planning your content

Activity vs Productivity

Do you feel like a hamster spinning on a wheel when it comes to your social media updates? You’re just going round and round from one social program to the next. While you’re liking this and posting that, you’re wondering why no one is clicking on your links, contacting you for an appointment or buying your stuff.

If that’s what your day looks like then you’re filling your time with a lot of activity and not much productivity. Spending your time within the social networks is always a good thing for your company. You want your customers to know that you’re out there to connect with them in the interwebs, but that’s not going to make you your next big sale.

To turn your social activity into something productive, you need a plan. As a business owner, you already plan out your day from the moment you turn on the computer to mapping out how to finish that client project to replying to all the emails in your inbox. If you spent your day just clicking on this, looking at that or making calls without a plan, you wouldn’t get anything done.

Content Calendar equals Productivity

Your content calendar should include events, promotions or products your company plans to launch this year. Some people recommend you plan for a full year but I suggest you look at 4 – 6 months out. Life as a business owner has a way of changing throughout the year and you want to be able to make adjustments in your marketing plans.

To create your content calendar, you can use an online calendar like a Google calendar, an excel spreadsheet, word document, desk calendar or whatever you’re comfortable with. Just write it down somewhere as your reference guide.

Think about including this information:

  1. Who will create the content?
  2. What days and times will it be posted?
  3. Which social networks will you use?
  4. How often will you create content in-house (your own blog posts, event listings or posting your new products) versus share third-party content (post resource articles or share other companies posts)?

Got my calendar, now what?

Now that you have your content calendar, think about the marketing message you want to deliver as well as the dates of your company’s major events and annual promotions. These messages will be the foundation of your content. When you spend the time to work out the dates in your content plan, you’ll find your social media implementation will be easier to manage and allow you to plan ahead.

The more information and detail you include in the plan, the better you can measure its effectiveness. The idea is to create a layout of your content ideas broken down into what you’ll post that month. You can break it down even further into what you’ll post each week.

When you first get started, you may want to drill it down even more and list what you’ll post on each day. With each listing include your resource article links, images, videos or just a 2 -3 word prompt with topic ideas.

My 70-20-10 rule

I believe in the 70-20-10 rule when it comes to social media marketing. 70% of your content should provide your fans with something of value with only 20% slated for promotion of your business.

We know that social media is about relationships first. But the truth is, once you’ve built a solid relationship with your customers, you can use this connection to help you grow your business. This doesn’t mean shoving a sales message down their throats or putting sales above the relationship. It simply means you can and should promote what you offer to your loyal customers who believe in your product and services.

Too many companies spend way too much time promoting themselves and not listening to the needs of their clients. Content like this will only get your foot in the door. Constant self promotion will cause people to start tuning you out and eventually, they’ll stop following and listening to you.

When we look at our content breakdown like this: 70% of your content should inform, educate and provide value to your fans. The next 20% is to promote your business, list your special deals for your fans and cool contests for them to win some free stuff.

The last 10% is something I call Entertainment. I’m not talking about the latest celebrity scandal or what’s going on with the Kardashians. Entertainment is a way for your company to show its personality and what makes your business unique.

Entertainment could be anything from inspirational quotes to funny Superbowl videos. It’s something to give your customers a little smile and connect them to you on a personal level. Who couldn’t use a good chuckle during the work day?

Once you start developing your content calendar, you’ll see more than just hours added to your day. Having a clear plan for your marketing efforts will give you more time to engage with your customers. You’ll find that you’ll have more time to listen to your fans. The more you hear what they are saying, the more you’ll see how your products can solve their problems.