As the competition for quality content and organic reach continues to get stiffer by the day, things can feel overwhelming, especially with the information overload on the internet. So, what can you do to survive? Perhaps these 5 tips will help you come up with your own strategy!
We all know that quote “Failing to plan is planning to fail”.
While it’s a favourite amongst teachers and parents, I believe this is actually really solid advice for anyone managing a social media calendar. Planning ahead frees up time: there’s one thing less to do and think about. Here at Kontinentalist we try to plan our social media calendar in chunks of three months. Then, at the beginning of each month, we take a closer look to ensure that everything makes sense, and we make slight adjustments.
Next, we automate some postings (if applicable). We use Hootsuite, but there are plenty of tools out there (both free and paid). Automation helps us meet deadlines and beat forgetfulness. Having everything prepared means I can focus my day-to-day attention on other matters. This said, it is important to remain flexible.
2. Be Flexible
No social media calendar should be set in stone. Being flexible means that even though you have something planned, if something crops up, you need to be fine with moving things around so as not to overload your followers with content. Oftentimes, there are trending topics, or there has been some news or development that we want to cover. Another reason may be internal, a particular story may be delayed for various reasons (pending data or information, technical issues etc).
Whatever the reason may be, I think it is really important to remain as open as possible to changes. There is always an opportunity to do better on the social media front, even if it means you have to adjust your calendar for the entire month or week.
3. Check & Check & Check
It feels like a very DUH thing to say, but I am going to say it anyway. You’d be surprised at how many times I have checked a caption or an image and thought it was fine, only to hit publish and either a) see it myself or b) have a colleague jog over to tell me there was a typo. Sometimes the mistakes are small, but other times (depending on how sleepy I am), the mistakes can be really embarrassing (like when I typed God instead of dog).
While captions are embarrassing, factual errors or misrepresentation of information can be critical. So I recommend that you get a second (or third) pair of eyes to look over everything that goes out to your socials. Remember, your social media platforms tell your audience who you are and what you do. Simply asking a colleague to take a quick look could save your company’s reputation!
4. Do a Post-Mortem
While it is a great relief to post something on social media and move on to other work, it is important to review your social media postings. Make time to review metrics, and to see whether you are actually hitting your target audience and reaching your goals. For example, you might be very excited (instant gratification♡) to see that your post on Instagram is getting a lot of likes, but if your goal was to send people to your website to read the story, you may not be achieving your goals no matter how many 💕 you get.
Usually, I look at how a story has performed after a set period of time. I review social media metrics, and compare them to website statistics. This helps you constantly refine your strategy and work towards your goals in a smart way.
While the above advice seems quite straightforward and formula-like, I think it is important to still stay creative and experiment with your social media calendar.
Social media algorithms keep changing, and trending themes and topics are constantly developing, so I think it is good to sometimes try something new and see how it goes. I like to ask myself, what is the worst thing that could happen? With social media, I guess the worst thing that could happen would be getting zero interaction or zero link clicks. But that’s not the end of the world! I think this helps you refine and grow your strategy. Don’t be afraid, because if you never try you will never know.
Having said that, experimenting is not an excuse to put crap online. Of course, the content has to be relevant to your work, and it should be adequately fact-checked and proofread. But allow yourself some wiggle room to try out a new strategy, or a new type of content, and don’t be hard on yourself if it flops.
I hope that these tips have given you some insight or some inspiration! Remember not to be too hard on yourself, managing a calendar can be tough!
Author Bio: Dewi is in charge of Kontinentalist’s marketing, social media, and business development. She also works in the same capacity at our sister company, Jala.