Whether you own a startup or an established business, social media marketing is indispensable in today’s digital era.
From the baby boomers to the millennials, modern-day consumers are becoming increasingly smart. Subsequently, businesses need to get smarter.
In the year 2016, the number of pictures shared on various social media platforms was greater than the total number of pictures clicked by humanity in the history of time. Such is the power of social media. Such is the importance of harnessing this power for your business.
Social Media Strategy for Your Business
For a startup, social media is a crucial marketing tool. There is far more to social media marketing than simply broadcasting your ideas.
It is used to build value, gather feedback and gain credibility. The use of social media merely to create likes, shares, retweets is meaningless.
When the goal of the business is clear, only then does social media marketing have any tangible value.
So when Facebook is used to leverage customer data and Instagram to generate leads, only then are you utilizing the true power of social media platforms.
Here’s a workbook which will help you develop an effective strategy for all your social media marketing needs. Fill it up and see yourself get that clarity in setting your social media goals and use it to achieve great results.
As a social media marketer, you need to understand that these platforms have now become the key to segmentation.
Conversion tracking on Facebook Ads can be used to see the demographics & psychographics of consumers who have the highest conversion rate on your apps.
This method has low cost per acquisition. As an example, FanDistro, a music store based in Australia, found that 23-year-olds are three times more likely to convert than 21-year-olds. They also found that musicians in New Zealand are more likely to convert than Australians.
Read on, and you will discover the key tool used by successful social media marketers; to create social media calendar effectively.
Why You Need to create Social Media Calendar
Picture this: You are a food blogger based in New Delhi, sipping you morning cuppa in your office. Suddenly you realize that tomorrow is November 3rd, the beginning of the World Food festival!
You are baffled, and don’t know how to go about the content across your various channels of communication; exactly when will you create content across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and at what time will you post it to get maximum outreach?
Now you may be a creative dandy and create fresh and effective content within a few minutes, but for most content creators, it takes months of planning to come up with a campaign. It is simply not a result of last-minute ideation.
Want To Know More
Content calendars are used to plan and organize upcoming content. An editorial calendar is for planning the content such as blogs and posts; while a social media content calendar is for planning content for social events.
A social media editorial calendar is essential because you can schedule content at the optimal time. With more social networks switching to algorithm based feeds, you need to do all that you can to get more exposure & engagement for your posts. One simple tactic you can use is to post when your audience is most active.
According to social analytics, retweets on Twitter are the highest around 5 pm. So if your business has decided to launch an influencer campaign, you know what would be a good time.
A well-timed schedule has potential to entice your followers repeatedly. A useful trick is to find out the usage patterns of your followers and time posts for that time.
Careful, though. Industry reports have found that repetitive spamming can lead to angry customers and bad mouthing for your brand.
How to Create Social Media Calendar (Steps)
1. Know Your Audience
Find out what content your followers like. A simple way will be to find out will be to conduct a social media audit.
For a startup with few channels, a single spreadsheet can be used to track the number of likes, comments for Facebook, retweets for Twitter and so on.
For a larger business with multiple channels, a hub can be created with a spreadsheet for each individual channel in order to measure each channel according to its preferred metric. Also, always remember to keep your customers’ interests in mind.
“Content marketing is like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.”
– David Beebe, Vice President, Global Creative + Content Marketing, Marriott International
2. Identify Your Most Effective Channels
There are numerous tools to help you identify your best profiles. The criteria for recognizing a channel is, by deciphering the referral traffic, engagement metrics and opportunity for growth. The dormant or loss-making channels should be eliminated at once, especially if you own a startup.
3. Decide a Timeline
A fashion media giant needs to constantly make updates during Fashion Week. Similarly, the food blogger cannot simply stay mum during the World food festival and decide to post about it after the day ends.
For your business, you can make a social media schedule in the following manner by listing down the frequency of posts and type of platforms that will be used.
Once you have formulated your schedule, you can go for a more detailed description by specifying the type of posts, length, content and additional data to be used.
