This month we’ve been covering the fundamentals of posting. We’ve talked about which platforms to choose, when to post, and how often to post. Today we will finish this series with what to post. This is the big question and the one we get most.
Create a Content Schedule
First and foremost, one of the best things you can do is to create a content schedule for yourself. There’s nothing more daunting than sitting in front of a blank screen and trying to figure out what you’re going to post today. A content calendar will simplify your life and make it so much easier. It also encourages batching which saves you time. Our schedule is a 2-week rotation with 5-6 options per week. This way we only do one topic twice per month.
It also helps you determine themes. A great place to help you find themes is the National Day Calendar. It has different information pertaining to months, weeks, and days. Some of them are ridiculous but some are awesome. For example, October is Women’s Health Month. If you’re in the medical field that is good for you to know and a good subject to focus on. National Hot Dog Day is also a thing and if you’re a hot dog vendor you don’t want to miss that when you’re planning your content.
The Pareto Principle
When thinking about content remember the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule. 80% of your content should educate, entertain, or inform. Only 20% should be for promoting you or selling your product. For those who don’t want to use their content to sell or promote themselves at all, I always ask if they are good at what they do and believe in their product or service. If the answer is yes then you are doing your followers a disservice by not telling them about what you offer. You just don’t want to sell too much or too little.
When determining what to post for the other 80%, consider breaking it into thirds. About a third should be personal interaction that engages your followers directly. This could look like answering questions, responding to comments, or reposting user-generated content. If people tag you in something, use it. People love it. They enjoy seeing their name and their face and they’ll share it for you.
Another third should be sharing ideas and stories that come from other sources that align with your business. For example, we share articles from Social Media Examiner frequently. It’s our favorite resource for social media-related content. You will also see us sharing information from HubSpot, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social. It’s ok to share resources from others. It’s not a conflict and we believe there’s enough business for everybody anyway.
The last third should generate leads. Make sure you have a place to park your ideas. That could be a spreadsheet, a Google doc, or even a board on Pinterest. We are big believers in Pinterest. You can look at our boards and almost tell who our clients are. We have boards for their industries to help give us inspiration. It’s a great resource. If you’re listening, your audience will tell you what they want. You just have to ask them. It’s also ok to collaborate with other businesses. This will open you to a new audience and help you and the other business generate leads. It’s best to choose a complementary business. For example, we have a great web guy. Our businesses complement each other without competing.
Schedule Your Content
Now that you know what to post, it’s important that you schedule it out. No one wants to be a slave to their posting. With the exception of a few things on Instagram (we’re looking at you, reels) everything else you can schedule. You can schedule both Facebook and Instagram through Facebook. Planoly is also a good tool for Instagram. Hootsuite will take care of LinkedIn and Twitter. Tailwind is a great option for Pinterest and blogs. You can schedule YouTube directly inside YouTube. There’s a scheduling tool for almost everything you can think of.
20 Content Ideas
- Your Story
- Your Blog
- Your Other Platforms
- Trending Topics
- Behind the Scenes
- Product Reviews
- Polls and Questions
- What You’re Reading/Listening to/Learning Right Now
- Top 3
- Throwback Thursday (any material you reuse)
- Employee or Vendor Highlights
- What’s Happening in Your Community
- Call to Action