Social Media Strategy In Action: The Content Calendar


Planning your social media content calendar

A few weeks ago, I began a series which shares the progress of Pyrpaw Marketing's organic growth via social media. Together, we'll be tracking my efforts, experiments, analysis and adjustments. Today, we'll be talking about "Content Calendars".

The Social Media Numbers

Below is the most recent report of Pyrpaw's social media metrics from the past week. As in the previous post, we'll only look at data for Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.


The past few weeks have actually been quite busy with client work and I've allowed my social media posting to fall by the wayside, and you'll see this reflected in the numbers.


However, this is actually by design.


As small business owners know, work sometimes gets in the way of, well, work. And what tends to suffer are the things we classify as "expendable" or "low-priority," and your social media marketing efforts are usually on that list. Let's look at how a haphazard approach to a social media strategy affects your ability to increase brand awareness, engagement and online growth, and talk about what we're going to do to correct course.


Social Media Breakdown By Channel


FACEBOOK:

  • Page Likes: Up more than 3%

  • Posts Volume: Up 25%

  • Engagement: Up almost 567%

The goal from the last report was to reduce my post volume to prevent "post fatigue" in my audience and see if it would increase overall engagement. I cut my posts by half from 10/week to 5/week, increased engagement significantly and even acquired some new likes, but not many.

Follow me on Facebook!


TWITTER:

  • Followers: 0% growth

  • Tweets: Down 85.71%

  • Engagement: Down 100%

The goal I set in the last post was to increase the volume of tweets in the hopes of gathering additional data to make more informed decisions. Obviously, I failed at that goal and the numbers show it.

Follow me on Twitter!


INSTAGRAM:

  • Followers: Unmoved at 0%

  • Posts: Down over 83%

  • Engagement: Down 77.5%

The Instagram goal I set was to double-down on better performing content and try to encourage engagement with my followers. While I did grow the follower count from the last post's report, I wasn't consistent with my posting or my efforts to engage my followers.

Follow me on Instagram! Analysis

The results overall aren't pretty. Why is that? Because I didn't follow the prescribed game plan I set for each of these social media channels. Which boils down to the worst offense to a social media marketing strategy: lack of consistency.


While you absolutely do not need to post constantly on social media, you do need to post consistently. Consistency creates a routine for you as a small business owner, and it also creates consistency for your audience. Consistency trains your audience to expect content from you at certain times and of a certain type.


So, how do I create consistency with my social media marketing while avoiding the stress of worrying about what to post every day?


My secret weapon: A social media content calendar.


What is a Social Media Content Calendar?

A social media content calendar is essentially the backbone of your social media marketing strategy. This is where you plan out the content you'll post for the entire month. It allows you to identify holidays, special events and more things you can create content around. By creating a content calendar, you remove the guesswork of what to post and when.


I'm going to set a goal for the number of posts I'd like to post each week for each social media channel, and with a little math I'll know how many items of content I need create for the month. Then I'll break that number into categories to make it even more manageable.


Facebook: 3 times/week x 4 = 12 posts/month
Twitter: 10 tweets/week x 4 = 40 tweets/month
Instagram: 5 posts/week x 4 = 20 posts/month
Total: 72 pieces of content

Seventy-two seems a bit daunting, but if we create some categories or "buckets" that our content should fall into, you'll see things a bit more clearly:

  1. Blog posts

  2. Quotes

  3. Marketing Tips

  4. Article Shares

  5. Small Business Humor/Memes

  6. Behind The Scenes

  7. Questions/Polls

  8. Video

That's 8 content categories into 72 pieces of content... 9 pieces of content each, that's not bad at all!


Now, I'll list all the content ideas I'd like to post based on my buyer personas which I have a whole series on HERE. And as you can see from a peek at my content buckets, they don't have to be evenly divided. The total for all these buckets? It's 72!

If you've made it this far, you're probably thinking,

"That's all well and good, Joe, but how am I going to stay on top of posting all this?! I have a small business to run!"

Great question! In my next post, I'll go over how I fill out my content calendar using these content buckets, and share a few tricks on how I manage posting to my social media channels so I can actually have time to do client work. Stay tuned!


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