Well managed and implemented social media strategies can be one of the largest growth factors a successful blogger has. A poor social media strategy can turn into a huge time sink, draining away valuable time and not yielding measurable results. Where’s a blogger to start? You now you should be posting regularly on social media but it’s just so hard and time-consuming! It doesn’t have to be, by using a social media content schedule you can manage time, monitor your results and schedule your posts to have optimal impact on your readers!
Get Your Own Template
First, pick up your free social media content calendar template here. Use it to follow along as I give you tips and advice to get the most out of your social media posting schedule. This content calendar is a fully editable Google Sheet. That means you can edit it to meet your own needs and access it from anywhere you are. Just save a copy to your own Google Account to get started.
Using Your Social Media Analytics
Now that you are ready with your template in hand, it’s time to get started figuring out your schedule. How do you do that? Analytics. First, take a look at your analytics data. All social media sites give you this information. In this example we will look specifically at Facebook. Using your Facebook Insights is the best way to be successful on Facebook, believe it or not they don’t actually want to screw you over, that’s why they have given you such a powerful tool.
Example: How to Create a Social Media Content Schedule for Facebook
To access your page’s analytics navigate to your page, then click the tab near the top of your page that says “Insights”. The first thing we want to know about our Facebook fans is when are they online?
Go to “Insights” Then “Posts”. You’ll see something like this.
This is a screenshot of one of my pages. Looking at the time graph shows you when your fans are online. Posting content when your fans are actually online will increase the chances they will see your posts! According to the graph in the screenshot my fans are night owls. They are NOT around from 11am until 10pm. That means I need to catch them when they check their Facebook feed early in the morning, then again in the evening and at night my time.
For example, my Facebook Post Schedule might look like this:
Remember, Facebook shows you the times in your computer’s timezone. If you are like me, and you are NOT in the same time zone as your audience you need to remember this and plan accordingly. So I’d need to change the times above to something more like this:
Need help with timezone conversions? Checkout Every Time Zone! So easy to get those annoying time zones sorted out!
You will want to repeat this for each social media network you are active on. Not sure where to start? New with no analytics data? Try these general guidelines:
Pinterest – Popular hours to be on Pinterest are 2pm Eastern to 12am Eastern. Pinterest is very popular with midwestern mothers, as a result times when kids are in school and after dinner are popular to be online. Timing is less important on Pinterest due to content’s longer lifespan. Older pins still can go viral!
Instagram – Varies. Use good hashtags, post good images, and you can get good engagement anytime of day (or night).
Twitter – This will also vary, especially depending on your target audience. Does your audience work a 9-5 job? Time tweets during commute or break hours; 7am -9:05am, 11am-1pm, or 5:05pm -7pm. Then evening hours when people have free time. Is your target audience SAHM mothers with small children? Try early mornings, morning and afternoon nap times, and after dinner.
How often to Post:
This is somewhat tricky as it depends on the social network you are on as well as your audience. It will take trial and error on your part to figure out the optimum posting strategy.
Twitter – Content doesn’t last long here. Post frequently! 1 tweet an hour isn’t unheard of, you need to post here multiple times a day to cat the most numbers of your followers. If you are promoting your own blog post or promotion, tweet it at least 3 times throughout the day for maximum exposure.
Facebook – Content here lasts slightly longer than on Twitter, and due to more recent changes in how Facebook works it will try to show people older posts they may have missed in their feed. So your posts may get a second shot to be seen by your fans. You should also post multiple times a day here as well. I would suggest at least 4 or 5 times a day. On days you have a blog post going out, I would post at least twice about it at different times to ensure as many of your fans will see it as possible.
Pinterest – Content on Pinterest has a very long life. It’s very possible for old pins to suddenly go viral or your pins to attract traffic in a cycle. Pin multiple times a day, and pin mostly other’s content. Pin your own pins multiple times to different, but relevant boards and group boards to get the most exposure. Remember to use good keywords in your pin and board descriptions.
Instagram: I would post at least once a day, it really helps to attract new followers if you are active regularly and as frequently as you can be.
Now that you have a schedule, you’ll need some content to post! In general you want to post more of other people’s content than you post of your own. Why? No one wants to hear you talk about yourself. They just don’t. Fortunately there’s a sea of content out there and lots of potential things you can share with your audience that they will love!
Useful or informative links – These are things like links to interesting or useful articles, blog posts, or videos. Stuff that can help your followers be better some how or be entertained. If you are a food blogger this could be a delicious seasonal recipe, or a link to an informative video on a cooking technique.
Images – This can range from the popular quote image to photos you take yourself, to photos from your blog posts or promoting your blog.
Quotes – These can be either from famous people, or simple words of wisdom, or advice you have yourself to share.
Videos – From the funny to informative to touching or emotional, there’s always a video you can find that your fans might like.
Retweets & Shares – Pretty self-explanatory, share others, and they will be more likely to share your own. If you are using something like Buffer you can actually schedule your retweets so that you aren’t spamming your followers with retweets and spread them through the day!
Promotional – Keep this type of content to a minimum. Your fans don’t want to be constantly sold to! This content can take any form you wish (and the more creative the better), but it should make up a minimal amount of your social media posts.
Interactive – From informal polls to questions these are the types of posts that boost engagement and start conversations.
Random & Personal Posts – Depending on your brand you may or may not end up posting a lot of this type of content. Very conservative brands will probably shy away from this type of content, while more free-spirited brands may find this to be their secret weapon. Either way, these are the types of posts that can humanize your brand and really show people what your brand is all about.
You should try to offer a mix of social media post types in your content, it will help your audience stay engaged and interested. Remember, the key to social media is to connect with your fans and followers. You want to give them the content they want, it’s about them!
Tools You Need:
Sure, you could manually post all of these posts, but I’m sure you have better things to do, like you know…writing your blog posts! That’s why you need a social media helper! No, you don’t have to hire a VA! Try one of the many popular social media scheduling tools available. They make it easy to manage your social media with little time on your part. I personally use Buffer and love it, but any of the tools below will make your social media life that much easier!
Protip: Want to turn on Godmode? Hootsuite has a handy auto schedule feature that will automatically find out when the best time to post your updates is!
It’s not all about the schedule!
While a social media content calendar or schedule can help make your life easier and give you time back, it’s not a replacement for live social interactions! Even if you have the best social media content calendar in the world you still need to create live posts and, most importantly, respond and interact! [bctt tweet=”Social media is about being social, it’s about networking and building relationships.”] It’s not just about promoting yourself and your blog.