Social content planning is the process used by a business to collect, schedule, and post social media content. Social content consists of anything your business posts to social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Social media platforms are difficult to manage. There’s multiple accounts to watch and post from, and each platform has its own parameters for posts. Additionally, posting has to be consistent and concise to keep the eyes of your audience. Planning your social content keeps content flowing consistently and posts organized.
Planning keeps track of what goes out and when, which can be useful in the event of a social media disaster. If something goes awry online, documented social plans can help trace back what happened or what was supposed to happen.
There are plenty of tools available to help with social content planning. Many marketing platforms have built-in social features, but there are social-only platforms as well. You can also create your own schedule using a spreadsheet, and some social media sites allow you to schedule a few posts in advance. In addition to creating a schedule, here are some best practices for social content planning:
Posting at specific times of the day when your audience is most active online means they’ll be more likely to see the content and interact with it. For example, the most popular times to post for Facebook and Twitter are between 9am-12pm, and after 5pm for Instagram.
There’s a lot of social media sites out there, but your business may not need all of them to connect with your target audience. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are fairly standard for all businesses, but sites like Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest may not be where your audience is at. Do some research on where your customers spend their time on social media and focus on those platforms.
Include photos, short videos, infographics, and gifs in your posts. For example, video is one of the most effective forms of content, and people are likely to buy a product after seeing a video about it or the company who sells it.
People who are leaving comments want to be heard and know that the company is paying attention. Never leave someone hanging or on read, and responding in a timely manner is preferred (usually within an hour).
Social media posts are generally short, sweet, and to the point. Include links to your website, where someone can buy your products, or additional information like blogs in your social posts so people have somewhere to go for more.
It’s not necessary to be “cool” with your tone on social media. While social media tones are generally less formal than other forms of content, using language that will engage your target audience and speak to them in their words is more important than forcing a “hip” company persona.
Content that is only available for a short time entices people to click on it. Whether it’s a fun photo, video, meme, or promotion, stories are a great way to catch a user’s attention. Most people will spend a lot of time browsing stories, so it might as well be your content.
Hashtags allow people to find your content in the discover or trending area in social media. Posts with relevant hashtags generate more engagement and help grow your follower list.
Each social media platform has a different set of audience users, so the content shouldn’t be exactly the same. For example, LinkedIn is a formal, serious platform, where content should be fairly informational and business-related, while Instagram is more relaxed and relies on striking visuals over heavy text.