It's time to talk a little social media. If you're an entrepreneur, small business or solo marketer, this may be the thing you dread the most about the day-to-day of your business. Scheduling posts, generating original content, staying a head of the game rather than posting things last minute - do these things sound familiar? The problem is that that generally if you're not planning posts with an underlying content strategy, your social media feeds will end up looking like an afterthought with no direction, no consistency and no theme. And will leave your followers confused about who you are and what you offer.
What to Post
I recommend mapping out your key "buckets" for your brand each quarter by answering these questions:
- What products/services do I want people to buy most of this quarter?
- What is my key differentiator?
- What do I sell the most of right now?
Using these questions, map out your three "buckets" that are most important to your business for the quarter. Let's say, for a coffee shop the answers are:
- Flavored bags of coffee
- The fact that we purchase our beans locally
- Caramel lattes
Now, put these buckets down on paper and plan to feature these things once each week in a unique way (warning: don't post the same thing every week). That right there gives you three things you already know you want to post about.
Also, people love to see themselves on social media. Sprinkle in some customers using your products, some thought-leadership articles (thank you, Google Alerts) and you've got yourself a page worth following!
When to Schedule Posts
With a little effort, advanced planning can be so much better for your business. For example, you can spend 20-30 minutes each day scrambling to take photos, thinking of something insightful to say and end up coming up with something off the cuff an uninspiring. OR, spend 1.5 hours at the beginning of each week (I prefer Sunday nights, but whatever floats your boat). Take photos for 30 mins of photos, one hour of scheduling on the same day every week vs. 20-30 minutes daily scrambling to take photos and think of something insightful to say. Plus, you can generate more revenue if you plan posts in advance!
Social media platforms are the way your business is represented to your shoppers. Would you throw just anybody at the front desk of your business to greet customers as they walk in the door? Of course not! Similarly, social media is the only "face" many will see from your business, so you should treat your content with the utmost importance.
As far as time of day, there are awesome apps like When to Post that give you insights into when to post (and actually shoot you a reminder when you need to post). How much easier can it get?
Shameless Hootsuite Plug
The best way I've found to set it and forget it is Hootsuite. This is a social media planning tool that allows you to get ahead of your social media by planning everything, scheduling, even responding to your DM's and such. Also, they have switched their plans to allow accounts with three social media accounts to use it for FREE. Y'all, this will change your life. I'm telling you. DO IT.