As a social media management agency, we have a lot of content to post for our customers on a daily basis. We have to be forward thinking, have a plan and be constantly revising our efforts. We can’t just rely on day to day ideas and inspiration or sit back and let things take care of themselves. We have to collaborate with our clients, look at monthly focuses, launches, events and come up with a plan. And then there’s the curated content, the customer generated content, reviews and news that all need sharing. It’s not hard to find enough content to schedule for a few weeks in advance. But is scheduling social media content that easy?
It would be great if we could schedule 12, 16 or 20 posts a month then sit back and wait for the next month. It’s not always that easy though. You can’t just schedule it all and forget about it. We have lost count of the times that goals have changed, deadlines have not been met, a product or service launch has been moved or a piece of content is too good not to share. That’s not to mention staying engaged with your audience, reacting to comments, examining what works and what doesn’t but more on that later.
Flexibility with Content
Having learned many lessons over the last ten years or so, we always leave some wriggle room with content: gaps where we can add more, placeholders for additional content and such. Now you may just be thinking that you will schedule a post for each day and then post extra content on top of that but this is an issue for two reasons:
- Facebooks algorithm. In plain English, this means the code that Facebook uses to determine how many people it shows your content to. It likes consistency so, if you are posting extra posts on some days and not on others and your posting isn’t consistent (once a day, for example) the chances are it will harm your visibility and ultimately reduce your engagement.
- You can waste a lot of content. This is a risk as there may be days when you are struggling for great posts because you have already used all of your best content.
Scheduling social media content ahead of time, is not possible in all circumstances. Imagine something relevant happens on a global scale and you want to engage your audience on the matter. You could post a story and ask a question but you won’t be able to anticipate that. If someone leaves a glowing review that you want to share straight away, you can’t schedule that either. We have lost count of the number of times that we have received a request to do something at the last minute. Only this morning, we were sked to pop up a post about a store closure for a few days. This wasn’t in the schedule so we had to react, changing what we did have scheduled for a different post. Thats fine, it’s part of our job and we always have additional time set aside for these eventualities.
To ensure that we arent always on the hop, we think it’s better to schedule a certain amount of posts for the weeks ahead but not the entire amount. This means you have done most of your work but you also need to allocate time to your social media at regular intervals.
Top tip – turn on your notifications so you never miss a message, comment or review.
Working out a Social Media Content Schedule
First you need to determine how many posts you will make each week and stick to it. Whether they be 3/4 or 5/6, agree a number and stick to it.
If you have lots and lots of content you can stretch to more posts, if content is more of a struggle, stick with 3 or 4. Be realistic. It’s all well and good to be enthusiastic in the early days but will you still be feeling so enthused after 6 months?
Decide days to post on. Monday, Weds and Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday? There are days and times that work better than others. There are two ways you can decide what is best for you when scheduling your social media content. One is checking your audience insights to view your audience habits and the other is trial and error. The other may throw up some unusual times that work some of the time.
It may be that you need to try a schedule for a few weeks and see how it does.
Once you have decided how many posts you are going to do, you can start to build out your content plan.
Type of Content
When deciding on your content you can look at what you have, what you need to talk about, what is going to engage your audience and start filling in the days.
It may be that you have 2 new reviews that you can produce graphics from like the one below. What we would do is produce the graphic and then make down the days in the schedule that we want to publish that post. We then writ a caption to go with it and use Hootsuite to schedule. This is our main social Media scheduling go to but we also use Meta Business Suite also to schedule our posts.
You may also have a certain number of product posts you want to share. Again, you need to spread these out and ensure that your promotional type posts do not exceed 20% of your content. So that gives you another post each fortnight.
Add to this an engagement post where you share something interesting/entertaining and ask people to comment and interact and before you know it that’s already half a dozen posts sorted.
If you’re going with 4 posts a week you’re looking for 16 in total. This may look something like this:
- 2 reviews
- 2 sales/product posts
- 2 funny/engaging posts
- 2 pieces of curated content
- 2 blog shares
- 2 customer shares
- 2 then for last minute content ideas/promotions/relevant news stories
We would always recommend a fortnightly rotation of content so that you’re not falling into a trap of just peddling the same sort of content out each week. From the 2 of each above, you can see how you can build yourself a bi-weekly schedule.
Flexibility is Key
We use Hootsuite on the desktop when scheduling social media content but if you are at home of an evening and suddenly you need to change a post, getting the laptop out can be a bind. We make sure that all of our social media accounts are available on our phone and that the Hootsuite app is available too. Then we can just open the app, change the date of whatever was scheduled and pop in a new post.
It’s about making it as easy and convenient as possible for yourself so that social media scheduling is never a chore.
If you schedule a months’ worth of content, then forget to post for a few weeks before picking it up again, you will lose the impact of the good work that you have done. Facebook, and the other paltforms, favour consistency. It is important to get itno a regular rhythm with your posts. Similar days, same frequency, vary the times but keep it regular. Don’t over post – this will lead to you losing followers.
Don’t Neglect Your Audience
While sitting back and letting your social media take care of itself seems like a wonderful idea, unfortunately, it is not that simple. You need to check in on your pages regularly, respond to comments, listen to what your audience is saying and constantly evaluate your social media efforts. You can’t just sit back and keep doing the same things and hoping that they will work. You have to change things up, move with the time, keep an eye on the latest changes and developments within the platforms. For example, only a few weeks ago, Facebook launched reels. Excited as we were to see who this would affect our Facebook accounts that we manage, we haven’t really seen much in the way of results yet. Much easier to see how Reels are performing on Instagram, but they have been active a lot longer. We always suggest taking a look at what others are doing, having a look for yourself and seeing what does and doesn’t work for others.