I have recently been talking with a few clients and members about staying on top of social media posting – partly for sanity (!) and partly with the aim of getting more engagement & general success. How can you stay ahead of social media posting so that you’re consistently getting the timing right? Are there ways to plan your social content that makes the most of your energy and creativity?
This How To Guide isn’t so much about full content planning (please check out previous guides especially the 5 Pillars one from late 2021 PLUS content planners in the Member Hub) but about the delivery part that works in such a way as fits around all the other things you have to do! So let’s get started!
Get the plan right.
This takes time and effort but it is SO worth it. Check out our Mini Workshop recordings in the Member Hub to help you define your customers, vision, mission and purpose and of course your message. Take a look at your 5 pillars of content (How To Guide from November 2021) so that you have clear plan for your core topics and themes. Start to break this down into a content planner (try the Member Hub downloads) so that each month, week and perhaps each day, you know what you want to share.
Sorry this isn’t to confuse you! But a plan is a framework or backbone to your social media activity which is made better when you stay agile and flexible for maximum creativity. This means that you can leave room for spontaneous fun or last minute announcements etc. You may have a quantity of scheduled content and room for something you want to share in a more last minute way.
Batch prep content.
This is an oldie but a goodie and as we settle into the year, it might be that you’re ready to get this activity under control. This might mean photography, graphic development or testimonial gathering. Schedule a chunk of time each month or season to create this in advance. Another top tip is to plan WHERE you will store this content too. Do you need it available in your phone for Instagram or will is be stored in the cloud to be accessed by all your devices? Will you store content in folders that match your pillars or perhaps the month of posting?
What to schedule?
The advantage of scheduling out content is that you know that the timing is right, it’s out of the way and you’re ahead of the game. It also provides consistency for your audiences with a nice rhythm and flow of content being shared. However, to really bring your social media alive, it’s important to leave room for spontaneous content like stories, posts or reels that might share something that’s happening live, thoughts you want to share or announcements. Word of caution – think also about what you’re scheduling. If your content will create a lot of responses e.g. a question or an ask for shout outs, then be sure that you’re around live to be part of that conversation.
How to schedule.
So you’ve chosen which content you want to schedule. For example, you want to share Insta posts first thing in the morning or you want to consistently share a blog series on LinkedIn. This will help inform what scheduling options to choose. Here are some great options:
Meta (formerly Facebook) Business Suite and Creative Studio: found from your Facebook page, this platform is best used on your desktop and allows you to schedule out to Facebook and Instagram. New features include a chance to schedule to each platform at different times for the same content and also to edit for each platform. Meta also provides you with top tips fo optimum timings. For example, you might encourage Facebook users to visit your website and for the same content on Instagram, you might ask them to visit your bio. All your scheduled posts and previously shared can be seen in a list too to allow you to easily see what’s worked well and not so well for your future planning.
Instagram drafts: this is a simple way to get a little bit ahead. Maybe you want to post on Instagram at 6am or when you’re taking the dog for a walk and want to prep ahead of time. Create the post in the same way as usual on your phone but at the last step, instead of pressing ‘post’, simply use the back button until Insta asks if you want to delete or save to drafts. The prepped post can then be posted with a couple of clicks when you’re busy, half asleep etc.
Third Party options: Hootsuite, Buffer, Monday are all perfectly good schedulers. They allow you to upload all your platforms in one place and plan out to all of them. Pro tip – you might have the same announcement to share on all your platforms but edit them differently to suit your audience e.g. Facebook might be a video and Instagram might be a static. Most of these platforms will eventually charge you some money and can be glitchy (check ratings first) but they are great for this of you who like to see everything in one place.
Phone app schedulers (some do desktop too!): There are new apps coming out all the time that work especially well for Instagram or story sharing across your Meta platforms. For example Skedsocial.com allows you to schedule out your Insta stories as well as Facebook and more. Planoly is also a favourite for many. It allows you to schedule and plan your grid as well as handling Pinterest and Twitter too. Later.com is also a great all in one option that includes posting and story scheduling.
Remember that consistency wins over frequency!
Yes yes, you want to be regularly posting on all platforms, so once a month may not cut it BUT don’t be driven nuts by a pressure to post 3 times a day either. Choose consistency over frequency to keep the quality high and you sanity in place. Your audience will start to understand when to look out for your content and look forward to it. You will also get into a routine you can handle!