4. Measure the Results
Once you start using your calendar, you’ll want to see results, whether in the form of monetizing eyeballs or increased leveraging of PR activities. One way to do that is to measure referral traffic to your webpage through Google Analytics. Google Analytics can be used to manage your user data in order to generate meaningful and user-friendly reports.
Figure 1: Google Analytics view for user traffic
Weekly Social Media Schedule for Your Business
One of the most important things for your social media posting calendar is to figure out the best time to post. This will be different for each social network as well as for each segment.
You can check your Twitter analytics to see what time your fans are most active or most engaged or you can use various tools. Your best times will also depend on whether your customer is a business or consumer and also, what type of product or service you’re promoting.
In either case, you should have an idea of what days and times you would like to post for each social network. For example, on your Twitter account:
•Monday through Friday 5 pm onwards
• 9 pm to 11 pm on weekends
Contrarily, if you offer a B2B product, it might be weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm.
Monthly Social Media Schedule for your Business
Certain parameters that are critical in your monthly social media scheduling calendar are:
- Targeted date & time range
- Social network (e.g., Facebook, Instagram)
- Account name
- Links to be included
- Image or other media to be included
The regular process for scheduling the posts should include reviewing the calendar monthly, to ensure posts are scheduled one or two weeks ahead of time, generating social media content calendar ideas in alignment with the marketing campaigns, ensuring that targets are met for post frequency, time of day and day of the week.
Apps & Tools to Create Social Media Calendar
There are a number of websites, blogs and apps such as HootSuite and Coschedule that offer templates for your business to create effective free social media content calendar.
A social media marketing schedule, in simple words, is a calendar. It is neither rocket science nor requires advanced operations and scheduling knowledge. The most effective tools to create social media calendar are the easiest to use, and include:
1. Google Drive
Simply add a tab for each channel to keep everything segregated. Multiple social media accounts can be used for various customer segments and to resolve different issues.
For example, ASOS, Britain’s largest online fashion retailer, has multiple accounts to cater to different markets and purposes.
They have pages for ASOS Australia/ US/France/ES/DE/Italia, ASOS Menswear, ASOS Careers, ASOS Fashion Finder, ASOS Marketplace and ASOS Greenroom.
Such channels can be segregated by simply creating multiple spreadsheets for multiple pages.
2. Google Calendar
This enables your business actually to view the schedule in a calendar view. Google Calendar makes it possible for proper segmentation of content, color coding and event creation for each new post.
3. Websites & Apps
Apart from the aforementioned Coschedule and Hootsuite, that offer a readymade social media posting calendar, Trello is a website that helps you organize your content process by process.
Trello can enable your business to build a plan with the flexibility of Google Sheets & the layout of Google Calendar through a calendar view for due dates. Additionally, you can organize your calendar by social media campaign or network.
4. Traditional Pen & Paper
Get back to basics and get a real calendar; the ones you put on the wall. A tad bit old-fashioned, you’d say but is one of the cheapest tools that gets the job done quite well.
After all, even with the advent of social media, new age marketing techniques, and all that riff-raff; the basic marketing principles remain unchanged.
How to Maintain Multiple Social Media Calendars
Your business should engage a dedicated social media editor to manage its digital image. This manager will work closely with influencers and content creators to create what potential or existing customers want to see.
The social media management calendar can be managed by the social media editor with help from social media dashboards to manage multiple channels effectively wherein you can perform multiple actions at the same time.
Additionally, it is important to understand that a business should be omnipresent, but not at the expense of its content. For a startup, entering two channels is enough at the initial stage, wherein the channels can be chosen on the basis of maximum follower presence.
So if your Instagram page gains a large number of followers, you can afford to draw their attention to your other active accounts as is done by the Delhi based blog, FooDelhi below.
Lastly, Social Media Marketing automation can be employed by your business, which not only increases operational efficiency but also helps generate more leads.
Automation is often seen in bad light by social media marketers as it is impersonal. Therefore, it is crucial for a social media marketer to understand that one can never automate customer interaction. It can lead to disastrous consequences, as can be seen below.
Social media marketing can help you bring accolades to your business, and it can all be achieved through an efficacious strategy, by using a social media management calendar and creating fine-tuned content.