how to create a content plan
Social media and speaking to your audience is all about consistency. While that word seems easy, to-dos and normal day to day things often get in the way of that consistency.
One way to help that is to set aside time to plan and schedule your content ahead of time. This can be weekly, bi-weekly, or even once a month. I tend to set time aside at the beginning of the month to plan the next one, so right now I am already looking ahead to September! I know that can be hard to process right now when it’s hard to take it day by day--and that’s okay, day by day we can work on consistency together.
Here are some techniques and tools that I use to help think about content for you, your organization or you business.
From the start, I am hoping that you already have categories of items you want to share with your audience and topics that you are excited to share. If you don’t have some ideas, play 20 questions with yourself about things you hope your audience would like to learn about or know about.
Let’s take those categories, topics and ideas that you want to share and start scheduling. Don’t worry, you don’t have to have everything ready right now. Let’s take a blank monthly calendar and decide how often we are going to be able to be consistent in sharing in our audience.
Just because we have 20 ideas now to share, doesn’t mean we post 2 times every day until we run out, how often do you want to talk to your audience? If consistency is our goal, consider trying to post 2-5 times a week. This will allow for some flexibility for you to create your content and share while also listening to what your audience wants & needs.
If blank calendars aren’t your preference, let’s try a spreadsheet (my personal favorite). You can make it your own and customize to what you want to share. Columns that I like to use are: Date, Content Summary/Topics, Caption, Scheduling Status (in progress, scheduled, not started) Links, Topic Category, Notes.
Start with the date and take your ideas and space them out in the same way that allows you to spread out your content throughout the duration that you can be consistent.
Once you have your spreadsheet or your blank calendar filled out with your ideas, take a second to see if you have other items that will fit cohesively in your schedule or if there is room to be spontaneous in plugging something in? Add items or save ideas for when they best fit in your strategy.
Now’s the time to create your content, take those pictures, and think of those captions. Utilize tools to help you stick to the plan, stick to your strategy and your schedule.
Trello is an online tool that you can utilize to-do lists electronically to help keep your content ideas and big picture strategy in order. This is a great place to keep all those ideas so that you can plug in your ideas when it comes time to plan your content for the next month. Trello is how I like to keep big picture ideas or brainstorm sessions that I don't want to forget.
Canva is a free tool with templates to create social media graphics. Plug in your photos or use elements of Canva’s to create your content ahead of time. I like to use this tool to create a great square graphic for Facebook or Instagram or try their story features.
The Facebook page for Business has lots of great benefits. People of all ages use Facebook almost like Google, to look up businesses, organizations and schools. This search of you and your business allows your audience to see how often you interact with them and gives others the ability to review you at any time.
Facebook Pages for business has a free scheduling tool on the administrative side that allows you to schedule your content on Facebook & Instagram ahead of time. This saves so much time and allows for more time you to be engaged with your audience and doing the work during your day to day.
Hootsuite is a scheduling tool that has a monthly charge billed annually. However, if you are managing multiple platforms and want more cohesive metrics to how your posts are performing, this is the platform for you. Hootsuite is easy to look at in a calendar view with a preview of how your content will look like on the platform. It’s an affordable tool, but if you can get by using your Facebook page scheduler I recommend starting with that.
"Sounds like a lot of work planning ahead." You got this! A plan and strategy that are constantly in progress and growing is what is going to make YOU successful. Without a calendar your strategy won't be as successful because you will never get to a point where you can just listen to the audience and evaluate what to do next. Once you get to that point, you will be able to grow and ask your audience what they like. Consistency is key!
Do you have any questions for me? Can I help you with your plan? Let me know in my contact form. Hope you crush your calendars and get your plan going.
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