Your Ultimate Guide to being efficient as a small business owner with content planning, creation, and execution on social media. I've got everything you need to know, right here!
We've talked about content a lot before, but this time we're talking all about how to make your content planning process as simple, easy to follow, and fun as possible.
Stages of Content Planning
Time to bite the bullet...you have to post organic photos and videos of your business if you want to get traction on social media. You should be planning content with this in mind. Your phone will capture great content and the more you practice, well you know. It can be as simple as something like this reel. It was created with 18 short clips using my phone paired with a good song. Aside from your own photos and videos you also might want to invest in a local photographer every once in a while to help you get a good bunch of photos, especially if you need to be in some!
I want you to focus on three things when planning
Idea or Item
When it comes to goals, there are really only three reasons to post on social media; gain awareness, generate conversion, or create engagement. They all help target your audiences at different stages of their journey with you. Think about if you have a new product you want people to know about, or buy, or talk about. How will you drive them down the sales funnel? Bringing awareness is getting the attention of more people about your brand. Generating conversion can be email subscriptions, link clicks, purchases, referrals, etc. Engagement is having a loyal customers rooting you on. They may even be an advocate for your brand! Score! Content focuses are essential to being efficient with content planning. The last thing you want to do is bore your followers, or even worse...spam them into unfollowing. You want to have a strategy that is specific to your brand, industry, & customer base. It needs to creates value for your followers and shows the value of your brand. Your content focuses will help you do this! I go into way more depth about content themes in a previous blog. Keeping it basic, you want to have 7-10 themes to use in your content calendar. Keep them rotating and you won't have to worry about posting similar ideas or items too close together. Remember, you don't want to bore your audience. When trying to come up with ideas or items for each day consider upcoming events, special menus, product launches, and such. Oh, remember those pictures and videos you have been taking? Time to look those over and start plugging in ideas or items based off those as well. No matter what item/idea you choose it should be based on your goal and focus. By the time you get to the idea section, you will fly though your content calendar. It is so much easier to come up with an idea or choose an item when you have a focus and a goal.
After I organize goals, focuses, and items into each day maybe a few weeks at a time, or a month at a time into my calendar. I have a clear picture of what my content is going to look like and what I want to accomplish with it. We officially have a content strategy going! Don’t forget to throw in holidays and social media holidays that might be relevant into this as well. They can really help with ideas and SEO. They are also opportunities to relate to your audience, which is always a huge bonus!
Do you do your captions before or after content creation? I think this is a personal decision based on how your creativity flows. I tend to do it after. I type them in my caption calendar or in a word document and use my graphics or photos as inspiration. Your caption should be guided by the goal and overall idea that you have. This really helps put your foot in the door with every caption because you know what route to take. Are you adding a CTA, asking a question, bringing awareness, being inspirational?
I bet you can get your content calendar filled out for an entire month in less than a few hours.
When you're done filling out your calendar, it should look something like this!
Want the content calendar I use? 👉🏼 Content & Caption Calendar 2022
Content creation and organization is key
Let's get a bit more organized. What is your process for storing and filing your photos and videos? If your answer is somewhere along the line of there isn't one...It's time to start figuring out a process that works for you!
I use lightroom to edit photos, so I do have folders of each client in there and some do have sub categories as well. I also use canva to organize photos based off my content themes. A lot of photographers have been into CloudSpot as well. My point, is that you need, organized, easy to access photos. It will help narrow your focus and make search efforts efficient when you start creating content and choosing photos for your socials.
With content creation it is so important that you provide consistency and quality, so I want you to think about something for a second. Do you think batch creating or creating weekly will fit better in your schedule?
Weekly content creation means you’re creating content a week at a time, about a week in advance. So, if it’s the first week of the month, you’re working in the second week. I strongly recommend being at least one week ahead. You’re a small business owner and you have a lot on your plate that can be way more urgent and important than posting on social media, so creating a bit in advance leaves less room for any stress surrounding it. Batch content creation is creating and organizing posts for weeks at a time, maybe even spending a whole day on it once a month rather than a few hours a week. You can always mix it up based on what you like, but a good start is to think about what is going to more realistically fit into your work schedule.
I batch create by the month and use canva and create folders based on a platform (A.K.A Instagram or Facebook). I date each piece of content based off my calendar to easily differentiate each post for scheduling. Now it is time to start creating! I flip between my content calendar to see my idea, goal, and content focus and let whatever creativity I have flow.
Execution will make or break your efficiency
Have a process that works for you to have consistent and quality posts. If consistent means only 4 days a week, that’s fine, but make sure you are committing to those four days and really attempting to bring value and quality to your audience. I promise that content creation can be easy and efficient once you create a plan and stick with it!
Scheduling apps are a must, you don’t have time in the middle of your day to go post that post and luckily there are plenty of free options. Facebook Business Suite allows for Facebook and Instagram, Plann allows for Instagram and Facebook, & TikTok Hootsuite allows Pinterest, twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram. All of these have free options to get started and I highly suggest giving them all a try until you figure out which one's best for you.
If you’re posting on Instagram, you’ll need hashtags. There are also quite a few apps out there for free that give you great options. Hashme, Hashtag Expert, Hashtags for Instagram. Quick tip, with hashtags, pile them in the bottom of your post for Instagram maybe under a few rows of dots. For Facebook integrate a few good hashtags (A.K.A Keywords) into your caption instead of a pile of them at the bottom.
Plan on following up! It's easy to forget about a post once it's scheduled. You do have to balance your time between future and current content. Think ahead, but be present for your followers in real time on posts out there now.