These days, having an online presence for your firm on social media isn’t optional — it’s an essential part of your marketing strategy.
While social media alone isn’t enough to drive business growth, it is an opportunity to connect with current and potential clients, increase awareness of your brand and the services you offer and boost leads and sales.
If you’re just getting started, the biggest question is, “What should we post?” It can be exhausting to think up and create content on a daily or weekly basis. That’s where a social media content calendar can come in handy.
Why you need a social media content calendar
A content calendar helps you plan and organize your upcoming content by detailing what and when you post.
So why plan for and schedule content rather than create it on the fly? The main reason is that a social media content calendar can save you time. By planning ahead, you know well ahead of time what you need to prepare, so there’s no last-minute scramble when you realize you haven’t posted anything in a week.
A calendar also keeps you on track to share content in conjunction with relevant events and campaigns. For example, are your firm attending a conference or hosting an event for clients in a particular niche? Are there important deadlines you want to remind your clients about? A calendar ensures your social media activity is timed to the goings-on of your firm.
How to create a social media calendar
If you’re having trouble coming up with a week’s worth of content, then planning a year’s worth might sound daunting. But it may be easier than you think if you follow these tips.
Step 1: Decide how many times you want to post each week
According to Hootsuite, the optimal number of times to post on each platform is:
3 to 7 times per week on Instagram
1 to 2 times per day on Facebook
1 to 5 times per day on Twitter
1 to 5 times per day on LinkedIn
Of course, these are broad guidelines, so don’t let these numbers overwhelm you. You can always pick one platform to start with, select a cadence that works for you and analyze your results.
Step 2: Brainstorm ideas
Grab a piece of paper or open a document on your computer and start jotting down ideas of content to share. Don’t worry about whether the idea is a good one or not, and don’t start writing detailed copy or planning the visuals. Just brain dump as many ideas as you can come up with.
Once you have a large number of ideas, look for common themes. These will be your “content buckets.” Some ideas include:
Promoting the firm’s services
Highlighting members of your team
Tax, accounting or technology tips
Sharing details on the firm’s social events or community service activities
Repurposing content from the firm’s blog or newsletter
Sharing staff awards and achievements
For each bucket, decide how often you want to post. For example, you might choose to highlight one employee and one service line each month and share content from your blog once a week.
Step 3: Start filling in your calendar
Now that you have a cadence, content buckets and a list of ideas, start building your calendar. There are several content calendar templates and tools available. You can download Hubspot’s free content calendar template, create your own spreadsheet or invest in a content planning and publishing tool like Hootsuite.
Start by filling in all the holidays, deadlines, events and other time-sensitive posts. Then build in your weekly and monthly buckets. As you start this process, you can begin planning the copy and images you’ll need for each post.
For example, you may need headshots of employees or photos from staff events. Add getting those images to your to-do list. Images for other kinds of posts, such as holidays, deadlines, and highlighting your services, can be created and scheduled right away.
Don’t forget you don’t have to create 100% original content for every social media channel. For example, you can repurpose content from Twitter for use on LinkedIn to get more mileage out of it. You can also curate content your clients might find interesting or valuable.
Finally, be flexible. As the months go on, see how different posts perform and don’t be afraid to tweak your strategy and schedule. Remember, the first step to success on social media is to get started. Start creating your social media content calendar today, and you’ll have months of content mapped out in no time!
Are you ready to stop wasting money on business development and marketing initiatives that don’t work?
Boomer Growth Consulting helps you create a clear marketing and business development roadmap that will help you reach more prospects and clients. Schedule a discovery call today and gain confidence that your firm’s marketing and business development dollars are being used effectively.
As a Marketing Coordinator for Boomer Consulting, Inc., Emilie is excited to complement her social media content creation skills and learn more about other aspects of marketing. Her primary focus is managing the company’s website, collaborating with the sales team on marketing campaigns, and assisting with webinars, video content and design work to represent the company’s brand and services.