Little Black Dog Social Media & More

Romeo likes content plans that look like a map on a grid

As you plan and schedule your content, you will want a way to manage audience targeting, purchase path targeting, re-sharing, and responses. As you plan your content strategy, you will want to create a content planning and management matrix of some kind. You might find that a grid of some kind works well for your needs. We, and many other social media professionals, prefer a spreadsheet format. Although there would be advantages in using a three-dimensional grid, for many firms, the added dimension is less valuable than the flexibility of a spreadsheet for changes on the fly.

You must determine what information is critical for your planning and for your management of content as it is created and distributed. We use a spreadsheet that includes the following columns. Each piece of content is entered on a row and given a unique number. Noting the length and the audience for which the piece was written serves as a reminder down the road.

No. Title Length Audience


Effective Social Media Marketing Strategies Need a Powerful Content Plan 1085 wds Small Business Owners & Marketers

The next things you will want to record are the goals of the content. One way to record that is to identify and list the specific place in the purchase path at which your target audience will find the information most valuable. Then you will want to track where and when you announced the content, its format (blog, article, white paper, e-book), and from what social media platforms you provided links. You will typically discuss each blog post or other content item in several locations, on several social platforms, etc. Tracking this information, with a date, allows you to quickly and efficiently align your activities with the results documented by your analytics applications.

Place in Purchase Path Announced Format Linked to Linked to Linked to
Stage 3


Blog/Article Twitter 4/22/13 LinkedIn 4/22/13 Google+ 4/22/13

For example, if we see a spike in traffic to a particular blog post on our site, we want to know how and why that spike occurred. If we can review our content matrix, determine that we posted a link on a specific social media platform we know why the spike occurred. Similarly, knowing that someone read the article on our blog and shared it on Reddit, we can explain a line on our analytics report noting a larger number of visitors from Reddit than usual.

Blog date Publication/date Shared Shared


Business2Community, 4/23/13 Reddit 4/24/13 Stumble Upon 4/24/13

These sections of a spreadsheet could become the basis of your content planning/management/tracking matrix. From this beginning, you would add columns for the additional items you want to track, other places where you might later publish the item, other ways it is used with your various audiences, etc. The beauty of a spreadsheet for this kind of planning and management is that it is very easy to make changes and to add or delete columns.

Creating a content planning/management matrix for your business need not be complex or three-dimensional. If you have the software to do something elaborate and the time to devote to doing it, by all means, go for it. For the rest of us, this kind of document or spreadsheet needs to be functional, simple, fast, and changeable. Start with something simple. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the matrix/spreadsheet that works best for you. Think about how you use content and what you want to know about the timing, creation, and response to your ideas.