It’s January, a time for new beginnings. We’ve talked about goal setting already and today we are going to talk about the secret for success that goes along with that. The secret to social media success is planning. If you have a plan for your social media, it will help streamline what you’re doing and it helps you create what you need. It makes your life so much incredibly easier. I want to break it down and walk you through each step of the process.
Start with an Audit
First and foremost, I would tell you to start with an audit and check your insights. What does that mean? An audit is when you have a checklist and you go through and you check and see what your account is lacking, or what it’s doing correctly. We have a FREE DOWNLOAD you can use to audit your Facebook page. You need to know where you are so you know where you want to go. So, right after that when you’re starting to make your plan.
Determine a Monthly Theme
One of the best things you can do is go through and determine a monthly theme. If you have been posting for yourself for any length of time you know that feeling when you sit down in front of the computer and your brain goes blank. However, if you know you have to find four testimonials, you’ll be on the lookout for that. It’s just like if I told you to look for blue cars. All of a sudden you’d see all the blue cars because it would be at the forefront of your mind. When it’s in your head, you are more likely to see that stuff so that it becomes more prominent to you. So the first thing you want to do is determine the monthly theme. January might be Getting Organized. February might be Client Love. There’s all kinds of different ways to do it.
Once you have an idea of what your themes are now we’re going to start getting more specific. Go through and mark holidays and special occasions. If you are a hot dog vendor, and you forget national Hot Dog Day, that’s not good. If you are a hot dog vendor and it’s national Kiss a Ginger Day, who cares. There’s a whole bunch of holidays for all different kinds of businesses. You can find these on the National Day Calendar website. National Day Calendar also lists theme months. For instance, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and November is Men’s Cancer Awareness Month. Specifically, November is almost entirely dedicated to men’s health issues and awareness and October is dedicated to women’s so if you’re in the medical field, you need to know these things. Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving are easy, but you also need to know your industry-specific dates.
Create a 2 Week Rotation
Now you want to break it down into a two week rotation with a content calendar. You need categories to fill in the slots so that you know what you’re looking for. You have several different options. You have tips, tricks, and trends. Because you want to educate, inform and entertain, how-tos are always good. Vendor highlights, testimonials, client highlights, team highlights, highlighting a local business, or what’s happening in your backyard are all good options to include on your 2 week rotation. Motivation and humor are always good categories too. You want to move those around so on the first Monday, you might do meet the team and highlight one of your team members. You might do meet our vendors or meet the neighborhood where you highlight something that’s happening in the neighborhood. Tuesday might be where you give a tip for your industry. Wednesday might be what’s happening in your industry where you tell some of the trends that are specific to you. Thursday might be testimonial day and Friday might be humor. Then the next week is going to be totally different. A 2 week rotation keeps your audience from getting bored with your content.
Save Your Ideas and Inspiration
You need a location to save your ideas and inspiration. Google Drive is great. Pinterest is awesome. I love Pinterest for this. There are other apps you can use. Pocket is good if you’re online and you want to save an article for later. The reason I really love Pinterest is because the more activity you give it, the more activity you get. It’s a win/win for you as a business owner to use Pinterest to pin your ideas, especially when they’re in your industry.
The Pareto Principle
So you’re you’ve gone through and created monthly themes. You’ve identified special occasions and holidays. You’ve brainstormed categories for your two week rotation. Now it’s time to plan your content.
I’m not trying to pick on realtors. I love realtors. We do a lot with realtors but a lot of those pages are just listing listing listing listing listing listing listing, and it wears your audience out. You have to educate, inform and entertain, as well as sell. When you are creating your content, it needs to follow this formula: a third of it needs to promote your business or generate leads. Generating leads could be giving away a free download, doing a live where you answer questions, or a variety of other things.
Another third of your content needs to come from sources that align with your business. You can utilize other organizations, other industries, other vendors that are very similar to you.
Lastly, a third of your content should engage directly with your end user or your audience. Answer their questions. Repost their user generated content. Reach out to your audience for their information.
Remember, you can sell too much and you can sell too little. It’s a fine line. Think about the Pareto principle. Follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time you give so that 20% of the time you can sell or get. It’s just like a savings account. You can’t take anything out unless you put something in. Until you build trust with your audience and they know what you’re talking about, they’re not going to trust you enough to buy from you. That’s why you give information and content before you try to make the sale or connect.
You can’t constantly sell, but you also can’t forget to tell people you sell stuff. I sometimes forget to remind people that we sell. I get so wrapped up in the education and entertainment part of it that sometimes I forget about selling. You absolutely have to remind people that you do have goods or services available for sale. It just can’t be the majority of your content.
Stop and Listen
Actually it’s stop, collaborate, and listen. Thank you, Vanilla Ice. You can’t forget to take the time to listen to your audience and what they need. If you’re creating a digital course, or anything really, you have to sell it first. Why would you spend 16 hours or 24 hours or 30 days in a row creating a course nobody’s gonna buy? You have to know what your audience is looking for. You have to know what the endgame is. That means talking to your audience so you can find out what they want. Ask questions and give them what they asked for. It’s a very simple concept. “What are you here to buy? Is this is everything you need for that? What do you want to do with your business?”
If you can collaborate with other business owners, that’s even better. You don’t have to necessarily invent the wheel. Sometimes you just have to know how to roll it around. If you’re a wedding planner, you might team up with a local dress shop who has more followers than you and sponsor a veil, jewelry, or shoes. You can sponsor something from that company for your giveaway or promotion. You can highlight that vendor, so that you have the ability to interact with their end user which is the same end user you’re looking for. Collaboration is a big deal. You want to be able to collaborate with other complimentary vendors for years.
Scheduling is critical. Any small business owner that does their own social media will know that this is true. You go down the rabbit hole in a hurry, or you look up at 8 pm and go “oh my gosh! I didn’t post anything today.” You have to make time to schedule your own stuff. It’s so much easier if you do it in advance.It streamlines the process. If you know you need 2 testimonials every month, you could sit down and knock them both out in 20 minutes instead of taking 15 minutes for each one because you’re doing them at separate times on separate days. Streamline that process because time is money, especially when you run your own business.
There are some great scheduling tools out there. If you’re scheduling for Facebook or Instagram, you’re going to use Facebook Creator Studio. Facebook hates everybody and they don’t like to use a third party for anything that they do. You can also use Planoly for Instagram. It shows your Instagram in a grid versus Creator Studio which shows you in a list. Sometimes you have to see it in the grid because you may have three pictures of the same background color stacked up on each other which could make the grid look funny to you. Plus you can schedule your stories with Planoly. It doesn’t automatically post your stories, but it gives you some place to put them so that you can push them out when it’s time.
If you want to schedule on Twitter or LinkedIn, try Hootsuite. Hootsuite allows the first three accounts for free, and it has a very robust dashboard so that you can see if anyone’s mentioning you, you can see your newsfeed, and you can see your scheduled posts. If you’re going to schedule on Pinterest, use Tailwind. If you’re batching your content or you’re batching your blogs and you want to schedule those to post on Pinterest, instead of trying to do it manually, Tailwind is great. On Pinterest, the posts you make first count the most. So if you’re scheduling your own blog, and you’re not scheduling your posts for the first 5 of every day, you’re missing the boat.
These are the steps to planning for success. While each step is simple, you actually have to do them and put in the work for them to make your year successful. A little bit of planning can go a long way for your business.