How to Create Social Media Planning Templates

How to Create Social Media Planning Templates

By Jessica Yost

I love The Home Edit, a Nashville, Tennessee-based organization company that works miracles on the messiest of rooms. While I certainly don’t have their skills when it comes to a clean closet, I like to think I can tidy up a disheveled social media marketing plan. Since most of us are putting the finishing touches on our 2018 plans, I’d like to share how I start to organize one in the first place.

While it’s highly beneficial and a time-saver to call in the professionals, we understand if creating a social media plan isn’t in the budget yet. We also understand that, in a perfect world, all of your posts would have content, graphics and be scheduled at least a month in advance. But, since it’s not a perfect world, here are some ideas for basic templates that will help you know what kinds of posts to create and when to post them.

Rule #1: Before posting, ask, “What value is this post adding to the viewer?”

I know you have lots of fun, interesting content to share, but let’s be honest – sometimes what we think is fantastic copy might not be as gripping as we imagine. I’m obsessed with my dogs, but I’ve had to learn that not everyone cares when they snore or chew a carrot. Shocking, but I understand. Sort of. Anyway, you want to make sure you’re not just putting things out in the universe, but bringing something to the table that will implore the reader to take action.

What to Post

I like to divide my posts into three categories:

1. Educate/Inform
2. Entertain
3. Call to Action

So, I come up with several topics or ideas within these categories. Then, I work backwards. What are my goals? I like to create an overall goal for the year, then break it down into quarters or by month. Everything should flow like a story so that those following all year are still interested, but newcomers won’t be lost.

After you know what story you want to tell, you can stay big picture, meaning you have a loose idea of what you want to post, or get majorly specific by creating a daily calendar. It’s up to you. You can also find what works for you in terms of creating a hard copy template: anything from a paper calendar to sophisticated software will do. Personally, I stick to paper or a table I create in Microsoft Word.

You can also follow something as simple as “Mantra Monday” where you share a quote, “Wednesday Wisdom” where you share something you’ve learned, and/or “Fun Friday” where you post something totally random.

When to Post

I realize I’m not giving you anything concrete, but this process is truly personal and each business is different. One universal truth I can share is that your social media outreach should strive for three things:

Consistency

Continuity

Engagement

Consistency means that you’re posting regularly, with whatever frequency is most beneficial. This is important so you’re not only staying relevant, but also because if someone checks your page or site regularly it’s important to know when fresh content will be available. However, it’s imperative not to post simply for posting’s sake; your followers will know when your heart isn’t in it, and this is where continuity comes in. Remember how we discussed creating a story earlier? If you get stuck wondering what content to post next (and we all do), just go back to your story and tell the next chapter.

Finally, strive for engagement. While it is important to consistently increase your number of followers, having those followers genuinely interested is the true metric for success. Anyone can pay for followers, and yes, with Augmented Reality we’ll soon be able to pay for “engagement,” but for now we need our followers and customers to care about what we say so, frankly, they’ll do what we ask of them whether that be purchase a product or service, vote for us or volunteer with our non-profit. This also ties in to posting frequency, but that’s a bear of a topic for another time.

One last comment: some of the most successful businesses I connect with, both small and large, don’t post on social media every day; and some, gasp, aren’t even on social media (or are on one-to-two platforms). I’m a social media coordinator – I get how important social media marketing is. But, this is not a life-and-death situation. I can name several “companies” that thrive on social media, but have nearly no business. At the end of the day, you need to have a stellar product or service and a genuine connection with loyal followers. In other words, you need to have something to post about. Your goal should be to have so many wonderful things to post that you have them queued up; if you’re spending more time trying to come up with something to post than doing things to post about, that’s a problem.

I know this is a lot of information, and you might be thinking, “I make jewelry for a living. Do I really need to have a social media plan?” The answer is, not necessarily. However, if you want to grow your presence online for any number of reasons, a social media plan – though it might take a little time up front – will make your life easier and more organized when it actually comes time to post. If you want more help in this arena for 2018, please reach out to me at Jessica@Germono.com. We can set up a consultation to figure out how to bring your social media goals to life.

 

Jessica Yost
Jessica@Germono.com