Schedules are important, especially when you’re planning your team’s upcoming interactions.
This practice helps your content and marketing team’s organization immensely, including figuring out when and how often to publish, what networks to publish on and what messages to promote.
From a division of labor standpoint, especially at a smaller company, it might be appealing to place different people are in charge of social media on different days. Each person could be responsible for making each update live throughout the day, or at least scheduling them in advance through Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or other social media planning add-ons.
The person designated for that particular day’s duty also needs to monitor activity from users. If a visitor has a question or exhibits poor behavior, a quick note from you can demonstrate that you’re right there, rather than a “we’ll get back to you” or a “when we get to it” attitude.
But the real fun in scheduling is figuring out how to market your small business around a certain activity. It could be something internal, such as a contest, promotion, announcement or just trying to educate visitors about your organization. Or it could be external, where your message is coordinated with something else going on in the world.
Stacey Minero, head of content planning at Twitter, said her network is a great way to offer live updates and insert your company into larger, timely conversations – what she calls “personal and cultural moments.”
Depending on your audience, you can use hashtags related to something big – the Super Bowl is always a good example of a shared event with its own hashtags and trending discussions. Or you can stay local – maybe be part of the commentary and photo stream surrounding a local concert or public event.
Here are some other strategies for scheduling.
- Plan but don’t plan too much. When creating your content plan for the week/month ahead you can put “weather” as topic and then you’ll be covered whatever happens. Your audiences may like that you like the spring, or be as surprised as you at an unexpected snowfall.
- Don’t sell all the time. Even though you may be more familiar with this social media stuff than you used to be, one rule that can’t be stressed enough is to be more conversational than persuasive – one theory is 1 “selling” post to 10 “talking” posts.
- Be flexible. A content plan is merely a game plan — and maybe something to show the boss. If circumstances change, it’s easy to tweak as needed. But it’s better than sitting around each morning and afternoon saying “we should probably put something up soon.”
- Be open to additional opportunities. The social media VIP from 2013’s Super Bowl was Oreo. For those who can’t remember, a representative from the cookie company took advantage of a power outage to slip in a Tweet about the joy of having Oreos in the dark. It wasn’t planned in any way, but that team was ready.
Writer Bio: Joe B doesn’t like to plan but appreciates those who do it well — it kind of makes sense.