The New Year has started and we can finally say goodbye to 2020. Looking forward, we all hope to see 2021 treating us with greater success at home and work alike, but have you considered the importance to begin planning for the months ahead? A fantastic approach we here at Double Up Social recommend is the creation of a personalised Monthly Content Calendar. What is that I hear you asking? For starters it’s definitely a time saver when it comes to managing your social media accounts. It ensures that you not only have consistent dedicated posting material, but that they are of the quality that you wish them to be. A social media calendar is exactly that, a structured organised calendar containing your future posts for the upcoming months. Keep reading to get top tips on how to make one!
1) Research National Holidays and Awareness Days Early
From World Chocolate day to National Christmas Jumper Day, there seems to be a different awareness day for everything. We may have never heard of many of them; at the time of writing on January the 3rd, it is National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day, National Drinking Straw Day and National Fruitcake Toss Day! But even though you may not always be aware, someone certainly will be, and it is for that reason why it’s fundamental to keep track and design your content around them.
Start off your calendar by researching the dates that may seem relevant to your brand. Do you sell waffles, pizza or ice cream? Create content that showcases these products and post it on their respective dates. Any other type of events can be celebrated too, such as Cinco de Mayo with your famous margaritas or sporting days can be celebrated with a side of chicken wings. If it’s Christmas jumper day why not showcase your team wearing their favourites Christmas jumpers? Once your plan is complete with the relevant dates you can then begin to plan around them whilst remaining relevant to everyday events.
Thinking this may be a little difficult, or you just will not have the time? We understand, feel free to use our ready-made marketing calendar here!
2) Keep an image bank and use User-Generated-Content (UGC)
Having trouble finding the time to develop and create new content? Why not keep an image bank full of engaging customer photos that can be readily used. Not only does this save time, but it allows your consumer to see positive photographic affirmation of your service. We have already discussed the benefits of this in our previous blogs, but as a reminder 66% of consumers would rather see user generated material, so it’s a win-win situation.
We recommend spending the last few days of each month compiling your bank. These can be videos or a few simple snaps taken from a phone that are ready for a quick and easy post. Just be sure to look for variety in your content bank. Have a look at Creams Cafe Instagram for a perfect example. You will see User Generated Content used on a daily basis through their story platform, sharing real-time consumer feedback throughout their stores nationwide. Adding User Generated Content will ensure to keep your feed looking fresh and unpredictable, just be sure to credit the user; it will keep them happy too!
3) Brainstorm content ideas that fit your persona
What makes your brand what it is; the products, the service, your values? As a company your persona is fundamental to individual success, with 77% of consumers wanting to buy from brands who share the same values as them. Spend some time to plan and create the type of content you wish to post; taking into consideration what best reflects your organisation. If your persona is a fun and playful one, why not throw in some memes, or come up with a witty yet playful caption for your photos. By dedicating time to compile an array of material, you can define and pinpoint your brands personality, rather than freestyling your posts whenever you have a free moment.
4) Research The Ideal Time to Post
You have spent the time researching national events, planned and developed your marketing material and thought long and hard about who and what your brand truly stands for, now is not the time to skip the final hurdle. What you have may be great, but if you are not posting it at the right time, you could be missing out on a huge audience.
Now is time to research the optimum time to post. We recommend using Instagram’s inbuilt analytics to look at what day and times your audience is most active. Plan your calendar around these prime times and set a reminder so you don’t miss an opportunity. Trying to broaden your reach during lunch service for example? Then make sure to post when people are heading out to grab there next bite to eat!
5) Use a Scheduling Platform
Finally, it’s time to schedule the content you have spent all that time developing! Set reminders for yourself and utilise free social media schedulers such as Hootsuite. By doing so you can ensure that your posts are going out on time and on the right date throughout the month. Most are very easy to use, allowing you to select the platform, media and caption you wish to share, alongside the time and date of your choosing. This will save you from having to manually post everyday yourself, saving time and helping to limit mistakes – all important factors when busy running a business!
As you can see, by simply dedicating a couple of hours each month you can save yourself a tremendous amount of time. Not only this, but it keeps you organised and ensures you have quality content put out each month. Remember, not all 5 steps are necessary, but to gain the full benefits we recommend utilising as many as you can. Each work in parallel with the next, and if done correctly, can benefit you for months to come.