Whether you love it or loathe it, social media is here to stay. If you're running a business in this digital age, you need social media. For those who think that you don't need social media for your business - go and research your competitors and you'll see that even if you're successful now, you will soon be left behind.
Accepting the fact that social media can actually help grow our business is one thing but another is how should it be managed? We have at our disposal a range of apps that can be used for scheduling social media content, these alone are massive time savers but you still need to develop and plan the content to post. From creating the content to deciding what to post, when and how often is the most time consuming part.
I have some good news for you, with a little time invested in the planning you can develop a social media strategy and content calendar that works for you and is quick and easy to implement.
Put simply, your strategy is a series of activity that will lead you to a specific goal. Once you have the strategy clearly documented, an editorial calendar will enable you to organise that activity on a weekly or monthly basis. When completed, the calendar contains all of your themes, titles, channels, dates, times and deadlines. Trust me, it is a valuable document. I set mine up in January this year, it has saved me countless hours of work and I've never missed a deadline!
The final key piece of information I have for you is the actual content calendar. This is a day-by-day record of all your promotional content, detailing what is to be or has been posted, in which channel, at what time and the level of engagement that each post attracted - enabling you to clearly identify the posts that worked and those that didn't.
With the content in place you can upload to your chosen scheduler which leaves you plenty of time for the engagement posts. To a point, even these can be pre-set although personally I don't recommend it. There are auto-response apps available but my own research suggests that these can have a negative impact due to the impersonal nature. People who take the time to engage with you do not appreciate an automated response in return. So before you opt for a totally automated social media strategy, consider the implications.
So, for a successful social media plan, remember:
strategy - editorial calendar - content calendar
Free templates for these three elements and much more social media management help can be found by following this link: Free Template Downloads
The article and free downloads were originally posted by Evan LePage for Hootsuite