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- Struggling to keep up with your social media marketing?
- Not sure what to post on your social media channels?
- Losing productivity by spending too much time on social media?
How do you manage your social media effectively and efficiently?
A (well thought-out, strategically planned, eye-catching) social media content plan is your answer. In short, an awesome content plan.
Having a social media presence is a necessity in today’s digital world, even if you are just on one platform. Managing it well and learning to work with tools that can make you both productive and efficient in your business can make a whole world of difference to the outcome, not to mention your mental health!
Many small business owners don’t realise or understand the need to create a content plan, it’s often done on a day-to-day basis and is based on whatever the person is feeling that day. There’s no strategy or thought behind it, just what comes to mind when they remember they have to post. This can create chaos on your social channels, with no real meaning behind any of it.
We understand that everyone is busy, marketing is not always at the forefront of your mind, but when you get distracted or side-tracked into doing other things within your business, your social media marketing is often the task that gets pushed aside and often forgotten, creating an inconsistent pattern. Not only does this provide inconsistency for your audience but it doesn’t give you direction or help with long-term targeting or strategies for marketing, and in turn, sales.
The most basic tool for your social media planning, is getting to grips with a content plan.
A content plan will be your best friend for life!
Here at KJP Creative, we use a pen and paper for this at the beginning stage, and write everything down so we can see everything clearly and laid out in front of us – usually working to a month’s plan. Here’s our top 5 tips for creating an awesome content marketing plan:
#1 – Map out
Create a blank view of your calendar for the month ahead, and start to fill in the gaps… Tip: use a different colour for each type of content so you can see at a glance. The more you start to fill in, you’ll see gaps of where you need content, or where you’re putting too much of the same thing together etc. Learn to spread things out, or manage a campaign at a glance.
#2 – Get thinking & start writing
Write in certain things that you know you want to share that month, these could be things that tie in with overall goals, things that work towards wider targets. Next comes some of your own content, blog posts, or articles that you’ve written. Then think about telling people about what you do, detailing different aspects of your business.
#3 – Use curated content
You can then start to drop in articles that you’ve enjoyed reading, or content that would be beneficial to your readers – it doesn’t have to be all your own content, it’s good to get an all-round view on topics. There might also be people or accounts who you can reshare content from, make notes of dates that this might be applicable.
#4 – Utilise awareness days
How about some awareness days to get your audience talking? We wouldn’t advise jumping on every awareness day that happens, but choose ones that are relevant to your readers and get them thinking and talking about real issues they face and ones they can resonate with. These are great to keep up with trends, things that happening around you, world events etc.
#5 – Tap into emotions
The key to your content plan is to create content that is going to be engaging for your readers, and is going to tap into an emotion. Emotions are so important, and there are so many out there to trigger, but hitting a nerve can be the difference between someone stopping to take notice of you, to scrolling right past and not. Find the balance, find what works well with your audience. Do they enjoy a joke, or would they prefer a motivational post?
What’s next with the content plan?
Once you’ve got your content plan together, it’s about writing the content to go with the plan, creating the images/ graphics, and scheduling. Everyone works differently, so find a pattern that works for you. And find a scheduling tool that you can get on with. Some are easier than others, some have analytics, some integrate with other platforms, some are easy for a mobile device… the choice is really down to personal preference – the key is to actually find time to doing it!
Don’t have the time? Block out sections in your diary for each part of the plan:
- Content planning
If you’ve only got an hour one day and half hour the next, block these times out and stick to them. Make this a regular part of your to-do list. Once you get into the habit, it’ll become easier and quicker – promise!
However, if you’re still reading and wonder how you’d ever get time to create a proper strategic content plan, or it’s simply not your forte, or what you want to be focussed on right now, we can help! That’s what we love to do, and it’s our speciality. Just contact us, and we’ll be in touch to talk further.
But for those who are ready to see your social media take off to new heights – we challenge you to take content planning seriously and give it a go. And we’d love to hear back from you once you have!
In the meantime, why not checkout our FREE Awareness Days calendar to get you started…
Do you test and measure marketing results?
What a question. For small business owners on a pretty busy schedule, the thought of going back through everything to see what results actually happened, can not only be a time-consuming task, but a dreaded one.
You’ve put in all the hard work, it’s out there, social media posts have been put across all channels and if it works, great! Does this sound familiar?
So many people we talk to do not actually look at the results of their social media marketing and therefore have no idea of whether it’s beneficial or not. And realistically, if it’s not working, it’s costing you a lot of time.
Gain clear judgement and understanding by regularly measuring your social media efforts.
Don’t stand by and HOPE that something will work – test it!
