Want to make the most impact with your online presence? Create a solid process and plan for organizing your social media content instead of writing it on the fly.
We’ve nailed down a five-step process for planning our clients’ monthly content calendars, saving everyone lots of time and preventing any important information from getting missed. Check out the process below to see how you can work it into your marketing plan.
Develop a Creative Brief
Before you even begin writing your social media content, it’s important to know what you’re going to write about. It may be easy for you to think of post ideas in the heat of the moment, but to ensure you’re hitting your marketing goals and including enough of a promotional period for important initiatives, it’s critical for you to think ahead and be strategic about what you want to post and when.
That’s where a creative brief comes in.
Dubbed as a fancy term for “idea bucket,” a creative brief, in our eyes, is a list of about ten or so social media ideas that can, and should, be included in the following month’s content. We actually start planning 30 days in advance to ensure we have ample time to get everything ready, so as of May 1st, we’re hitting the ground running to prepare for June.
What types of things should go into a creative brief?
- Holidays: Are there any holidays happening in the next month, whether they’re national holidays or some of those fun “daily holidays,” that you can include? We love to reference Holiday Insights for sourcing those.
- Tips/FAQs: Have your clients or customers asked you questions recently that you think would be helpful to turn into social media posts? Add those to the list as well.
- New Content: Are you publishing new blog posts or getting featured on a podcast, in an online publication, etc.? Be sure to promote those.
- Team Highlights: Have you hired a new team member or would like to feature a team member again? Note that.
- Testimonials/Case Studies: Did you receive new testimonials or create new case studies? Highlight those.
- Events/Promotional Items: Are you hosting an event, webinar, workshop, etc. the following month or even further than that? Promote it consistently leading up to the event.
- Services/Products: Lastly, don’t forget to push what you sell! It’s best to do this when touching upon the pain points of your clients or customers.
This will likely only take you 30 minutes max each month, and it’s a great starting point for mapping out your content calendar. If it’s helpful, share this creative brief with other team members to see if they have other ideas to add.
Write the Content Calendar in Full
You’ll likely write more posts than the amount of ideas that are included in your creative brief, but those ideas are a great launching point for helping you to generate other ideas. Use a tool like Asana or a spreadsheet to write your posts for the month and plan out the correlating visuals.
What should you do after you write the calendar? Take a break! It’s hard to catch any spelling or grammar mistakes that need to be corrected, or identify any copy that you want to update, when you’ve been staring at the posts for the past few hours and might feel a little fatigued. Look at the calendar the next day or a few days later, or have a team member copyedit it to catch any mistakes.
Schedule the Content Once Finalized
Once the content calendar is complete, use a social media scheduler to schedule it all in one swoop and have a “set it and forget it” approach. Scheduling as much content as you can in advance saves you a boatload of time in the long run because it prevents you from needing to post in the moment. There will be content that you need to post as it happens, like Instagram Reels and Stories, but the rest can usually be scheduled ahead of time.
Engage with Your Audience
Scheduling and posting your content isn’t the end of your responsibility–be sure to engage, too! The term “build it and they will come” is no longer relevant, so it’s crucial to actively seek out and interact with your ideal clients and customers on social media.
That includes responding to comments and messages that users leave on your posts or send to you as well as commenting on other people’s posts and engaging in LinkedIn and Facebook groups. The whole point of social media is to be social, of course!
Refer to Your Analytics
Don’t assume your social media content is working–refer to the data and numbers that tell you if it is or isn’t. By seeing how your posts perform, you’re able to understand what you should do more of and what you should do less of, which helps you to prepare for the next month of content as you start to put together the next creative brief. Through this approach, you’re not just throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping that it sticks–you have stats that back up your strategy and plan.
If you don’t know which analytics to look at, here’s a list of the ones you should pay attention to.
This may seem like a lengthy process, but it’s a process that works and sets you up for success in the long run. Plus, it’s helpful to have a system down pat so that if you loop in another team member to help with this task, they know exactly what to do, how, and when.