Social Media Content Planning

60-MinuteSocialPartTwoContentIn the last post, I showed you how to get started quickly on a workable social media strategy. If you haven’t read that post, you might want to do so now and then come back to this one. That one was all about where to post; this one tackles what to post.

In Simple Social Media Strategy, we established that your blog is home base. A blog with fresh content will keep readers coming back to your site multiple times. It will help establish you as a thought leader in your field. And the most important benefit is how Google will treat your site. Each time you publish a new post, Google sees that fresh content and it will reward you with a higher ranking. That means more people will see your site in search results.

The Care And Feeding Of A Healthy Blog

How do you feed a blog and one or two social media sites with fresh content that will keep your clients and prospects coming back for more? It starts by knowing your audience. Here’s the one thing you should take away from this article:

Your social media material is not about you, it’s about your intended audience.

Think of the people you want to attract and ask yourself the following questions.

  • What are they interested in?
  • What keeps them up at night?
  • What do they want to learn about?
  • What do they aspire to?
  • Which major events or holidays might they be interested in?

Now that you have some topics, you need a place to capture them so you can begin scheduling them over time. I suggest you create an editorial calendar. That’s a fancy name for a document that holds your topics, post ideas, and the dates you plan to publish them. Any type of document will do… an Excel spreadsheet, a paper calendar, or a team calendar on Sharepoint.

If you’d like to try out different formats, I’ve got great news. A Google search will reveal many available for download — most at no cost. Directly below is a screen shot of one of several editorial calendars available from Google Docs Templates.

EditorialCalendarExample
Don’t let all those lines and columns overwhelm you. Just eliminate anything that doesn’t work for you. The object is to make your publishing schedule easier, not more complicated.

Did you notice in the list of topics there isn’t anything about your products or services? That’s not accidental. Social media works best when used to build a sense of community. Blogs are written with less formality, giving you an opportunity to display your personality. It’s not a good marketing platform or a place for sales collateral. That doesn’t mean you can’t ever talk about what you do, you just don’t want to make it the central topic.

Here are a few examples of companies that do social media really well. Take a scan through their blogs to get a sense of how they do it.

Are you ready to get started?

Next post:  White Papers And Your Social Media Strategy

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24 Replies to “Social Media Content Planning”

  1. Great share and I am sure very timely for many as we enter the last quarter of 2013…I know how this preiod is so key to get people’s interest on what they’ve been working all year. Thank you for sharing and for the additional online resources!

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  2. This is so timely and i am using google docs more and more. I have one set up to track my blog posts and I keep avoiding the editorial calendar. I have been over to read your SIMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY which is a great starting point. I am now heading to check out docs and get my strategy into a system that will make life more joyful
    with love
    Suzie xx

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    1. Hi Suzie, when you say you’re using a Google doc to track your blog posts, what do you mean? Is it to keep track of the topics you’ve written about? Just wondering what nuggets I can pick up from you! Thanks for visiting and for contributing a comment.

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  3. Enjoyed the posts Susan on Social Media. I definitely need to learn more about Google Docs and then take time to create a strategy for my posts. I like how you truly make things simple and to the point.

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  4. Hi Susan, I like how you stress the importance of spending time establishing goals for writing our posts, the editorial calendar, is a great idea, especially that you stress to overlook how complex they look. Getting organized and staying focused is one of the challenges for us working from home. Thanks for taking the time to help us improve our efficiency.

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  5. OK. Social media is important and my blog I know is my heart center. I need to be / want to be WAY more organized and focused. Thanks for pointing out my starting places. Appreciate your sharing your wisdom 🙂

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  6. Another great article. As I mentioned to you earlier I will be opening a restaurant sometime early next year and I would love for more exposure. It will be a small place and located in Taiwan. Is this marketing strategy still for me? What are the benefits of creating such a space if my target demographic are mostly Chinese speakers and currently regional in nature?

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    1. Wow – Fascinating questions. I’m curious about the social media situation in Taiwan – and let me also say, I’m completely ignorant of Taiwan, so anything I offer here is a complete guess.

      I would want to start with as many facts as you can gather. To get you started, here are some Taiwan Facebook statistics.
      http://www.socialbakers.com/facebook-statistics/taiwan

      If I were you, I would make a list of who my biggest competitors are and look at what they’re doing for marketing. Not that you want to be a copycat, but that could provide some very important information.

      I would also gather info on my target market. Where do they hang out? How old are they? Once you have a demographic picture of your client, and info on what competitors are doing, you may have some solid clues.

      Let us know how you’re making out!

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  7. Hey Susan how are ya? Just a fantastic post. Not only is this great advice for those just getting started online, but some wonderful reminders for those of us who have been doing this for a while. Thanks again and enjoy the rest of your week…

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