Once your business commits to maintaining a consistent social media presence, a key piece of the strategy for social media success is determining when to post what. Create a weekly social media schedule to prime the social media pump while promoting engagement and calls to action without creating excessive burdens for you and your staff. In addition to streamlining social media management, creating a weekly content schedule prevents you from falling into the trap of the broadcast style announcements and social media fits and starts that can alienate your audience.
Social media schedules vary in complexity depending on the size of an organization, engagement goals and other factors. What all effective social media schedules share is an awareness of the medium and the conversation space it creates; a commitment to social media monitoring and management; and a unified, appropriate communications strategy that places audience engagement and calls to action at the center of your social media planning and implementation.
Ideally designed on a weekly basis, the most effective social media schedules categorize and prioritize content and, in turn, use that content to communicate in ways that are both meaningful and actionable.
Within your company’s weekly social media content schedule, create and source content that furthers your social media goals and, ultimately, contributes to social media ROI.
Divide content into three categories: Original Content (the unique content your organization creates, housed on your website, blog, YouTube channels and other platforms); Third Party Content (content produced by publications, websites, colleagues and partners that adds value to your conversations); and Product or Event Promotion (sales, product roll outs, webinars and other events with which you and your business are involved).
With your communications and marketing goals as a guide, determine the most important content within your social media week. Some weeks, Product or Event promotion may rank highest for you. Other weeks, Third Party Content or Unique Content may rank highest. Be aware of the news cycle, particularly as it relates to your industry, when you prioritize content for your company’s social media schedule.
When prioritizing your social media content, think of social media outreach as a tool for achieving sales and marketing goals as well as strategic communications objectives, and schedule your content accordingly. Higher priority content should go live during the most popular usage times on Facebook and Twitter and your social media team should be ready to interact and respond accordingly.
Do not lose sight of the reality that good social media strategy starts with creating and participating in conversations. Use unique content, third party content and announcements to build conversation. Hone in on a theme for the week and share content that fits that theme.
Focusing on a theme stimulates conversation naturally, promotes the sense that you are present and engaged with your audience, and inspires action. Use the weekly social media theme, supported by your content, to build to your calls to action, making it easier for social media users to act because they feel informed, they feel heard, and they feel confident. Because they are, in fact, legitimately engaged with your message.