If you’ve just been posting to your brand’s social media page on a whim, it’s time to stop that — instead, you need to start planning your social media posts in a way that’s strategic, collaborative, and trackable. Otherwise, you’re just not going to get the results you want.
“What’s the big deal?” you think. “It’s just a Facebook page.”
That’s a sad underestimation of how important social media is. Your Facebook presence — or Instagram or Twitter or Pinterest or LinkedIn — is part of your brand’s public image. It’s a marketing strategy. And it deserves to be planned just like any other marketing strategy you employ. You wouldn’t send out print or television advertisements without any kind of serious thought, would you? It’s the same with social media posts.
Planning your social media posts means they’ll be more effective and you’ll cultivate a more vibrant social media presence. In addition, planning makes it easier for your team if you have multiple people running your social media accounts.
Define your goals and set up metrics of success for your social media presence from month to month. Remember SMART goals — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timebound. Let’s say you want to increase your Facebook following by 200 people within one month. Or maybe you want to consistently have 200 engagements per day. Once you have your goals set, you can start to determine what kind of content will help you get there.
Social media is about consistency and frequency. If you post only once a week, you won’t be able to garner much of a following. Planning your social media posts ensures you have content multiple times a day every single day.
Planning to post at certain times of the day will let you track when you get the most engagement. If you notice you have the most success at 2:00 PM, you can plan more posts for that time of the day. Similarly, if you notice people aren’t engaging with your post as often at 5:00 PM, you can avoid posting at that time.
You can also pay attention to the types of posts that your followers are engaging with. While day of the week and time of day are important, they’re not the only factors you’re dealing with. Maybe photos of life behind the scenes of your business are more effective than links to news about industry changes. Take note and plan to give your followers more of the content they want.
There will be some days that are more stressful than others. On those busy days, you don’t want to spend a lot of time and energy trying to come up with ideas for your Facebook page. Rather than letting your page go dormant, a schedule ensures you always have ideas and that you’re working to generate that content well in advance.
Planning your social media posts means that it’s easier to delegate who is responsible for what. If you need to create a graphic or a video, or if you need to compose blog posts, you’re working on all of those ahead of schedule instead of trying to throw them together on the fly. Not only does this reduce the stress involved but also it ensures a better-quality product goes out on your page.
Social media is even more difficult when you remember you have multiple platforms. The content that’s appropriate for Facebook isn’t always going to be appropriate for Twitter. Planning your social media posts ahead of time will give you a chance to figure out how you can tailor the content to best fit each of your platforms.
Take a look at your planned social media posts and determine what you need more of. Variety is the key to a vibrant social media presence. Do you have plenty of videos? Graphics? Text posts? Are they all spaced out appropriately? Remember, sharing three videos in a row followed by nothing but text posts for the next day could potentially feel inconsistent to a follower. If you can vary everything, you should do so!
Along the same lines as the variety of media, you want a variety of messaging. Too many promotional posts get overwhelming. You want to balance informative content and light-hearted posts with announcements about products and services. It’s easier to strike the right pattern of these when you plan your posts ahead of time.
Social media posts take time to think out and execute, and when this work is done on the fly, you run the risk of its being subpar or sloppy. Working in advance will mean that you have the type of content your followers want and that you’ll have it consistently. This leads to more interaction, more traffic, and ultimately more conversions.
This content was originally published here.