Social media accounts are no longer a suggestion for businesses anymore; they have become expected by Internet users. Having a strong presence among these outlets is a critical part of Internet marketing and generating two-way engagement between a brand and its targeted publics.
However, maintaining all of the channels is just as important as having them at all. Too often, businesses establish their Facebook, Twitter and Google+ presence without a structured plan to uphold consistency of content, often resulting in abandoned accounts.
So, what is the key to making sure your social media channels continue to benefit the marketing of your business? Most successful social media campaigns are a result of having a company content calendar, a concept of planning your posts ahead of time according to a spreadsheet. Below are three thoughts to ponder regarding how a content calendar can best work for your business.
Allow your calendar to be flexible.
How far ahead social media content can be planned in advance depends on the pace of the organization — a fast-paced organization that generally depends on breaking news may only be able to plan a week’s worth of material, while most others can generally put together a calendar for the month. Regardless of how much is able to be planned, there needs to be some wiggle room for last-minute, unforeseen changes. If a university originally planned on posting a link to a news article covering an on-campus event, but the president of the school unexpectedly passed away the night before, it would be social media etiquette to reschedule the original posting in order to cover the president.
Think like the consumer.
Social media should contain useful or interesting information. When charged with the responsibility of generating new content for the same brand day after day, it can get difficult to brainstorm ideas that publics want. This is when thinking like the consumer is more important than ever. Meet with your entire team and ask what they would like to see more of in terms of content on social media channels. Search for what kind of news pops up when googling keywords relating to your brand. Imagine being on the other side, and think of what kind of news or information you would be searching for. When you think more like a consumer, your posts will become more meaningful and better benefit your brand.
Diversify in your content.
While the purpose of the content calendar is to uphold an organized schedule and use time most efficiently, you do not need to stick to the same routine with the same general content you share. Successful social media channels post the brand’s original content, as well engage and share content by other brands. Link to news, post pictures and videos, engage with consumers and other brands. Post content that will establish discussions.
Social media is responsibility — a big one at that. Without an organized content calendar, you will likely find your business’s channels abandoned, with one or two irrelevant posts each months and only a few followers.
Lindsay Bradshaw is a content developer for Fahrenheit Marketing, an SEO marketing firm based in Austin, Texas. She thinks content calendars result in the most successful social media channels, regardless of how big or small the organization is.