How to create a great social media content schedule

By Dan Nedelko

December 1, 2011

Last Updated on January 28, 2012 by Dan Nedelko

<div style=float left padding 5px margin right 10px> <p><a class=fb photo href=httpsdannedelkocomphotosphotos of mealbum p=15photo222><img src=httpphotos fakfbcdnnetphotos ak ash1v20724641503668344s503668344 1183003 6736jpg alt=Yeah thats right Im doin that ><a><p> <div> <p>I often run into examples of poorly executed social media programs Generally this comes from a highly undervalued view of social media poor planning and an under estimation of the complexity of the channels<p> <p>Quite often this will lead to an inconsistent and off topic communication plan when it comes to talking to your fans or brand advocates through social media channels Here are a few things I see happen all the time<p> <ol> <li>You talk endlessly about yourself your product and special offers Youre talking at your consumers fans brand advocates not to them<li> <li>You talk endlessly about completely off topic content Try to be relevant to your brand values<li> <li>You are always borrowing the content of others You have content in your business I know you do Now use it<li> <ol> <div>Im going to give you some insight into a process Ive used over the years at both <a href=httphoneypotmarketingcom target= blank>Honeypot Marketing<a> and <a href=httpartbarnmediacom target= blank>ArtBarn Media<a> in order to put together a simple effective and organized social media communications program<div> <div><span style=text decoration underline><strong>Step 1 Define your company brand values <strong><span><div> <div>This is not a complex or overly difficult thing to do In 3 5 simple words or basic statements describe what you stand for and what makes your company or you different Whats it all about<div> <div>Lets use the simple example of Bobs Restaurant Its a mid range restaurant in a small urban center of 130000 people the market is competitive but Bobs been at this for 35 years Its a family owned business with a loyal following Bob is passionate about his work and the food that is produced There is a focus on local suppliers fresh daily specials and events which are catered and also regularly occurring weekly events<div> <div>At the most atomic and basic level the things that make Bobs Restaurent different are in fact food events people environment Were avoiding complexity and intentionally keeping it simple<div> <div><span style=text decoration underline><strong>Step 2 Expand on your values<strong><span><div> <div>Now lets dig a little bit deeper but not too much into what those atomic brand and company statements mean<div> <div> <ul> <li><em>Food<em> the food is made fresh everyday daily specials are always unique the ingredients are from local suppliers the chef puts creativity into every special and plate<li> <li><em>Events<em> events are unique and frequent from daily events to special events we are always dedicated to creating amazing experiences for all of our guests<li> <li><em>People<em> our staff are the heart and soul of our business we care about each other and work hard to make our workplace fun and exciting even though it can be stressful at times<li> <li><em>Environment<em> weve spent years countless hours and invested in the ambiance of our business we are always looking to make our restaurant feel like home a comfortable atmosphere where our customers are comfortable and welcomed<li> <ul> <div> <div><span style=text decoration underline><strong>Step 3 Build a content plan based on your values<strong><span><div> <div>Okay were getting there Now that weve laid out our company in a simple and concise manner we can build out a content plan that makes sense Were going to build content and messaging that always supports the values above and communicates these to our fans on all of the social networks we are engaged with daily<div> <div>When building out a content plan its very important to plan create and schedule This will ensure that youre not running around every day trying to create content in an ad hoc and chaotic manner Were going to use photos videos and small stories to communicate the points in Step 2 in a casual fun and engaging manner<div> <div> <ul> <li><em>Food<em> were going to take 50 pictures of all of our menu items the chef is going to give us a brief description of each and what makes it unique<li> <li><em>Events<em> we know that 50 of our events are planned Were going to use the creative weve already made take photos at the events and also re use photos from our previous events<li> <li><em>People<em> were going to take short videos and take pictures of our staff We want to tell their story and we also are going to take pictures of staff in their environment and show some behind the scenes peeks for our customers<li> <li><em>Environment<em> were going to take some pictures of our restaurant the ambiance and tell our story How did we get here What did we do that was a challenge We want our customers to understand and feel the same passion we feel for this business<li> <ul> <div> <div><span style=text decoration underline><strong>Step 4 Pick a couple of days and get that content together<strong><span><div> <div>Get a decent camera and video camera plan out a couple of days and then simply build out a database of the content in Step 3 Use Flickr to store photos load up videos on YouTube and get all of your content organized<div> <div>This is not a huge job especially considering that were building out a schedule that we can then have posting to our social media profiles on a regular basis By doing this all at once you can work it into your workflow once a month or every 6 weeks It will be very manageable trust me <div> <div><span style=text decoration underline><strong>Step 5 Use a social media management software package<strong><span><div> <div>I prefer <a href=httphootsuitecom target= blank>Hootsuite<a> for its ability to tie into multiple social networks multiple team member support scheduling and authorizing posts The most important thing here is the scheduling portion Take a few hours and write your content lay it out so that youre posting your content at the appropriate time of day and also planning it out so youre not flooding the channels all at once<div> <div>If youve never done this before then use your intuition on the most effective time of day to post content social media isnt magic its a channel that allow you to talk directly to your customers and potential customers and allows them to talk back Using the restaurant example above posting food features 1 hour before lunch or dinner would be a logical and intuitive place to start<div> <div>Once you got some analytics data you can then go back and start to see what content what voice what time of day and what rich media is the most engagig to your fans You can revise all of this in fairly short order<div> <div><span style=text decoration underline><strong>Step 6 Implement your schedule and prepare for real time posting<strong><span><div> <div>Congratulations Youve just off loaded 60 70 of the daily overhead of your social media program Now you can focus on the real time updates cool events that happen and monitor your channels to provide responses to inquiries<div> <div>Your messaging will be on point and relevant to your business without being too blunt or being so completely off topic that youre simply adding to the white noise of social networks Youll be engaging and unique to your customers turning them into brand advocates and will give you the opportunity to reach into their networks naturally<div> <div>How can you prepare for real time posting Make sure you andor your staff have capable smart phones and are comfortable with providing updates photos and discussion with your customers Be prepared because the more successful you are with your social media program the more prepared you will have to be to respond to your networks<div> <div><span style=text decoration underline><strong>Wrapping it up<strong><span><div> <div>Theres alot more to your social media plan than Ive covered here Landing pages contests engagement strategies partnership programs and more advanced content campaigns are all a part of a highly successful social media plan that doesnt suck<div> <div>The goal of this post is to give you a head start when implementing your own social media plan and community management Its an important first step as it provides the organization and foundation to move into more advanced and effective program elements<div> <div>Social media marketing will lift your business doesnt matter if youre a large enterprise or a local small business Hopefully the simple steps above give you a jump start into your social media planning<div>

Dan Nedelko

About Dan Nedelko

A human being spinning around on this big blue marble with the rest of you, interested in Digital Marketing // Music // Art // Family // Business // Founder of

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