When you have a clear understanding of what impact your marketing is having, whether it’s hitting the right audience and above all – achieving your goals – then you’ll know which direction to go in next. A marketing strategy will help map all this out, giving a foundation to work from and a base to be able to grow and improve. Take action on the strategy and create a working plan that you can follow in each and every piece of marketing you do going forward.
- Sound time-consuming?
- Sound difficult?
- Sound not important for your small business?
… well, the truth is, that if you don’t measure and test, you could be doing it all for nothing. Therefore you are already wasting time, making marketing difficult and not helping your small business grow!
Use the metrics and performance measurements as a way to prove value and demonstrate the contribution of marketing to your business.
Here’s WHY you should test and measure your marketing:
Enhance your existing marketing content – improve or tweak
When you can see what is working, or not, you are able to make adjustments to give better results. Just a small tweak in the copy or a change of background in a Paid Facebook Ad could make all the difference to having just one sale, or to having one hundred sales.
Understand tangible metrics that help in costing and performance
When you deep dive into the ins and outs of the performance in each part of your marketing, you can help bring down costs and gain a better return on investment (ROI). You may find that advertising is expensive, or you’re spending too much time creating social media content, but if you can understand exactly what works and focus on this, you’ll spend less time and money in failed attempts.
Map out a customer journey and see what a customer actually wants, rather than what you think they want
Your business wouldn’t survive without customers, they are what keeps your business going. The more customers, the better the revenue and the greater the success. Knowing what makes your customers happy, having an understanding of what they are seeking, will help you create the right marketing content that resonates and has impact.
Hit goals and targets, allowing yourself to reach bigger achievements
Do you know what your targets are? Do you have big goals and ambitions? Your marketing is a tool to help you achieve. Within your strategy, create goals; small goals and big goals, short-term and long, and then map out steps to help you reach each step – targets. With each accomplished marker you’re closer to getting to the end goal.
Customer retention – vital in business growth.
Yes, you want customers to stay with you! It’s much easier to keep customers than to find new ones, right? Think about that for a moment, how much time do you spend acquiring a new customer? Once you’ve got them, you want to keep them. Customer service is a vital part of your marketing, ensuring customers – and potential customers – are happy.
Marketing works, when you know what works. Testing and measuring marketing results is so important in order to grow a business, and putting in the time and effort to structure this so that it works for you, rather than against you, will have a big impact in the future. Get it right now, and save time and money.
What are you waiting for? Are you measuring your results?
If not, we absolutely suggest that you start today. And if you’re not sure where to start, ask us, we’re happy to help.
In the meantime, start off with our FREE downloadable ‘Social media check – don’t forget the basics’, which will help you get an understanding of what you should be doing on a regular basis on your social media channels.
It’s a new year with much to get excited about and when we think about a social media strategy and plan for a new year, or a new campaign, or whatever it may be – there is so much enthusiasm you can bring into the mix. Whether you are working on your own business marketing, or you’re helping a client reach their goals, always bring the excitement with you to the table. If it’s not there, come back when it is!
For content marketing and social media managers, coming up with fresh and new content for clients can become difficult and stagnant, especially if the client doesn’t have anything new to give. But there are ways to work around this and producing content that brings their social channels to life is part of the job… you are the creative one and it’s your job to make the magic happen!
But where do you start?
– Have you lost your enthusiasm?
– Are you having trouble sticking to, or creating a plan that works?
– Are you skipping the planning stages, hoping for the best?
The best advice we can give as an agency, is to understand your client’s (or your own) business right down to the nitty gritty detail. What customers are they trying to attract, what makes them special, what can they offer, what do they give that’s of value, and what is unique about them that will stand out from the competition?
Then it’s about putting everything into a process.
Create a strategy
Make an action plan
= Results… success
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I heard an interview this morning with Lola Lennox, Annie Lennox’s daughter, who was sharing about her new song that she had released, written and recorded at home during the Covid-19 lockdown. She was asked if she was a daydreamer and the answer she gave was that all songwriters are daydreamers as they have to pluck content from deep within in order to produce a song.
This struck me that we, as social media marketers, are also in that same boat. We write content for many clients at a time, often in completely different industries, but providing a (daily) flow of content for all. Where does that inspiration come from?!
To start with, you need to be creative in the first place. If you’re a business owner reading this and you’re struggling with implementing a good social media presence, don’t waste your time, find someone that can do it without struggle and that has the capacity to do a good job. It’s far better to have something done well, than half an effort that’s poor. If you are creative but are stuck for ideas, keep reading…
So, what comes first in the process of creating an awesome content calendar, and how do you come up with great both copy and graphics for each and every client, that is different and unique for each?
