A clear and concrete social media content plan will not only save you time but will help you promote your business in an effective way. This article will look at all of the intricate processes going behind the scenes of every successful business social media account and how to do these things on your own.
Table of Contents
Why is a social media content plan important?
Before we get into it, it’s good to understand why such a plan is important. If you are still in doubt about whether you should make a plan, here are five reasons to do just so:
When you have a plan, you will be consistent in your postings. This will let your followers know when to expect more content from you. It will also help you maintain a certain pace that will ensure that you don’t suddenly disappear and have your followers lose interest.
Events and holidays as well as giveaways, announcements, sales, discounts, and so much more can be planned ahead. This means that you won’t be in a frenzy when the time comes to post the relevant content.
Instead of creating something on the spot without proper research or aim, you can get a team of experts involved to think through every aspect of your content which will work in favor of your marketing campaign.
When you keep a calendar of what to post, you can always refer back to it as a kind of an archive. You will see what patterns you followed and what kind of content worked better for you.
411 Rule: This is a ratio of posts that stands for 4 educational or entertaining posts for every 1 soft promotion post and 1 hard promotion post.
If this still hasn’t persuaded you, you can do some research on your own to hear stories and advice from real professionals. This is best done on various dedicated websites, forums, and blogs such as the VOCSO blog that has many useful articles.
Now, let’s get into the content plan creation.
1. Find the Right Content-Sharing Ratio
First things first, you should find the right content-posting ratio for your business’s social media account. Of course, there is no ideal way of doing this, but there have been many effective ratios proposed that are used by hundreds if not thousands of users. Here are some of the most notorious examples:
Mentioned above, the 4-1-1 Rule was popularized by Andrew Davis of Tippingpoint Labs and Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute. The 4 in the ratio stands for 4 pieces of original and relevant content from others, and 1 for 1 retweet for every 1 self-serving update.
The 5-3-2 Rule was introduced by TA McCann from Gist.com; the 5 stands for content from others, 3 – content from you, and 2 – status updates.
This rule was proposed by Shai Coggins from Vervely. Every 5 in the rule stands for updates about you and your content, updates about others, and responses or replies respectively. The plus sign symbolizes any additional content.
Also called The Golden Ratio, the 30/60/10 stands for percentage, where 30% is the content owned by you, 60% – curated content, and 10% – promotional.
Rule of Thirds:
Sam Milbrath introduced the Rule of Thirds in a post on the Hootsuite blog. According to the rule, your content is divided into three types of updates. One third is about you and your content, another third is content from others, and the last third is made of personal interactions with your audience.
As you can see, there are certain patterns in the ratios. Some of the ratios are pretty similar, like the 555+ Rule and the Rule of Thirds, for example. You don’t necessarily have to stick to one of the ratios, but these have been proven to be working strategies.
In order to find out the right one for yourself, try out some of them and see which one works best. Alternatively, you can see what your competitors are posting and try to find a ratio. You can then follow a similar one.
2. Find the Right Content-Sharing Frequency
Once you’ve figured out your ratio, you should now decide how often you will be posting. Each social media platform requires an individual approach and, once again, there is no rule of thumb that you must follow, but there are some practices that you may find helpful. Here are some suggestions for certain platforms:
Twitter does not require overly long posts from you. In fact, the limit is 280 characters as of May 2019. You may also include images, videos or gifs as well as links. The recommended frequency is at least 5 times per day. However, you will gain a lot more from up to 20 posts per day.
Even though Twitter is a big platform, Facebook is much bigger and allows more options. Your posts should be much longer and more consistent. You can add all kinds of media to them. On the other hand, don’t forget that you can still make a simple one-sentence post with a motivational image for Monday. The frequency for Facebook is up to 2 times per day.
Though LinkedIn is often considered more of a working network than a social media platform, you can still benefit from it a lot. Post on LinkedIn at least once per day.
Pinterest is a platform most suitable for strong visual brands. Logically, it is much easier to post many images per day rather than text posts. However, you will be surprised to find that the recommended frequency for Pinterest is up to 2 times per day.
Last but not least, Instagram is also mostly a visual platform that still has a lot of room for written content. On the other hand, you are very limited in your options, because you can’t even add a proper link in your posts. According to Forbes, the ideal posting frequency for Instagram is 1.5 times per day.
Some of these platforms require more dedication, while others need only a few minutes of commitment. Consequently, there are different outcomes that you can expect from each of them and different milestones can be reached by using different platforms.
When choosing the platforms for your business, take into account the goals you are pursuing as well as your target demographic and type of your brand. If you are a visual brand, you will do better on Instagram and Pinterest. If your target demographic is a younger audience, then Instagram and Twitter will be just right. On the contrary, if you are looking for an older audience, Facebook (and Twitter too, actually) is the way to go.
By the way, the CoSchedule blog put together a graph detailing their social media posting schedule. Here it is:
3. Plan Ahead
You have decided what your ratio and frequency of posts will be. Now what? Here’s the fun part which is planning ahead.
First of all, plan ahead your events and holidays. As mentioned before, these can be virtually anything that you can think of ahead of time and know the exact date for. Some options in this category to consider would be holidays, conferences, new product releases, annual events, cultural events, and recurring content (end-of-year lists, seasonal strategies, etc.)
Second of all, decide on how much you will be curating. Curated content is basically the one that was created not by you, but you are sharing it on your page. This will help increase your visibility and maybe even attract followers from those other accounts.
Third of all, compile your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly plans. For each of your plans go over your ratio and frequency strategies and adjust them to the aims you have for certain time periods. Don’t forget to daily check the content available for curating. When you are making plans for way ahead, such as a yearly plan, try not to focus on small details, but rather view it as a greater picture. Think of your overall aims and what are your general plans for the future. You will be making more specific weekly and daily plans afterward anyway.
And finally, create content! Sit down and write those blogs and articles for various platforms and find or edit the images to go with them. In case you don’t know how to create content, leave it to the experts. Professional writers will do the rest – they will turn your ideas into a fabulous story. If you need assistance check the writing service Trust My Paper or freelance platform Fiverr. The important thing is that you now have a clear social media content plan and you know what to ask from the writers.
It is really not that hard to create a good posting plan for your business even without additional help. You only have to find a few things that will work just fine for you and then you will be on your way to social media success.
By the way, the article you just read was based on this article from Buffer, a famous service that lets you schedule your social media posts. They surely know what they are talking about.