Most people jump into the business social media tactics with great enthusiasm. You have ideas, you have time you have content. All is good. Until, well, the basic tasks of running a business and all the other project and priorities you have soak up your well-intended social media management time. Before you know it, your Facebook page will end up like a ghost town. It’s a very common problem. In fact poll showed that nearly 25% of brand marketers are developing social media strategies but are still struggling to execute. What to do? It’s time to take a few strategy steps back and come up with a social media calendar.
But wait, you say. There just is not enough time to develop a whole calendar let alone the daily demands of social media. How the heck (and why) should you take the time to get all strategic and try to do a whole editorial calendar?
Here are Five good reasons:
1) Map out constant activity. One of the keys to keeping an audience on social is to consistently churn out content. If you are active for one month and then crickets for the next 3 months, the odds are you will have lost a few followers. With an editorial calendar you are prepared with constant things to post so your page won’t “go dark”. There is a schedule and all you have to do is take 15 to 20 minutes to follow.
2) Better planning of your content mix. If you have a calendar at your fingertips you can see where you will need content in between promotions. One of the benefits of using an editorial calendar is that you can spec out all the major events of your business, industry events, and holiday promotions, and see at a glance where the holes are. That’s when you may want to throw in some informative articles, contests, or other marketing efforts that will keep your audience engaged.
3) Events and holidays won’t sneak up on you. It happens to the best of us. You are sailing through the season and suddenly realize that a big holiday with promotional potential is right around the corner and you have to scrape up a deal to pitch to offer to your customers. If you had more notice, you could have done a more professional campaign with content and tips leading up to our big promo, but you just didn’t have the time. Having an editorial calendar forces you to see these holidays far in advance so you can plan accordingly.
4) Allows you to better delegate. Not only does an editorial calendar pull together your marketing messages into a single plan, but it gives you a chance to hand off that comprehensive strategy to your marketing team. Even in a small company, the job of social media is often is handled by more than one person. By using your calendar as a guide, the work of social media posting can be divided up or outsourced as needed.
5) Save time with a ready-to-use plan. Having an editorial guide in place with some areas of focus and ideas to develop will undoubtedly save you time. Without it you will be tempted to go online to find a topic or article to share or write about. 45 minutes to an hour later, that foray online can lead to some reading of some great articles and interesting thoughts, but still no social media posting has been done. By pinpointing your messaging ahead of time and the articles or resources, you can come up with quick and succinct posts to share real-time or even schedule out weeks in advance.
Because I think editorial calendars are so vital to your social media strategy, I am giving away my “Year of Social Media Editorial Calendar” for FREE. In it you will find practical and creative content to keep your social media flowing throughout 2014. Click here to download the editorial social media calendar now.