It’s easy to get engulfed by the enormity of social media marketing — especially for smaller businesses that know they SHOULD maintain a presence, but have too many other to-dos on the list.
The secret to staying sane? In a word, structure.
Like any business process — accounting, hiring, sales — success lies in actually having a PROCESS. And that’s where structure comes in.
Try these easy steps to creating a social media posting process that’s less ad hoc, less time consuming and much more effective.
Work from an editorial calendar
Imagine the joy of having a jumping-off point for a social media topic every time you sit down to write. It certainly beats staring at a blank screen or going down the rabbit hole searching for curated content.
For blogs as well as social media, that’s the beauty of an editorial calendar. Take an hour to map out any seasonality in your business — for example, back to school for a clothing retailer or corporate tax deadlines for a CPA firm.
Assign a seasonal topic to months where they fall, and plan to write or source social posts around that topic.
For months with no seasonality, pick another topic. Using our CPA example, they could assign financial wellness to January, income tax tips to February, year-end tax planning to November…you get the idea.
Short on topic ideas? Check sources like Holiday Insights for offbeat designations you can use to fill in the blanks (National Deviled Egg Day, anyone?), or subscribe to services like SmartBrief to find sharable third-party content that’s relevant to your audience.
As copywriters, we always assume that “content” translates into “copy.” That’s definitely not the case on social media. In fact, graphics = more eyeballs.
So be creative in turning your post copy — whether that’s an inspirational quote, a client testimonial, or something else — into a visual.
We can hear the objections now. “But I’m not a graphic designer.” That’s where tools like Canva or Adobe Spark come in. Hire a graphic designer to set up templates for various types of content that you can update and customize as needed.
Use automation to your advantage
Know how some companies seem to be always on? The secret — they’re not posting live. Or they have an Energizer Bunny dedicated solely to their social media, which is another story.
Of course, pre-scheduling doesn’t mean set it and forget it. You still need to monitor and interact with followers, and share late-breaking content that doesn’t lend itself to scheduling in advance. But it can significantly cut down on the time you dedicate to posting.
Make a date to be social
We all know life happens. Fires have to get put out, clients need hand-holding, payroll won’t run itself.
Again, think of social media as a business process. Just like you wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) put off monthly accounting reconciliations, give yourself a deadline. Block off 90 minutes each month to create and queue up four weeks’ worth of posts.
A small shift in thinking — viewing social media posting as a business process, then using technology to streamline that process — can drive big outcomes. Now, what will you do with all your free time?
This article originally appeared in Business2Community.