twitter icons for Social Media MarketingWe are one month into the New Year, the kids are back in school, and life has settled back into the usual, frenetic pace.  So why can’t you seem to keep your social media on track?  What can you do to get your brand out there, in front of all those people you are trying to reach?  And more importantly, how can you do it without spending every moment working on social media?  The answer is easier than you think; create a social media calendar!

Step 1: Decide How Often to Post


How often you post to your social media accounts depends entirely on which outlets your company uses.  Facebook users don’t like, and won’t even see, multiple posts a day.  However, Twitter works in real time, so multiple daily posts are beneficial.  Slidebean has a great post outlining how often to post to social media.  In general:

Instagram: Once or twice a day.

Facebook: No more than twice a day, but no fewer than three times per week.

Twitter: Three times a day.

LinkedIn: Once a day, but only during the work week.


Step 2: Pick Your Content


Look at your past posts to find what types of content engage your audience.  Some customers prefer video over text, sometimes sales or promotions work well.  You can look back at our blog post on upcoming trends for ideas.  And don’t forget, most social media is lighthearted, so the local vet will certainly want to celebrate #NationalDogDay on August 26th; just be sure to avoid March 4th, #NationalUnpluggingDay. It probably won’t work well for most markets! You can find a list of #HashtagHolidays on SproutSocial.


Step 3: Create Your Calendar


This is where it all really comes together!  Find a system that works for you, where you can plan an entire month in advance.  Believe it or not, I’m a paper and pencil kind of person for the majority of my life.  I even have a calendar on the side of my fridge to keep my family organized.  But, when it comes to social media posting, an online tool is probably better.  This could be as simple as scheduling your posts on Facebook, or if you have many outlets to manage, a product like HootSuite may be a better fit.  Regardless, the idea is to plan your posts, schedule your variety, and then run on autopilot for the rest of the month.


Stay Relevant!

Once you have your calendar up and running, remember to keep an eye on what’s going on around you.  If you had January ready to go and then didn’t post about #Snowzilla on the East Coast, you missed an opportunity to engage a group of people who were suddenly snow bound and on social media! Track what’s trending and stay in the conversation.