Creating a social media posting schedule is critical to organizational and executional success, and it helps your small team (or your main marketing manager) address the evolving need for consistent and engaging social media posts. Once you’ve created a calendar and have established your content topics (also known as “content buckets”), you need to start planning what content you will create to fill your schedule. Use these different formats or content types as inspiration as you nail down your content strategy and prioritize your efforts.
Pillar content, such as eBooks, long-form blog posts and guides, can provide a springboard for educational topics and should be targeted to the core audience or niche to which your business caters. This content is typically longer and more robust, which means it takes more time and energy to create.
For this reason, you’ll want to maximize the output and activation of the content. It can live on your brand’s website across different pages, including your blog or resources section, to help boost SEO rankings and draw people into your website.
Pillar content also is typically evergreen, which means you can use it throughout the year, either by letting a few months go by before reusing it or repurposing it for a different channel. Strong, evergreen content should be repurposed in a variety of formats and activated in different ways to help you optimize your reach and effort.
Pillar content can also be broken into derivative content that fuels output for dozens of additional posts. For example, if you’ve written a blog, titled “10 Top Tips for Creating a Killer T-Shirt Design,” then you can break out each tip into its own social post. That immediately gives you 10 pieces of content and allows you to fill up 10 business days within your social media calendar.
Another content category or “bucket” that can help fill your calendar is upcoming events. What’s going on in your area in the coming month that you want to publicize on your business page? Is there a big high school football game? Or maybe you plan to sponsor a charity 10K race? Do you want to support a local school hosting a carnival or charity event? Is there a holiday or a national recognition day? Schedule in any upcoming activities that you, your clients are participating in, so you can show your support.
Be sure to capitalize on the value of hashtags to insert your brand’s handle into relevant discussions happening about the event, and continue to expand the life and reach of your content posts through other stakeholders involved in the event.
Anytime you post about clients’ activities, you should also tag relevant individuals as well as the fan/business page, so they know you have shared a post. Tagging also makes a greater number of people aware of your company and what it does.
Videos are one of the most popular content formats because they drive a lot of engagement, whether it be traffic, comments or reshares. By planning ahead, you can create a video a week or every other week to schedule on the calendar. You might interview a customer about something going on in their company, it might be a testimonial video by a client who loves your work, or you might give a tour of your shop and introduce members of your staff.
Videos also can be fun and give followers a behind-the-scenes look at your business. Don’t be afraid to be silly and encourage your employees to show their personalities.
Curated content from other sources could account for up to 50% of your content schedule. You might decide to leave slots open during the week. As you are on social media and you see a post from someone that would be of interest to your community, schedule it in one of your open slots. Or you might just share it right then, depending on what is and how timely the content is.
Or, you might run across an informative blog or video that is not recent, but is worth sharing. In that case, simply schedule it to post in any open slot during the month. It’s important to have transparency into activities your clients are involved with and share those to your page when appropriate.
Photos & Images
Photos are another bucket category that should be scheduled on a regular basis. Show final project art or spotlight happy customers, staff at work and special events. Be sure to always be thinking of what would make a good social media photo, and encourage everyone on your staff to be taking them.
Use these ideas to get started. There is no prescribed number of buckets you should be setting up, but you want to post at least five days a week, that you should have at least five buckets, and you assign a day to each one.
You may want to have 10 buckets or more depending on the size of your shop, the number of niches you serve, the number of employees you have, etc. Give your entire staff an opportunity to participate and brainstorm on what your buckets should be. And potentially involve your teams and store employees in the brainstorming process.
Use your calendar as a guideline. Be flexible and adapt your cadence based on news, content and events that are relevant. The main goal of having a calendar is to ensure you are posting content regularly and are not letting days go by without engaging with your audience. It also allows you to make sure you are capitalizing on people, products and activities that you want to share with your community. The more your clients get to know you, the more they will trust you, and this is one of the greatest benefits of social media.