When I started managing a business Facebook page and Twitter profile for the first time, I felt like social media was a bottomless pit. It was a Hungry Thing, sitting at the edge of my daily tasks with a big sign that read “Feed me.” It wanted posts. More post. Better posts. Most days I scraped something together, but I was not being creative or original, and my posts received a lackluster response from fans and followers.
This is a common problem for social media managers and anyone else who needs to tackle day-to-day social marketing. If someone tells you to “just post something” or “do social media,” you may find yourself grasping at straws and sharing subpar content.
Even if you find something that works, when you get in a bind, it is only natural that you would do it again. And again. And again… But this quickly bores your social following and makes them think of you as a one trick pony.
Your fans and followers deserve better.
Through study after study of human behavior, we know that constraints enhance our creativity. This is especially true with social media posting. One of the best ways to come up with ideas is to create a posting schedule that helps focus your search and allows you to recognize and pencil in great content when you find it.
Since my first experience with managing a business’ social presence, I have researched different posting schedules and come up with a simple rotating calendar with a daily theme that is open and flexible, yet constrained enough to focus brainstorming. Here is what it looks like…
Each audience is different, so the days of the week assigned above are only an example, but keep two things in mind: (1) Wednesday is the worst day for posting, so you probably do not want to assign your most important posts to the middle of the week and (2) posts on Saturday and Sunday tend to receive more interaction, but less reach.
Here are the seven content themes included in the calendar:
On Big Ideas day, share expert advice, a proverb or a short quote. This type of post is not intimidating, and does not ask for anything, so it is a good candidate for Sunday when people are revving up for the coming week, or for Wednesday when people need a hump day boost.
Humorous posts are a great way to show your brand’s lighter side. It can be a comic, a funny image, a meme or a witty phrase. This works best if it has something to do with your industry or product, but it can also be something more broad. Try to avoid sharing puns, groaners or knee slappers. People enjoy humor any time, but I would recommend showing your lighter side on Monday or Wednesday when people need a boost.
The thing that sets social media apart from traditional media is interaction, so make the most of it. Redbox does a great job of this on Facebook by asking people about the movies they are excited to see and posting fill-in-the-blank riddles. Since you want a response, you probably want to share an interactive post on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday.
Sharing news and current events is an easy post, but make sure you share positive news about your business, industry or community. Be very sensitive about negative news, and never use a disaster or tragedy to push your brand or product.
Giving Back day is all about your fans. People do not Like your page or follow you on Twitter to be spammed. They expect you to provide some value, whether it is a discount, a coupon, or an awesome giveaways. Other ways to give back include featuring customers or showing how your business serves local communities. This type of post can do well on any day of the week.
Day in the Life
Do not make your Facebook page and Twitter profile too corporate. People want to know that your brand has a heart and can interact with them on a one-to-one level. One excellent way to show your business’ human side is to show its human element: your employees. Feature an employee, share candid photos from your office or show how your products are made. This makes a great Friday, Saturday or Sunday post.
You can educate and even sell your product through social media. Tell your following about your current and new products and what they can do, or teach them how to use them better. Do not be afraid to invite people to your online store, lead forms or purchase pages, but do it in a for-your-information or educational tone. One main reason people Like a business’ Facebook page is to learn about products. Posts like this can work well on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday.
Hopefully this simple posting schedule will help you satisfy the social media monster with less stress and more effectiveness.