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Creating a Content Calendar for your Social Media

Creating a Content Calendar for your Social Media

Creating a Content Calendar for your Social Media

Keeping your audience engaged, and with relevant content, is one the most important facets of your social media strategy. But how do you find good content and not only that; how do you organise it and deliver it you your audience without repeating yourself, your message, or tying yourself in a knot of dis-organisation. The answer is simple – use a content calendar!

First step – Your Messaging

Well first, and the most important point, is to know the messaging you want delivered to your audience (this is relevant later on when we talk about sourcing your content). Just below this, in importance, is not becoming repetitive with your messaging and your content. I can’t stress how valuable this is, repetition shows a lack of imagination and your audience will take that personally.

Your messaging can be simple, and really needs to speak to your target audience. I’ll look at messaging in a separate post!

Then comes your content calendar

The best way to tackle this is to design a monthly content calendar. This is a simple excel sheet with each week (Week Beginning  7th November) on the left horizontal line and the post days (Mon, Wed, Fri)  on the vertical. A monthly content calendar allows you plainly see the pattern of your content, it doesn’t have to be too descriptive, and sometimes a simple word will suffice ie: Call to Action or Strategy. Doing this prior to the start of each month will actually make your content work easier as you know exactly what content (and its associated messaging) to look for. If you are planning content for more than one social media platform be sure to separate them on the spreadsheet (look for nuances in the different messaging each audience needs for each platform.)

Once this monthly calendar is done you work week to week on your content (due to current affairs/news and important announcements which may be pertinent to your brand.) The weekly content schedule is in a separate excel document using the ideas and trigger words from the monthly content calendar. Based on your previous knowledge of the activity of your audience (if on Facebook check your Insights) you make a decision on the times on each day for each post to be scheduled. If you are determining content for more than one social media platform again be sure to keep them separated but on the same excel document.

Where do you find content to share?

So now you have two beautiful excel sheets, your monthly content calendar is filled with awesome content ideas and trigger words like: Call to Action, Ted Talk, #ShareaSelfie, #ICYMI which is In Case You Missed It, always great for an important article. Also #ThrowBackThursday (#TBT), Engaging piece on travel or Photo Montage. However your weekly content schedule is empty; so where do you go to find your content? As mentioned earlier you need to have a clear idea on the messaging you want your audience to receive. So where do you look? The simple answer is: everywhere and on the same token the complex answer is: everywhere. The internet is jam packed full of content which can make it a minefield to navigate so follow the KISS rule: Keep It Simple Stupid.

Know who the experts are in your chosen industry, make sure you follow them and like their page, share content from their social media platform and be sure to tag them when you do it as it increases your reach and brings your brand to THEIR attention. Identify the influencers in your field, which are different from experts, and do the same. Video content is always great so check out Ted Talks for something relevant for your industry. Google, though huge, is a great content source, especially if you use the “news” function of the search engine to find the most updated news on the subject you’re writing about.  Source great bloggers and share their content, start your own blog and share your own content. Content can literally come from anywhere, including Live feeds such as the Facebook video tool, just be sure to keep it simple, engaging and relevant to your brand.

Over to you

How do you plan your content? Will you use a content plan to help you in the coming year?

If you want help getting more out of your social media marketing, please download our free step by step guide today!
Writing a blog? Remember, one idea is always enough.

Writing a blog? Remember, one idea is always enough.

Writing a blog? Remember, one idea is always enough.

This idea is not the end it’s only the beginning.

You’ve probably heard this before but have you heard it in the context of blog writing? You might be tempted to cram all your ideas into one blog, to amaze you reader with your knowledge but in reality a much simpler approach is best. Just stick with one idea per blog – develop it and discuss the detail.

Here’s why.

Firstly, you have ample opportunity to blog so there is no great rush or need to cram as many ideas as you can into one piece. In fact keeping to a simple and concise writing approach will give your reader the impression you’re confident and an expert on the topic you’re writing about.

Another reason to keep it simple is to ensure the blog content you’re providing is meaningful and useful to your readers. By sticking with one idea you can explore it in greater detail, analyse it and offer your expert opinion. People will respect your knowledge; appreciate your advice in turn building a level of trust around your blog that will keep readers coming back for more. Regular readers become an opportunity to build new leads and new business.

Most blogs on average are 400 words, but you don’t have to stick to that word count. Long enough to provide detail but short enough to keep a reader’s attention. When it comes to the web people have short attention spans opting to read the first few sentences, skim the rest looking for the detail they’re after. With this in mind sticking to one idea makes a lot of sense. Create an opening paragraph that grabs attention, brings the idea to the fore and encourages the reader to read the detail.

If you just can’t stick to one idea instead opt to draw the article out over a series of blogs. A series will provide a reason to come back for the next blog, allow you to delve further in the detail and fully explore the overall content. Remember to keep a consistent flow throughout and link the blogs together.

Over to you!

I’d like to hear about your blog experiences by commenting below.

If you want help getting more out of your social media marketing, please download our free step by step guide today!

 

Social media content: How do you keep it flowing?

Social media content: How do you keep it flowing?

Social media content: How do you keep it flowing?

What do I say? (a.k.a I need help with content!)

