The past few months, we’ve been talking a lot about social media. We’ve shared The Top Social Media Platforms You Should be Familiar With where we introduced some of the top platforms to research and understand; Accomplish These Two Steps Before Implementing a Social Media Program where we offered some planning ideas; Visual Content Speaks Volumes During Social Media Consumption where we provided ideas for how to improve your visuals and increase engagement on social media; and many, many more. Are you bored yet? We hope not! Our real hope is you feel less intimidated and overwhelmed because you have a better idea of what platforms are right for your business, how to create a social media strategy, and you’re familiar with some tools that can assist in the implementation and measurement of your program. Before we say: “that’s a wrap on social media,” and move on to our next topic, Marketing Plans, we want to share three final tips for getting your social media program moving forward.
- Set Your Messaging Themes
Creating messaging themes that your content, information, and insights on social media will center around can focus your brand and communications as well as create ease and efficiency. As a reminder, a theme is an idea to give you direction, not a set sentence, mission or vision that you repeat over and over.
An example of a messaging theme for a non-profit that helps children learn to read and relies on personal donations for their operations could be:
As a donor of XYZ, you help provide support to the operations, promotions and existence of our organization that is helping thousands of young children learn to read each year through personal help and scholarships.
In most situations, you won’t be sharing this exact sentence. However, you may share a profile on a child that is benefiting from personal help or scholarships or you may show a chart of how donor funding specifically supports your organization.
These themes are guiding statements that help you remember what your audience needs to know in order to take the actions you ultimately want them to now or in the future. Having a clear understanding about what you should be communicating will save you time and increase your effectiveness.
- Identify Your Process
If you’ll have multiple people involved in your social media efforts, create a document summarizing everyone’s role and responsibilities, and the overall workflow. Identify who will be responsible for creating content and how often, who will post the content, who will manage engagement and feedback, and who will measure and report on your success. Think of every need you’ll have, identify a responsible party, and collect and update it in this document. By identifying this up front, you’ll set clear expectations and processes up front, and save time and energy pointing fingers about missed timelines and messages.
- Develop Content Calendar Creation
Create a calendar based on your content themes. You’ll need to consider how often you can realistically publish and manage content. Identify a schedule you’re comfortable with. You may not publish the same amount on each platform. Plan your content for at least six weeks ahead of time.
At the least, we usually suggest developing owned content bi-weekly and then share other resources that will be helpful or interesting to your audience throughout the remainder of the time during that period. Prepare enough content before you launch your social media efforts to ensure you’re comfortable and follow the program you established.
Each calendar item should include the title or topic you’ll be posting, a summary of what you’re trying to accomplish, the date it will be published, and who is responsible for creating and sharing the information. Google Calendar is a great, free tool to get you started. It allows you to share the calendar with multiple people, setup specific permissions for each person, and color code or categorize as needed.
January is the perfect time to launch a social media program. People are setting goals and refocusing on what they need to accomplish. It provides a nice, clean timeline for measuring and following your success. Utilize some of the tools we’ve provided during the last few months and be sure to reach out if you have questions or would like assistance. Also, if you missed our Get on the Social Media Train E-Book, you can still download it here. Now, that’s a wrap on social media…at least for a while!