You know that sticking to a schedule is important for your business.
It helps you get things done, and keeps everything running smoothly.
The same is true when it comes to your social media marketing.
Understand which networks are right for your business before creating a posting schedule.
Most businesses use Facebook first. But you may also want to get setup on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Google+ — depending on the audience you’re trying to reach.
If you’re not sure where your audience is hanging out, this cheat sheet should help:
Now you need to decide how you want to divide your time.
Don’t think you need to post new updates on each network every day. You don’t!
Social media is about quality, not quantity. This is true when it comes to the size of your audience, and is also true when it comes to the amount of content you share.
Here are a few rules of thumb to consider when it comes to posting frequency for each network:
Remember that these are suggested frequencies; not requirements for success. Depending on the role each network plays in your social media plans, you may want to adjust these numbers.
In addition to these suggested frequencies, you’ll also want to monitor your networks for feedback, and look for opportunities to engage directly with your members.
This brings us to the type of content you’ll want to share.
Don’t jam-pack your schedule with promotional posts. Remember that your goal on social media should be to grow relationships and build an audience for your business. It’s not to turn every new fan, follower, and connection into a paying customer.
Try to limit your promotional content to just 20 percent of your weekly posts, with the other 80 percent focused on keeping your audience engaged and informed.
Here are a few suggestions for the type of content that works well on the top social networks:
Remember, the best way to figure out what type of content your audience is most interested in is to test. Keep an eye on your key engagement metrics (likes, comments, shares, retweets, clicks, etc). These provide insight into which type of content is working, what’s not, and what you could be doing differently to improve your strategy.
In addition to testing different posting frequencies, you can also test different days of the week, and different times of the day. For some businesses, the majority of social media activity will take place during the Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. work week. Other businesses may see more engagement on weekends, early morning, or later at night.
It all depends on your audience, and when you think people are most likely to see your posts.
Now it’s time to pull your schedule together.
At first, you may want to focus on your most important network. Once you see how it works with one network, you can start to incorporate all of your activity into your social media schedule.
Let’s see how the schedule might look on Facebook:
Now let’s see how it might look with Google+ or LinkedIn added to the mix:
When you add high-frequency networks like Twitter or Pinterest, your schedule might feel a bit crowded. To help you keep up, you can try a tool like HootSuite to schedule posts in advance.
While it still takes time to get things organized, it will make it easier for you to fit your social media schedule in with all the other stuff you have to take care of each day.
- Find the networks that are right for your business.
- Learn the type of content that works well on each network.
- Start with your most important social networks, and add others over time.
- Find the tools you need to improve social media productivity.
- Track your results and make adjustments when needed.
Stick with it!
Success on social media isn’t going to happen overnight.
Your schedule will help you save time and stay organized as you build your presence. It will also improve your chances of following through on your social media plans.
Want to learn more about how to use social media to get REAL results in your business? Get INSTANT access to our online masterclass:
This is a guest post by Ryan Pinkham of Constant Contact.