When developing a marketing strategy, many publishers and bloggers decide to start by jumping on the social media train.
It’s a free, relatively easy and user-friendly way to get their feet wet in the world of promotional marketing, and it’s accessible to brands of any size – even if the brand is yourself.
While getting started with a social media strategy may be easy, it must be consistent and well thought out to make it successful.
The best way to organize yourself is to create an editorial or content calendar.
An editorial calendar for social media, like its name implies, is a calendar documenting the content an organization plans to share via social media.
At its simplest, this can be a list of your planned social posts, along with links, photos or videos that accompany them, the social media network that they’ll be posted on, and the dates and times.
A consistent social media strategy helps build brand recognition online, gain followers, and keep those followers interested in what your brand is doing. A calendar is a great way to ensure your social presence is consistent and timely.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning one.
1. Don’t treat all social media networks the same
All social media networks are different, and just because a post is a great fit for Twitter doesn’t mean it’ll fit well on Facebook or Snapchat.
Audiences, and what resonates with them, will be different from network to network.
Even when sharing the same announcement across multiple channels, your message should be adapted for each platform.
For example, Instagram posts must include an attention-grabbing photo, while Twitter is an excellent medium for terse, impactful statements and links.
2. Plan ahead and follow through
Just “winging it” doesn’t work in the social media world anymore, especially when managing accounts across multiple social networks.
To keep track of what’s being posted, companies must create and organize posts ahead of time, and schedule them accordingly.
An editorial calendar is no good if the creator forgets to post.
3. Keep in mind holidays, seasons and other special events
Messaging related to holidays or other seasonal happenings is a great way to keep a calendar full and interesting.
People want to read about what’s timely and relevant; this can help boost engagement on posts.
4. Don’t just “set it and forget it”
Although planning your content ahead of time is great, leave some room to add in last minute announcements or posts.
Also, don’t forget about any scheduled posts you have in the event that a tragedy occur. Many brands have gotten into hot water for forgetting to turn off scheduled posts in the aftermath of tragic news events.
5. Use tools that work for you
When it comes to creating the actual calendar, there are a few different strategies to try.
Some social media managers may organize social media efforts with a simple paper organizer. Others may choose to use an Excel spreadsheet to stay organized, while still others may find that a more sophisticated tool will better fit their needs.
Whether using an advanced online tool or keeping track of posts with pen and paper, it’s important to remember the above steps with regard to planning.
The use of social media for promotional marketing can be simple and effective.
Organization is key for true efficiency and effectiveness. However, planning ahead, staying on top of posts and realizing the differences between networks all are key to a successful communications strategy.
Want to stay up-to-date with the latest social media news? Sign up for PR Newswire for Journalists to create a customized newsfeed on new social platforms, apps, updates and more.
Author Hailey Lanier is a Business Development Specialist at Cision, where she helps businesses build integrated public relations strategies. She has a background in financial and non-profit public relations and stays involved with non-profits through volunteering.