You’ve set your alarm for 6am. You hit the snooze button at 6:01. You’re brushing your teeth at 6:15. Then it’s cereal, coffee, preparing your kids’ school snack, more coffee and you’re running out the door by 7:03.
Like almost everyone you know, you have a routine. It may not always leave you room for spontaneity, but it’s predictable. And towards the end-goal of being functional and efficient, predictability is a good thing.
Well, social thinks so, too.
If you don’t use a content calendar to manage your social media, it’s time to worry.
But fret not. We’re going to take you by the hand and walk you through how you go about building a content calendar – for all of 2018! You’d be surprised how many brands aren’t doing it. Social media, like your daily routine, needs to be strategic, not ad-hoc.
When social media is planned and scheduled with a content calendar, the result is quality content that has had time to be built, and therefore is easy to digest for your followers and fans.
A content calendar helps you determine your content, how you will source it and its different formats, as well as the specific dates and times you intend to publish on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
So, let’s begin!
3 questions to start you off:
1. What are your social media objectives (are they to raise awareness, to drive traffic to your website, to generate leads, to educate, or to close customers)?
2. Who are your buyer/customer/target personas? Think specifically about what their ‘pain points’ may be and how you would like them to feel as a result of engaging with your brand.
3. What are the current events/trends (seasons, hashtags) that you can effectively leverage for traction?
Once you’ve set the frame for your social media content calendar by answering these questions, you’ll be ready to get more specific.
Subsequent questions to ask:
1. What types of content do you intend to post and promote on social media?
There are a few formulas to determine content. First, establish a content matrix that defines what share of your profile is allocated to different types of posts. For example:
a. The 80-20 rule says that 80% of your content is about providing solutions, advice, tips. 20% will be enterprise goals – so lead generation, securing customers, and the like.
b. The Rule of Thirds is an equitable division of the content pie, where 1/3 is for self-promotion, 1/3 is about providing solutions, advice and tips relevant to your brand/industry, and the final third is engaging your online community.
2. What are the different content formats you will post?
These could be snippets from blog posts, videos, live streams, webinars, polls, photos, podcasts, templates, offers, contests, e-books, infographics. Remember to repurpose content to conserve resources and to redeploy content that has proven to work.
3. How often will you post content? Three times a week? Daily? Several times a day? The answer to this question will depend on the platform and your audience. Always remember: ‘Quality trumps Quantity’.
Finally, keep these best practices in mind:
a. Schedule in advance. Bulk-schedule if possible.
b. When it comes to content, your safest bet is Planned > Spontaneous (though, like with life, you do need to leave room for the latter. Preach!)
c. Know the best times to post on each network – the general rule is 2pm for Facebook, 3pm for Twitter, around 10am on LinkedIn and 9pm on Instagram. But is that the same for your UAE-based brand? To determine that, you’ll need to check ‘Insights’ and analytics to determine when most of your fans are online.
d. Run like a unicorn. Unicorn marketing means cloning a post that has performed exceptionally well in comparison to your other content. A unicorn post has had higher click through rates, more engagement and greater conversions. Use your smarts and reuse content that has proven itself successful.
Do you want to determine the kinds of content that will work best for your brand? Are you looking for the right platform, and platform-specific tactics, for your industry? Keen to know the latest, easy-to-execute social tools, tips and tricks? Then subscribe to our blog.
If you want to do a social deep-dive, drop us a message, share your pain points, and we can show you workarounds. We create tailor-made solutions for some of the biggest brands in the UAE and MENA – from hospitality to industrial engineering.