A social media post schedule can save you time, and also help you get better results with your social media strategy. But when you are starting from scratch, you may not know where to start.
The good news is that you can create a social media posting schedule in three easy steps. Then you can use that schedule to build your publishing queues, and build your content.
Choose Your Social Media Platforms
If you are going on a date with someone, it’s not enough to decide what time you are meeting, and if you are doing dinner or a movie. You also have to pick the specific place that you are going.
Social media posting is the same way. You have to know which platforms will be best for your audience before you can get started.
While there are many other social media platforms to choose from, the biggest ones for most businesses are still Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Each of these platforms has a particular atmosphere. The key is to find the perfect match for your audience, your content, and your personality.
Each year, the Pew Research Center publishes a list of demographic information for the users of each platform, as well as trends in social media. This can be a good resource to turn to when you create your social media posting schedule.
Facebook is the largest social media network and is used by 68% of adults in the United States. Facebook also has effective advertising tools that you can use. It has the broadest appeal of all the social media networks.
Twitter is a fast-paced exchange of information and ideas. While they did up their character limit from the iconic 140 characters to 280 characters, you should still think of your content here in bite-sized pieces.
Hashtags are an important part of being discovered on Twitter– but don’t overuse them! You want to keep things casual and conversational.
Instagram is popular with younger users– 71% of 18 to 24-year-olds use the platform making it a good place to connect with that group. It’s also a very visual platform.
You can use Instagram to show off your creative side and display your product or service in a visual way.
LinkedIn tends to attract users with higher education and household income. In fact, 50% of college graduates use LinkedIn. It’s also where you post content that is more business oriented. Some of the funny or cute content that would do great on Twitter or Instagram will fall flat on LinkedIn. Long form content is rewarded on this platform, with a focus on education and engaging in discussion.
Design Your Social Media Content
Now that you know which social media platforms are the best for you agency or business, it’s time to start thinking about what you want to post.
Good social media content will evoke a reaction in the person on the other side of the computer. Think about how you can inspire, engage, or teach your audience.
You want to be careful not to post too much promotional content, as your audience will start to tune you out.
Here are some ideas for different types of content you can add to your social media post schedule.
Tips and ideas for how to get better results
A quote of the day
Ask a question about your audience’s biggest wins, favorite things, or experiences
Celebrate a holiday or special day with a post
Get creative with your images on Instagram
Engagement posts that get a response from your audience
Events that your company is hosting
Recipes or project ideas
Best of or worst of posts
Trends within your industry
Links to your blog posts or other content
The key is to balance evergreen content and moment to moment posts.
Brainstorm a list of types of content that you can create for social media. If you are struggling for ideas, get the whole team involved. Once you have enough ideas for types of social media posts, it’s easier to create more of them.
Start by making a library of posts. You can use a spreadsheet to be able to easily create them all at once and then bulk upload them later. Think about the types of things that you can’t create ahead of time, and make a plan of how to capture that information. Do you do regular events? Do you want to respond to trending hashtags?
Create Your Social Media Post Schedule
Now that you know where you are posting, and what you are posting, you can get to the last step– actually scheduling your content!
Here is where a little research can come in handy. Take a look at your social media reports to find out the best times and days to post on social media, then choose which content will go out when.
You will also want to schedule the right number of posts per day. This can vary from platform to platform, and changes over time. What does your specific audience want and need? Ask yourself the following questions:
Is my audience highly engaged on social media?
What type of posts do they respond to the best?
What are my goals for my social media channels?
When does my audience spend time on social media?
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Try a variety of different posting schedules, measure the results, and then see what can be improved.
Do you have a complete social media post schedule? What areas can you improve by putting some thought into it ahead of time?
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