You need inspiration. This doesn’t come all at once or at a specific time – especially when you want it to – but often comes when you’re out and about or going about your everyday normality of life. When you’re out, always have a notebook or a phone to hand to keep a journal of the things that inspire you, otherwise by the time you get home, you’ll have forgotten everything!
Take a walk, read a book, have a chat on the phone with a friend, look out the window – all these different things can provide you with snippets of inspiration. Take photos or screenshots while you’re busy, doodle or draw pictures – whatever it is that brings out your creative streak.
Also, a great way to be inspired by the industry is to look at what content that industry is producing. Search for keywords in Instagram or Twitter to find the types of content which is gaining good engagement. Take a look at the profiles who are following these high engaging posts and see the types of posts they are enjoying too. If you can see what content works, it can inspire you to create things along the same line.
Your ideas don’t have to come all at once but collate all your material in a central place that when you come to your dedicated time to write content, you’ve got a bank of details to use.
Make a plan
A good content calendar is built on a strategy and an action plan, filled with much research and knowledge of the business and with their goals and targets at hand.
With an in depth understanding of the goals in mind, the content can be built around everything you have learned and gathered along the way. But don’t think sell, sell, sell at every opportunity – think of the bigger picture and the audience you’re speaking to. What do they want to hear or gain from having communication from the business?
Marketing strategy ideas:
- Create and understand the various personas you’ll be working with
- Research the business in depth
- Ensure branding throughout, in both copy, style and graphics
- Decide how many times to post during a week
- What type of content will match the brand
- What style of graphics will work
Pull all your plans together and work out how to fit everything in best with what’s happening within the business and the campaigns / goals that you want to meet, and you’ll have a content calendar that will run for ages, that you can come back to, adapt, amend, and recycle to keep recreating content.
Tip: Create content that is ‘evergreen’, that can be used again and again. For example, with one blog post, you could create a selection of posts to go with it and have them on a rolling cycle.
This process can be rolled out through all the various channels that you run as a social media manager. Different businesses will have different goals and focusses, but the thought basis behind it all is the same process for each.
Have you tried using a check list to help you stay on top of your social media marketing? You can download a FREE copy of our Social Media Checklist here.
See the results – discover success!
The outcome of seeing everything fall into place and working as you hoped is satisfying to say the least. Everything that you’ve done and worked hard to put together has paid off. Keep the momentum going by engaging with everyone that interacts with your social channels. Engagement is key to building the brand and growing your followers. Of course, growing the likes and followers is great, but what is the ultimate goal – to bring in leads and eventually sales? Don’t forget to build relationships with your followers, they are human! A good brand is built on trust and loyalty, create those bonds by creating a good customer experience and you’ll be set.
Also, be sure to check your analytics on each social channels to see what has worked best, what type of content is gaining the best interaction and what times of day your audience is online. Understanding what your audience is enjoying from your content is a basis to grow, put this knowledge into your strategy and keep going.
When you go through the process above, you’ll find how easy it is to access the creativity in the back of your mind. Keeping a journal of things that inspire you, and photos along the way, is the best way to keep the bank of content flowing. You’ll soon find it all becomes routine and you’ll establish a system where awesome social media content comes naturally.
What top tips do you have to ensure you’re running a smooth social media management service for your clients? We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below.
And if you’re a business looking for help in their social media, get in touch, we’d love to talk!
Written by Karen Petrauskas, owner of KJP Creative
Grab yourself a copy of KJP Creative’s 2021 Social Media Planner and get yourself organised through this year:
Many people strive for success and this can come in various forms depending on what success means for you. Financial freedom, a good work-life balance, owning a business – each and every person has their own thoughts on what success means for them.
If you’re not completely satisfied with how your career or work life is going or heading, and you’re not feeling the joy of success, perhaps it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate.
Setting up a business and working for yourself can have huge implications to your life, especially if you’re seeking a better work-life balance, and can be the answer that you’re looking for in order to be a more happier, independent and passionate person.
Many people dream about having their own business but get stuck on the ‘how to’ of getting started, often causing a stumbling block and even an excuse not to get started. But if you’re looking for encouragement in getting started and help along the way – we’re here to offer that and to give you as much guidance as we can to help you on your way. Don’t let barriers get in your way, hurdles and obstacles can be overcome – but you need to be in the right mindset to get there.
What are the main benefits to owning a business and working for yourself?
1) Financial freedom
Working for yourself means that you have the opportunity to work the hours you want or need in order to obtain the financial income that you want, or need. Depending on the industry that you head into, and the other commitments you may have, the world is your oyster in how much you can benefit financially when becoming your own boss.
