Social media can be a huge drain on your time. As a VA, your time is your most precious resource, especially if you’re planning to cut back on your hours, during the summer holidays. But you also need to stay present on social media, if you want your business to grow – so what’s the answer?
You know you need regular content on social media, if you want to stay relevant and noticed. You could look to throw general content out there, on an as and when basis, but it isn’t the best solution. Another option is to stay connected via the various social media apps on your phone – but that isn’t ideal, especially if you want to switch off and enjoy the time with your family. Planning social media is the answer you need.
The first step in planning social media – you need to have a plan
Planning social media starts with having a clear plan of action. What do you want your social media to say about your business? What products and services are you looking to promote at this time of year?
These are all questions your general social media marketing plan should cover for the year. In reality though, I know a lot of business owners and VAs alike, often don’t have a plan in place.
For those of you who want to get a bigger plan in place, HubSpot have an awesome article on the 9 Questions you need to ask yourself, when planning social media content. RazorSocial also has an entire guide on Social Media Campaign Planning – The Rocket Formula.
If however, you’re just looking for a quick fix to get you through the summer holidays, here’s a breakdown of what you need to do.
Start with your goals for social media
What do you want to promote during the summer months and what are your main goals for the period? Do you want to get more clients? Maybe you’d like to generally raise your interaction and likes? Or are you looking to achieve a consistent present, until you’re back in the autumn? What platforms are you looking to be visible on?
Decide on your social media content
There’s a lot of content you can share on your social media platforms. It pays to initially look at what options are available to you, so you know what you’ve got to work with. Content can be a combination of your own existing items, other people’s content, posts that are already popular, and even creating graphics of your own.
You’re looking at ideally getting a spread of content throughout the weeks. This can be as simple as alternating through the various options detailed below (my product, my blog, special day, influencer content etc), or having certain days of the week for specific content (Monday is blog day, Saturday is share influencer content etc).
I’d recommend you have a blank calendar to hand, as you read through this list. You can then mark of the non-negotiables, before deciding what other options you’re going to go with. I’d then create all the graphics in one sitting, after you know what you need. It’s also worth opening up a Notepad or document where you can post snippets of text, URLs and general ideas, whilst you’re going through this list.
Start with your products
Your goals above will highlight if there’s any particular products and services you want to focus on and, if so, you can create graphics and statuses revolving around them. These are the first non-negotiables that will be pencilled into your blank calendar – especially if they’re date dependant.
If however, you don’t have anything specific to promote, why not create some graphics and statuses that promote your existing services anyway – and don’t forget to also promote your freebie/opt-in! You can then pencil them in as non-negotiables instead.
Your blog posts
If you have your own blog, this gives you an awesome source of content – both for sharing and repurposing.Look to share some old, yet popular blog posts. I know you’ve previously shared them when you published them, but there’s no harm in sharing them again. Another option is to pull quotes and tips from these existing blogs. You can then use these to either create statuses or image-based graphics.
Special days and events
Look into any special days, events and holidays you’d like to observe. From traditional to the weird and wacky, there’s usually a special day for most dates in the calendar! Timeanddate.com have a good range to choose from – so go through and make a note of any that appeal to you.
We all have certain influencers and experts in our niche, whom we follow online. Now’s a good time to have a peek through their content and see what would appeal to your target audience and you’d like to generally share. Grab URLs and paste them into your ideas document.
Create your templates
Once you have your content, it’s time to create any graphics you need. I use Stencil, as it’s perfect for creating social media graphics, but Canva is another great solution too. I’d recommend creating a couple of templates for this – at the bare minimum, I’d create one image-based, and other text-based template for my graphics. You can then quickly switch out the images and replace the text, as needed.
Use a social media scheduling platform
You’ll need to schedule your social media in advance, if you don’t want to spend the summer holidays constantly checking into and posting content onto your social media platforms via your mobile phone! For Facebook, that means using their own easy to use scheduling tool.
For the other platforms, I recommend you use whatever does the job you want it to do, at the right budget for you. Personally, I pay to use Tailwind for my Pinterest account, Hootsuite for Twitter and LinkedIn and Grum for Instagram. Missinglettr is another awesome option, as it’s great for turning your existing blogs into their own social media drip-fed campaign and repurposing content over 12 months.
Planning social media in advance is essential, if you want to get through the summer holidays without worrying about your social media presence. By following the advice above, you’ll be able to get a plan in place, to cover you through the summer holidays. I’d also highly recommend you think longer term, and get into the habit of creating a six-monthly or quarterly social media plan in place, so you don’t have to worry as the summer holidays approach. Finally, I’ve listed all of my recommended resources on my Recommend Resources Page, to make it easier for you to find the tools I’ve personally recommended in today’s blog – so why not head on over and check them out!