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Yes, once social media was just a platform used to engage with friends and acquaintances. However, now, with the amount of data social platforms are able to obtain from users, social media is a great way for brands to get in front of potential buyers.
It makes sense. So many people are active on social media, engaging with content and scrolling through videos, pictures, and tweets. If brands want to widen their reach and make themselves known, why not use platforms where their audience is already engaged?
What’s more, brands can use their social media profiles and posts as an extension of their marketing efforts. They can showcase products, special promos, and offers to help spike interest and conversions. And, since they have total control, brands can use their social profiles to tell the world more about who they are as a brand.
Social media helps break down walls and barriers between your brand and its target audience. It makes your brand more accessible and when you’re more accessible, trust can be formed. With trust comes a stronger relationship that definitely helps boost sales.
If your brand wants to not only be competitive but tap into channels that allow it to access its audience, having a consistent social media presence is an absolute must.
But obtaining consistency isn’t as easy as you think it might be. With all the other strategies your small business is focused on, implementing a social media strategy can often fall off the to-do list. This is why you need something to help keep you accountable.
Posting a few times on social every other week or so isn’t enough. You have to treat social media like every other channel in your marketing strategy. In order to be effective, you need to be consistently posting. And not only that, you need to explore various different approaches so that your audience has a few different ways to engage with your brand.
There’s more to social than just posting a picture or typing out a tweet and calling it a day. That’s why you need to have some sort of way to map out your posting schedule so you can incorporate different kinds of posts as well as maintain consistency.
Having a social media calendar not only helps you map out your future posts, but it can ensure you’re mixing things up on each channel and holding yourself accountable. Also, if you have an upcoming special promo or push, you can use your social media calendar to proactive plan some social posts to support those efforts.
It’s so easy to let social media efforts fall off and let other initiatives take precedence. However, social media is an important marketing tool, so it’s key that you have something, like a calendar, to ensure you’re staying on top of it.
Having a social media strategy doesn’t mean you have to be on every channel out there. First, you need to keep in mind the number of platforms your team can realistically post on, as well as which platforms your audience is engaged on.
For example, if you’re a freelance writing and consultation agency, it doesn’t make a ton of sense for you to be active on platforms like Pinterest.
If you aren’t sure how to determine which social platforms your audience is on, try surveying your existing customers. You can send them an email survey asking which social platforms they’re on and which they enjoy the most.
Another idea is to tap into the user demographics of each platform. You can easily find these stats online and they’ll tell you things like:
Sometimes it’s enough to just stick to social platforms that are the most popular: Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.
Let’s examine each platform and establish what kinds of content you should be publishing on each and how often.
Twitter is all about brevity. Since each tweet can only be a maximum of 280 characters, saying a mouthful isn’t really an option. It’s a great place for sharing blog posts, guest-written articles, or other industry-related articles. Make sure you tag all involved parties, which can mean easy retweets and sets the stage for relationship building on the platform.
With Twitter, the more you publish the better. The main feed is constantly updating, as others on the platform are feeding it basically around the clock. Buffer recommends tweeting at least 30 times a day.
If you’ve ever looked for a job or looked for valuable candidates to bring on to your company, then you’re quite familiar with LinkedIn. This platform is all about professionalism, making it a great channel for your small business brand. Make sure you fill out your business profile thoroughly, as many people will rely on that to learn more about your company.
LinkedIn is also a great place to share articles and blog posts, as well as industry news and trends. We also recommend using their article publishing feature to republish any content of yours. LinkedIn takes those pieces and shares them with an audience that will be most inclined to find them useful, helping you expand your reach and credibility.
It’s best to publish on LinkedIn at least two to five times per week.
Instagram is a photo and video-sharing platform, so naturally, that’s the kind of content that makes the most sense to share there. With Instagram, you can get creative and pull images from your blog posts, or turn compelling quotes or stats into graphics for a different kind of engagement. With Instagram stories, you can tap into various engagement features (like polls or the “Ask me a question” feature) to interact with your audience in new and fun ways. Instagram is also a great place to share demos of your product or software, show behind-the-scenes of your operation, or employee spotlights so your audience can see the human aspect of your brand.
It’s best to post at least two Instagram stories per day and two feed posts per week.
Facebook is a great platform for small businesses. Creating a profile for your small business helps you tap into a wider audience and build a community to expand your brand. You can use Facebook to share recently published content, interesting videos regarding products, employee spotlights or office culture, and engaging images. It’s also not a bad place to publish company updates and important information regarding operations. People like to follow local businesses via Facebook, so keep in mind that your followers there may be more local to your city, especially if you have a storefront.
According to the American Marketing Association, the best times to post on Facebook are in the mornings of Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. However, Hootsuite recommends posting at least one time a day.
TikTok is quickly becoming the most popular social media platform, but it’s not for everyone. It’s strictly video content and unlike the other platforms, TikTok’s audience is mostly GenZ. Incorporating TikTok into your strategy can be beneficial, as their platform is hyper-targeted, so your content will fall into the feeds of those who will most likely enjoy it. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily see a ton of return from being present there.
If you do decide to incorporate TikTok into your social media strategy, more is more. It’s recommended to post anywhere between one and three times a day.
When it comes to the type of content you publish on social media, you want it to be engaging. Creating visuals is always a great way to take written content and make it easier to consume. People love images, be it a photo, a graphic, or a gif. Take it a step further and create a video that explains how one of your products works. Showing instead of telling is great for your brand story and great for pulling your audience in.
Here are a few specific examples of visual content to post on social media:
Captions may not be the star of the show, but they are an important component of your social media post. The length of your caption and what it entails depends on the intent of your post.
For example, if you’re posting a recipe video, it would be beneficial to also post the steps in your caption, along with the tools, supplies, and ingredients needed. If that recipe video walks viewers through how to make a cake, with the intent of sellin
through how to make a cake, with the intent of selling a specific cake mix, make sure you highlight that cake mix in the captions.
Your social media captions are where you can expand on your post, so make sure you choose your words wisely and that you’re as clear and direct as possible. Also, if you’re collaborating with another brand or they’re a part of the post in some way, tag them in the image but also tag them in the caption for an additional shout out. This will also make your post shareable for collaborators, which will expand your reach to their audience.
There you have it, your simple guide for putting together your social media calendar. If you’re still not sure how to put together your calendar, don’t fret! We’ve got a weekly and monthly social media calendar template for you to download and make your own. Just fill out the form and you can start planning your social media strategy today!