Last week we started our series on Monthly Marketing Tasks with Planning. Break down your marketing goals for the month, get specific, and decide how to carry out the plan to meet the goal. These are important to every monthly marketing task list. Check out part 1 here to find more tips and ideas to begin planning your marketing for the month. In part 2 we’re talking about the social media marketing tasks you should do every month.
Social media is perhaps the most powerful advertising and promotion vehicle available. It has eclipsed the once powerful television commercial and paper ads. Social media does what no other platform can – reach around the world. It can share your message to millions around the world, spreading the word about your business, cause, or interest.
It gets better, social media isn’t one-size fits all. It is customizable to your business needs, size, location. It is flexible and malleable in reach, message, timing, and pricing. The power of social media gives a small business the same marketing power and reach as any larger company. It levels the playing field for every business.
If you are just starting out on social media for your business, decide which social media channels you need to concentrate on. You certainly do not need (nor want) to work all the available channels. This strategy will spread your efforts, time, and resources too thin. Instead, think about your ideal customer or client. Where do they go for social media? News? Information and resources?
- Instagram (purchased by Facebook)
Once you decide which 2 or 3 channels to start with, create business accounts for each. Similar to business and personal finances, you don’t want to mingle or mix the two. Keep business, business and personal, personal.
Planning & Consistency
The key to successfully using social media in your marketing is to have a plan and stay consistent. What does that mean exactly?
- Create a social media plan via a calendar or spreadsheet; schedule social media for the month.
- Post daily. Not weekly, monthly, or every 3 months. Post every day.
- Stay active on your channels. Don’t let them go silent. People will not engage a silent room so keep the conversation going.
- Post on every social media channel your target audience uses.
The general recommendation is to post to your social media channels at least once a day. For some channels (Twitter for instance), more posts throughout the day are recommended to reach your ideal audience. That’s a lot of content!
Two approaches to creating and scheduling content:
- Spend one 6-8 hour day creating and scheduling content per month
- Spend an hour or two every week creating and scheduling content
- Do it on the fly
Most business owners will use a combination of each option. Ideally, completing content for the month would be the best option. If you personally do not have this much time to spend on social media — delegate the task to an employee.
Rather than picking something random to share with your audience, be intentional about the content. Not only is this helpful to you to create content and schedule, but also your audience. They become accustomed to what you might be sharing, your style, tone, and message. It goes a long way to help with branding too.
Step One: Determine your content categories. Examples:
- Your articles
- Behind the scenes photos
- Your product photos
- Offers & discounts
- Blog posts
- Content from others
- Interesting facts
Step Two: Create content for each category and schedule.
Ideal Posting Times & Frequency
There is a lot of information on the internet about the best / worst times to post, frequency, what works for one channel doesn’t work for another and so forth. You posting frequency will depend on your chosen channel, audience, and your business. Customize these tips to work for you!
The most important advice – don’t overwhelm yourself with posting. The key is to stay present but not burn out.
A general rule of thumb:
- Facebook: 1-2 times a day
- Twitter: 5 tweets a day
- Pinterest: 10-15 pins a day
- Instagram: 1-2 posts a day
- Google+: 1 post per day
- LinkedIn: 1 post per day
- YouTube: 1 video per day
Now that you have your social channel accounts started, have content categories, and understand posting frequency; it’s time to start scheduling the content you’ve created.
Here’s how: Assign content categories and times to each social media channel you’ll be using.
Pretty simple, right? For example:
- Behind the scenes image
- product image & link
- inspirational quote
- Content from reliable & relevant source
- Facebook – Post 2 times a day; 1-4 pm
- Twitter – Post 5 times a day; 1-3 pm
On your calendar schedule content for Facebook every day at 1 pm and 4 pm. Schedule for Twitter every day at 1 pm, 1:30 pm, 2 pm, 2:30 pm, 3 pm.
Next, assign the content you will post for each time slot.
Do this for every channel you plan to use for the month. If a month is overwhelming for you, start with a week.
To make your life easier and open up your time, use scheduling tools as much as possible. They save time and energy by automatically posting your content at the scheduled times.
Some of my favorites include:
- Buffer – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest (at an extra subscription price)
- Hootsuite – Facebook, Twitter, Google+
- Tailwind – Pinterest
- Meet Edgar – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
- IFTTT – create “recipes” to cross-post from one channel to another
- Later – Instagram
- Boardbooster – Pinterest
Next week we’ll touch on advertising tasks in part three of the Marketing Tasks to do Every Month series. See you then!