If there is one theme from businesses I hear time and time again when it comes to social media is “Yes I do know I need to use it but I don’t know what to say”. They have a Facebook page, and maybe a Twitter account, and happily follow others. But when it comes to posting their own content, there’s a huge blank.

Is this you? Have you set up a Facebook page or Twitter account, updated it every day (and sometimes more than once!) then after a month or so you couldn’t think of what else to put up on your page? Perhaps you set up a LinkedIn profile, added everyone you know, posted some really interesting content, then lost motivation?

I can assure you – you’re not alone.

The 80 / 20 rule

If there is one thing you take away from this article, is that you do not need to write every piece of content from scratch. In fact, it’s better if you don’t; that way if you are curating interesting content that your audience engages with, then you’ll be seen as a trusted source.

Ideally, your content should consist of 80 per cent ‘value’ based or educational content. This can be either curated (ie, sourced elsewhere with appropriate attribution) or created yourself. The remainder 20 per cent can be slightly more ‘salesy’ but still be respectful of your audience.

Think curation and creation!

So how do you consistently come up with interesting and engaging content without spending hours trawling through the internet and coming up with nothing? Here are my top 5 tips:

  1. Identify leaders in your industry and share what they say. Sign up for their email newsletters and when a great article arrives in you inbox, share it with your fans!
  2. When reading online newspapers and other news sites, if you come across an article you think might interest you followers, save it in a word document so you can use it later
  3. Look at what you are doing in your work place right now. Is there an interesting project you are working on? A client who you could profile?
  4. Have you made a mistake and learned a lesson in your workplace that you think your fans could benefit from? Hindsight is a wonderful thing (especially in business) and another business could learn from you.
  5. Ask you fans, followers & clients what they would like to hear. Your fans are a rich source of information, so ask them lots of questions!

Over to you!

Are there other places you find inspiration?

If you want help getting more out of your social media marketing, please download our free step by step guide today!
Top tips for LinkedIn Company Pages

Top tips for LinkedIn Company Pages

Top tips for LinkedIn Company Pages

With organic reach being impacted for Facebook pages, many businesses are turning to LinkedIn Company Pages to build a community and market their business. If your target audience is on LinkedIn, then this could be a worthwhile channel for you.

Like any other marketing channel, you need to have a plan for how you will use it to generate results. These are our top 7 tips for getting the most from your LinkedIn Company Page.

  1. Use images that best reflect your business. The hero image, and profile picture are opportunities to showcase what your business does. And make sure you use a logo for extra
  2. Share engaging content regularly. The best time to post can vary from industry to industry, but start with posting during business hours, and test from there.
  3. Use your employees as part of your content. Ask them to share behind the scenes or industry knowledge so that your community can get to know your business behind the brand. Also, your employees can be your biggest advocates. Ask them to share your content with their networks.
  4. Optimise for search by using keywords that focus on your business and your industry. You have 156 characters for your page text so use them wisely.
  5. Use Sponsored content for your best performing content to extend your reach. This is a great tool to use for amplifying content, and drive traffic to your website, especially if it’s a blog article or lead capture page.
  6. Tell people about your page. Just because you set up a page, it doesn’t mean that your audience will know about it. Add a link on your website and email signature. Make sure it’s on your own LinkedIn profile.
  7. Monitor your analytics so you know what works and what doesn’t. Track how your content is performing in terms of reach and engagement as this can help you understand if your content is being seen.

With all social media channels, consistency is key. Small daily actions on your LinkedIn page (or a few times a week if that is best for you) are better than a huge burst, then nothing for months.

Use one piece of content across multiple channels

Use one piece of content across multiple channels

Use one piece of content across multiple channels

I am the first to admit that constantly creating content to feed your online marketing can be like walking through mud at times. And because we live in a society that has 24/7 access to information in the palm of our hands, it’s easy to think our efforts can be futile.

However, a big mistake I see often is business owners creating one piece of content and then promoting it only through one channel. Or worse, expecting the content to just be found (especially if it’s a blog or video).

If you write an amazing blog, record a smashing podcast, or shoot an engaging video, no one will see it if you don’t tell anyone. And if you do promote your content, make sure you are promoting it regularly, so you pick up potential new audiences each time.

So, below is my super simple strategy for repurposing content across multiple channels so that I am creating less but promoting more.

Currently, I create the following content:

  1. A weekly blog (like this one!)
  2. A Facebook live once every 1 to 2 weeks
  3. A podcast each fortnight

Starting with my written blog, I:

  1. Upload it to my website
  2. Promote it across all of my online channels more than once
  3. Use a tool like Lumen5 to create a video of my blog
  4. Upload this video to Youtube, with a link back to my website

For my Facebook lives

  1. I use Belive.tv to schedule them in advance
  2. Then once the live is over, I download the video file from Facebook
  3. The video is then uploaded to Youtube with all the proper titling and a custom thumbnail
  4. Link back to my Facebook page where the live happened
  5. Take the Youtube video, create a blog post and embed the video
  6. Promote the blog link across other social media channels

And lastly, for my podcast:

  1. Once it is uploaded, the podcast is syndicated through platforms like itunes and Spotify
  2. I then take the podcast episode and the show notes (a transcript of the podcast episode) and create a blog piece on my website
  3. Then promote it across other channels

What content are you creating in your business right now? How can you use it in different ways to increase visibility of your business?