Your content strategy is what separates your business from the pack. You should plan social media content ahead of time to succeed in online marketing. Less digitally savvy people have a common misconception about social media. They believe that social media posts are just created on a whim. However, that’s not the case, at least among the businesses and organizations that do social media the right way. Content strategists plan social media posts weeks and months ahead of time. It’s up to content strategists to figure out how everything fits together.
You can account for constants that happen every year. There will always be holidays. Then there are the annual events. And even further, content strategists plan for events like seminars and social hours. Strategists also plan for advertising campaigns and other events. Furthermore, a strategist will recognize the need to have a stream of content that reminds people of your presence. A content strategist needs to organize all these factors into a content strategy.
The 4 Content Strategy Steps For Success
Today I’m going to take some time to explain how McQuillen Creative Group utilizes tools and strategies to plot out our social media course for the year.
There are four steps to follow when creating a content strategy:
- Create Documents – Have a Word document that has an overall strategy for your social media content. This can include goals, audience details, content ideas, and key information. Then you should have an Excel document that includes a monthly calendar, weekly schedules, and a content repository.
- Plan Your Month – Once you have your documents set up, you should have an idea for the content, ads, and campaigns you will cover for that month.
- Plan Your Week – Now that your month is set up, you will need to figure out what time your content will reach your audiences. You will also need a way to coordinate that copy of your posts, the campaigns they are associated with, and the images that will go with them.
- Set up automation – When your content strategy is lined up, this is where you will execute that strategy. You can use services like Buffer, Hootsuite, and more to set up your automatic posting times.
Creating Your Documents
The first step I always take when starting with a client for our social media services is to dive deep into their business. I always write down what services and products they sell. If they are a non-profit, I always track what major and secondary causes they support. I will use this information when developing an overall content strategy. I structure this document to cover how I’ll portray the brand, grow and engage the audience, implement the strategy, and track goals.
Once my Word Document is complete, I create the actual schedule and content repository with Excel. This will always be my guide for remembering details like standard marketing language, website links, and campaign schedules. There’s always a ton of events and ads to remember, so the spreadsheet document is crucial. If this sounds overwhelming, I’ll explain how I use a spreadsheet to keep track of all of MCG’s social media posts.
Planning Your Month
Once you have your overall content strategy ready, you can start putting the puzzle pieces into place. A spreadsheet is super helpful for keeping track of all the social media and blog posts you’ll create from month-to-month and week-to-week. I like to keep a key of content types, which I’ll use to organize the general flow of content throughout the month. These are color-coded blocks that I can place inside each day. This method helps me get more details for the posts that I’ll create during the week.
Here’s how a month can look for me:
This calendar is what helps me know what kind of content to plan ahead of time. From week-to-week I have constants like #MemeMonday and #WednesdayWebTalk. Then I can plan a strategy for what other content I’ll produce. This method gives me enough time to start writing content ahead of time and have it polished and ready to publish.
Planning Your Week
I’ve prepared myself for the month ahead. Now it’s time to prepare the weekly slate of social media content. I have to know what topics I will cover before I can start writing posts for them. So I plan my weeks ahead of time. I will record more details for MCG’s social media such as the topics, the URLs, the images, and the copy I’ll use for each post. Here is a snapshot of this current week. I’ve created everything ahead of time, and so this is where I store all of the information that I need to post. You can take a look at the image below to get a sense of how all of this information is organized.
This is what really helps me track MCG’s content for each of our social media channels. Next, I set a weekly calendar like the one above for each platform such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more. Then I use tools that help me to post on the correct date, time, and social media platform.
Setting Up Your Content Strategy Automation
You can use social media automation tools like Hootsuite and Buffer to create automated post scheduling. This method lets you “set it and forget it” so that you’re not needing to manually post all of your content. There are many social media automation tools on the internet, which means some research is required. You should use Google to search for “social media automation” and take a look at what features and prices work for you.
Or you can call the experts at McQuillen Creative Group to manage all of this for you. We use these strategies with all of our clients for their social media needs. We take a tailored approach to representing your business to your audience. If you’ve been shopping around for a good social media manager, then we hope this has been eye-opening for you. We take our time to create a good content strategy for every client. Are you ready to stand apart on social media? Give us a call!
Contact McQuillen Creative
McQuillen Creative has been in the marketing game for over 25 years and we want to help your business. Do you need help with your social media presence? We offer month-to-month packages that scale with the needs of our clients. GIVE US A CALL and let’s see how we can create a brand strategy for your social media presence.
McQuillen Creative Group, Inc | 423 S Main St, Suite 1
Aberdeen, SD 57401 | 605.226.3481 | MCQUILLENCREATIVE.COM