Seven Easy Steps to Creating a Successful Monthly Social Media Plan
It’s the first of June and it marks many different things for different people. The uplifting fact that its finally summer and you can take a well-earned break from running your business and jet off to a summer destination, to the other end of the scale when you come to a frightening realisation that your kids (if you have kids of course!) will be shortly finishing school for the summer and will be knocking around the house until the autumn term begins or finally, to an even scarier thought for business owners is the fact that we have blinked and we are now almost halfway through 2018!
For many business owners, from start-ups to established businesses, it’s a sobering realisation as we all start the year with the best intentions to plan and tighten up all areas of our business, whether you plan to get savvier with competitor analysis to ensure you stay ahead of the competition, to promising yourself to get ahead with your day to day finances and not leave it to the last minute to setting yourself the goal to become a complete marketing guru when it comes to promoting yourself this year. This year will be different, we said, this year we will be on it! As we have reached this half way point in the year and reflect, hopefully for many of us, we have made some positive changes and have stuck to them but there are also some aspects of the business that have gone by the wayside as let’s face it, we are only human and as business owners, we are responsible for every aspect of the business and it can get hugely overwhelming. This is why we need to embrace the first of every month to help us stop feeling overwhelmed with the magnitude of responsibility and daily tasks we carry out as business owners! Instead of breaking the year down into quarterly or half-year chunks, take it on a month-by-month basis with short-term, bite size goals to help make it achievable and manageable and most importantly, to help you feel like your winning and continuing on the path of success.
This approach can be applied to any area of the business but because social media is my bag, then I will focus on how you can become organised and get on top of your social media for your business on a month-by-month basis. So far in the year, again despite best intentions, you might be ad hoc with what, where and when you post your content but as long as you’ve put something out there right?? No. It’s a new month and it’s never too late to take a new approach towards your social media marketing. Let’s start afresh with June and use it as a new opportunity to put a strategy in place as well as refresh and engage both yourself and your followers using the following seven simple steps!
Step 1: Dedicate at half a day at the end of every month to sit down and plan the content for the month ahead. Mark this date in your diary.
Step 2: Create a simple template for your social media plan that simply is a table outlining the days and weeks ahead with dedicated space for your planned messages and the chosen social media platform that you will be sharing that message on. The simplest tool to create this template is on Microsoft Excel however there are plenty of ready made, free to use templates available on the internet that you can download.
Step 3: Now it is time to populate your template with content for the month ahead. There is a wealth of quality and authentic content that you can be communicating about your business to your audience that is both relevant and interesting to them including:
- Your key business messages that you would like to communicate including promotions, new product or service launches to delivery dates if these are likely to be affected if you go on holiday for example.
- Relevant industry news that you can share to your followers that will be of interest and that positions you as on-trend and as a knowledge leader within your industry.
- Content on your website that you can direct audience to help increase website traffic including FAQ’s, online shop to latest blog.
- National days that are relevant to your industry and that you can create interesting and engaging content around including videos and images. Today for example is National Fish & Chip Day, which will be relevant to the food industry and a great opportunity to create a one-off promotion to entice people to come in and try their fish and chips on the menu if they serve it. Make sure that you use the relevant hashtags associated with the national days to maximise reach. Finally, be careful not to overuse national days in your social media plan and only incorporate it if it’s relevant to your business. As much as I would love to celebrate National Otter Day, it can get very tenuous and random making your business brand and reputation less credible, authentic and engaging.
- Make use of trending topics if again they are relevant to your business as you will position your business as on-trend and will help increase engagement and boost SEO.
Your key business messages are the most important posts to communicate but obviously you will not have enough fresh and new business related content to communicate everyday so use the other sources mentioned above as fillers to keep your business out there for everyone to see and hear on a regular basis.
Step 4: Once you have established your key messages for the month ahead using the tips above, create or source high quality images, GIF’s or videos to support the messages remembering the 80/20 rule of image vs. text to maximise reach and engagement.
Step 5: Map your messages with supporting media on your template taking into consideration the time and day within the month ahead that you would like to specifically post that message. The timing will be a combination on when it is most appropriate to post your business messages i.e. ahead of a product launch on a specific date to the time of day that your followers are most active on social media. This is where analytics come in and is extremely invaluable and insightful in revealing this type of information.
Step 6: To make your life easier on a day-to-day basis, consider using a social media management platform to schedule these planned posts. There are several platforms out there that are free to use for basic needs including Hootsuite and Buffer.
Step 7: Once your posts are published, be sure to keep an eye on responses on your social media channel so you can respond quickly to any comments and messages you receive in response to your posts. For good customer service, you are expected to respond within one hour on social media so keep an eye on your alerts!
With these seven easy steps, social media planning for your business will become second nature in no time and with consistency and planning, you will enjoy the rewards you earn back from this monthly approach. Inevitably, the key is in the planning but here at Nysnö we do not believe the old mentality that ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’, instead, our belief is that every new month is an opportunity to reflect and to strengthen ourselves and our processes as part of a continuous path to success.
If you would like a FREE Nysnö social media plan template then please get in touch and I will most happily send you one!