How To Plan Your Social Media With a Content Planner

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*This is a guest blog from Lucy Hitchcock of Sassy Digital. The place for all your branding and digital marketing  needs.

Whether you’re a blogger or a business, social media success always comes down to planning. Our best advice for those who want to boost their engagement and following is to meticulously plan your content a week in advance, and build it around a calendar that runs all throughout the year.

In this guide we’ll walk you through each step of finding the best content for you, and building a content plan around it.

Why is a content plan important?

Content planning allows you to set aside time each week to make sure your social media and digital marketing stays on track.

Consistency is key - do you follow accounts that post every day for a week, and then post nothing for a month? Most of us tend to unfollow these kind of accounts because they’re not satisfying our needs as followers. Accounts that post regularly and consistently will get more engagement, and what everyone wants - more followers!

A content plan simply put, will show you what is coming up over the next week and allow you to plan your content and keep on track with posting it.

It will remind you to schedule your blog posts, newsletters and social media around the seasons.

Your content should move with the seasons to satisfy your followers. For example - a fashion blogger wouldn’t post the same content in winter as they would summer because fashion trends change, and hems get shorter during the warmer months. If you apply this rule to your business, how does your content change?

What kind of content are you posting?

Before creating a content plan, ask yourself this: who is your ideal follower/customer? What do they do day to day? What are they interested in?

There’s a difference between what you think you should be posting and what your followers want you to post. If you can get it right by posting what they want to see then you’re definitely doing it right. Be aware that people will tend to get irritated if every single post is trying to sell something. Can you impart any knowledge or tips to your followers? If so think about what it is they might want to learn from you. For us, our followers want social media tips - but if you own a shop that sells home decor perhaps your followers want tips on how to update their living room style.

Content should be/do at least one of three things:

  1. Share knowledge

  2. Make your customers feel something (whether it makes them laugh or cry)

  3. Express your brand’s ethos

Take a look at your competitors and see what they are doing on social media, their blog, and newsletters. Take inspiration from their best bits and put your own unique spin on it. Definitely don’t copy.

The pictures and videos to display your product or ethos. Make sure they’re good quality and really reflect your messaging. Content planning can help you with this because you’ll think about the messaging of each post, then take pictures and videos to support the message - not the other way around.

Plan around the year and you’ll be organised for life

Now you know what you’re going to post, plan your whole year using a yearly planner. In this planner, you should take into consideration important industry events, holidays, seasons and red letter days. For example - if you’re selling Jewellery - Christmas and Valentine’s day are going to be two key sales dates for you. This yearly planner isn’t just for content planning, you can use it to plan out your whole marketing strategy both online and offline. Your offline marketing efforts should complement your online ones and vice versa. Everything should be cohesive and link together.

Using an Excel spreadsheet (don’t be put off by the word spreadsheet!) have a tab for each month of the year and in each tab mark the days and weeks at the top including the date. Down the side you’ll want to mark each of your key dates, social media channels, blog, newsletter, and any offline marketing efforts.

Why excel? It’s super easy to share with team members and for us - easy to share with our clients! Social media should be a collaborative process so make sure you ask other people for their opinions and input. There’s no right or wrong content to post on social media so someone else might have a new and fresh approach to content. Of course, that’s as long as everything relates back to the core messaging for your business!

Download our Content Planning Template here.

If you’ve got any questions, and for daily digital tips follow us on Instagram! @sassydigital

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About the author

Sassy Digital is a Digital Marketing and Content Consultancy for small businesses. They educate, empower and enable small businesses to find their voice online by helping them create the best content for their business. This allows small businesses to sit back and focus on what they’re best at! Their blog, Sassy Bites, inspires women to live their happiest life by finding their dream job, giving tips on everything from how to run a business, do your own marketing, and get that work/life balance.