Biz Tips: How to Implement My Super Simple Social Media Plan in a Few Hours a Month

Biz Tips: How to Implement My Super Simple Social Media Plan in a Few Hours a Month

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How to Implement My Super Simple Social Media Plan in a Few Hours a Month

Raise your hand if planning your social media is your least favorite thing to do for your business…

If you raised your hand, it’s okay! You are not alone. Being consistent on social media is hard work! Succeeding on social media is even harder. You need a strategy and a social media plan.

According to Facebook, there are over 2.3 billion monthly active users. So, it takes a lot to cut through the noise of the never-ending posts that are being shared each and every day.

Unfortunately, in addition to figuring out your social media plan of attack, you have a million other things you need to do for your business! Although you know you need to do it, social media planning and management drop to the bottom of the to-do list every month.

A social media plan helps you post consistently and more quickly so you have time for other things.

Let’s talk real here for a minute. If social media planning and management are last on the list, they aren’t getting done.

There are many things that go into a successful social media presence, but there is one thing that successful brands have in common: they have a clear social media plan.

So, to express a trustworthy, vibrant brand to your social media visitors, you’d best get to planning!

Step 1) Review the Past to Plan for the Future

Every good social media plan starts with an audit. This means before you think about where you want to go, you should take a look back at where you’ve been.

Here’s the Insights tab for the Smart Bird Social Facebook Page. What’s getting all of the engagement and reactions? PERSONAL posts, not business focused posts. That isn’t always true on Twitter, though. Our business posts perform better on Twitter, which is why you want to assess your content per each platform.

Your social media plan includes reviewing the performance of your past posts. Personal posts and videos perform best on the Smart Bird Social Facebook Page.

Ask yourself these questions per platform to plan your social media:

  • How many likes or favorites?
  • How many shares or mentions?
  • What types of content get the most love on my profile?
  • Which posts didn’t perform well?
  • What time is the most popular for your posts?
  • What are my competitors doing that is/is not working effectively?

Review your existing content and your competition to plan your social media posts. Facebook provides valuable data on the Insights tab. Discover when fans are online, which post types perform best, and what content is working for your competitors.

After you review your posts, document the content that performed well and what time you posted it. You’ll want to create similar content and post it at similar times.

Pro Tip

Compare your platforms side-by-side and see which one is bringing you the most value. If you’re short on time, go all in on just one platform. This will boost your results.

Note: Going all in means developing content specific to the platform and engaging every day.

Ninja Tip

Create a secret board in Pinterest where you pin ideas throughout the month for content inspiration. I’m not suggesting that you copy other people’s content! But, this board will get the creative juices flowing when you go to plan and develop your content.

Step 2) Plan and Create Your Posts

Note: This article’s focus is social media planning, so we won’t get into specific details about how to create content.

In our experience, we have found that a spreadsheet system is the fastest way to create content each month.

We plan each post using our social selling system that aligns our social media posts with at least one business goal. However, you don’t need to get this fancy to accomplish your content plan!

A spreadsheet is one easy, fast method to develop a social media plan. We have lots of columns, but you only need three to start!

Speed is your best friend. That means simple! All you need to do is:

  • Review your audit notes from Step 1
  • Create a Google Sheet with three columns
  • Column 1 for the date,
  • Column 2 for your text caption, and
  • Column 3 for the image file name (if you use images)
  • Write your social media post text in the Google spreadsheet (one line per post)

Here’s an example of the social media plan (aka the spreadsheet) we give to The Content Cure members each month so that they don’t have to come up content ideas:

Each month, we take care of the social media planning and content calendar for our TCC members.

Organizing your posts in a spreadsheet format helps you track and plan what is posting when. A spreadsheet process also gives you a checklist when creating images to accompany your social media textual captions.

Pro Tips

We recommend including a graphic, gif, or stock image with each post.

Batch your graphics creation. That just means create 5–10 images at once so you maximize your time. Use templates to make your graphics creation process faster.

Ninja Tip

Personal branding is just that — personal. Whatever product or service you are selling, include a mix of content, including inspirational, educational, and a little fun!

As I shared above, our personal content performs the best. And, we’ve found that high performing content gives our other posts a little boost! So, that’s an incentive to find what types of content work and create more of them.

Step 3) Schedule your Social Media Content

Now that you’ve planned and created your social media content, it’s time to schedule your content.

Here’s a little secret: you can create an entire month of social media content in a few days using a spreadsheet as I discussed above.

You can also schedule all of that month of content at one time in your social media tool. The spreadsheet makes this possible!

With a spreadsheet, you can follow this easy process:

  1. copy your spreadsheet and edit it to one column with text captions only
  2. sign into your social media management tool
  3. upload your text captions to your tool in bulk rather than post-by-post
  4. upload your images in bulk (may not be an option — depends on the tool)
  5. add the finishing touches, review, edit (optional)

This process saves you time and hassle, which means more sleep, more family time, and less social media busy work.

Using eClincher, we’re able to bulk upload our content to schedule weeks of posts in advance.

It’s really up to you how much you want to plan in advance. But, scheduling out at least a week or two of content is a good bet.

We use eClincher. But, my personal favorite for scheduling is Post Planner because it schedules posts and images at the same time in bulk. BOOM!

There is a bit of set-up to do on the front end with Post Planner. However, once you understand what you’re doing and get a rhythm down, it’s easy!

Even if you are not into “bulk” social media scheduling, using a spreadsheet for content planning saves you hours. You’re breaking down a big task into a few separate steps that normally would take many hours if completed at once.

This process allows your business will have a regular presence on social media, which makes you, your fans, and social algorithms satisfied in the process.

Pro Tips

The spreadsheet is your own social media content calendar that can be reused each month. You’ll find that the same types of content and themes generally perform the best. Create a template so that you’re not working from scratch. A content calendar template makes your work go faster!

Make a list of the steps you take to complete this process and your investment of time. After you do this process a few times, patterns will emerge. Soon you’ll work the different steps into pockets of time on your calendar. You’ll be a pro at it faster than you think!

Ninja Tip

When you’re using a bulk upload option for your images, name your files alphabetically and numerically in a way that matches your text captions.

For example, we use a date-time-description format for the file name.

  • mar-1-am-do-good-deeds.jpg
  • mar-1-pm-social-media-tips.jpg

This works best with Post Planner. It’s a bit wonky with eClincher but totally manageable plus MUCH faster than uploading images one at a time.

It’s Time to Accept You Need a Social Media Plan…and More

You wouldn’t be a typical small business owner if you didn’t pray for a social media “easy” button!

Sorry, but social media marketing takes more than planning and forethought. There’s content creation, scheduling, and analysis.

We help business owners with a social media plan, called the Social Media Calendar, where we do the planning for them. In fact, this is a popular service.

Small businesses and brands are thrilled and satisfied with the Calendar. Yet, as much as they love the plan, I find that they can’t keep up with content creation and scheduling.

There’s no way around the content creation part of social media marketing! But planning makes it faster, easier, and manageable.Click To Tweet

There’s no way around the content part of social media marketing! Planning makes no difference if you’re not going to follow through. So, you must accept that a plan by itself isn’t enough.

That’s why we developed our social selling system called The Content Cure for small brands like yours! DIY your social media 20x faster…schedule 30 days of content in an hour, oh yes!

Whether you join The Content Cure or not, I’ve given you a step-by-step process that eases the pain of posting on social media while making it possible to enjoy a latte at your favorite coffee shop with your bestie! Enjoy!

Originally published at smartbirdsocial.net on March 5, 2019.

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