when I need to post. It’s not ideal, but it works.
BONUS: Sit Back & Enjoy The Fruits of Your Labor
Congratulations! You’ve done it! Give yourself a big ole pat on the back and take a break. J/K, you have to keep up with those posts. Keep an eye on your page for comments, likes, or shares. If someone comments, like the comment or respond if necessary. Facebook will give you the option to invite some people to like your page, invite them. It is important to give yourself a break, so take a day or two, but give yourself a deadline for when you’re going to get started again. It is important to keep up with the news and current events so that you can post about things that may be relevant to your business. Just be sensitive.
If that seems like a lot, it is. It’s a lot for small business owners to do on their own. That’s why I recommend hiring a social media strategist (like me) to at least write it for you. We know how to write the right kinds of content for the right platforms. That way, you have posts ready to go when you need them. Contact us today to see how we can help you handle your handle, so you can get back to running your business.