However be aware that it is harder to motivate yourself and stay on track when you’re running your own business! There’s no one there to push you forward, telling you to get the work finished or making you stay 9-5 … you have to do this yourself. Not having a time-sheet or accountability can be hard at first, but when you are in a routine and have the motivation to want to earn, you’re on the right track. It may not happen overnight, but you will get there if you persevere.
Set goals of what income you need in order to see financial freedom – and what does financial freedom actually mean for you as this is different for everyone. Little by little you can reach your financial goals until you hit the place where you need to be. Once you’re there, make a plan in order to sustain that income.
2) Work-life balance
Yes it’s hard work being a business owner, especially when you first start out but if you can start out with the mindset that this is going to work around your other commitments and personal life, you’ll have a better chance that your work-life balance is going to be successful. Start as you mean to go on!
On the flip side of that, you still need to give 100%. This may mean working in a way that you are not used to, or working different hours to accommodate, it’s about balance and finding a routine that works for you personally.
What does a work-life balance mean for you?
Do you have family responsibilities, volunteer commitments, regular things that you need to do? However you balance your workload is completely up to you when you’re a business owner – find a pattern that is sustainable, try not to commit to things that are out of reach or make life harder, and enjoy the benefits of both a happy lifestyle and business that is passionate for you.
When you own your business, you can set your own goals and see them achieved.
When you’re working for someone else you can often feel trapped into achieving someone else’s goals. This is your chance to find your feet, set your own targets and head directly for your own success.
- What do you want to achieve?
- What have you always wanted to do that could be brought into the goals of your new business?
The best way to see success and achieve your goals is to set out a business and marketing plan aligned with where you want to be and how you’re going to get there. Follow the plan and if necessary find someone that you can be accountable to in order to stay on track of your plan.
4) Organisation & Efficiency
If you’re not one for being efficient and simply doing ‘what you need when you need to’, running your own business (should) shape you into being effective in all that you do. Productivity is a must if you want to be successful – start with this mindset when you begin your business and stay in this habit in order for it to continue long-term.
- How do you plan your day?
- What steps do you do in order to see something accomplished?
How about starting with a physical planner where you write down your goals, create step by step targets to achieve them and work out a plan of action in order to see the results? Much better than playing it by ear and hoping for the best! Efficiency and productivity are great tools but ones that need to be worked at and adhered to. However when you get into the routine of following them, you’ll see a more positive outcome and better results.
5) Positive Attitude
When you’re doing something you love, you’ll have the motivation to do it. Unlike a 9-5 where you go because you have to, watching the time tick by, you’ll be positive in what you’re doing. When you’re positive and happy in what you’re doing, you’ll see better results.
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” ~ Zig Ziglar
Success and achievement have an effect not just on the physical aspect of what you’re doing but in your personal attitude and lifestyle too.
Everyone dreams, everyone has goals that they’d love to see come to fruition. If you can put that desire into your own business and see dreams achieved, how much more confident and passionate will you become?
When it comes to starting a business, ensure that you find something that you are passionate about. Once you’ve found that passion, create a plan of action and a timeline of how you’re going to get started and what you need to move forward. Set SMART goals – be realistic in achievements and plan out your marketing to reach those goals.
Get creative, find inspiration, be motivated by passion.
Are you thinking about starting a business? Once you’re ready to get started, give us a call to talk about an online marketing strategy – we’d love to hear your story, see what you’re looking to do and help you get there. Speak soon!
With social media being the most popular way for people to communicate with a business, it is a given that businesses need to be responsive and interact on social media to keep their customers and audience engaged. A place where consumers can discover more about a brand, learn more about a product or service and get to know and trust a business before making a purchase.
The growing popularity of social media makes it an essential place for businesses to be and to reach their audience right where they are. It provides a faster and more personal touch to any conversation and allows the follower to feel cared for and part of a community. However, there are some rules and things that you can adhere to, to ensure that you’re covering the right basis and interacting in a positive way.
Post valuable content
Whatever social media content you produce needs to (and should always) produce value. Personal profiles are the place where other non-business things can be shared and talked about, but when it comes to your business profile, your customers want to see that they can rely on you giving value and being supportive when they need it. Whether you’re giving an inspirational quote or sharing a tip or advice, make sure that your followers can benefit from it.
It doesn’t always have to be something that you have written, this is called curated content. If another business or industry expert has written a relevant and valuable blog post, why not share this to your audience? Tip: You can use other people’s content to grow your own brand awareness!
Show some personality with your voice
You are your brand, yes, but the voice that you portray across social media content should reflect the right tone for your business. People will see through split personalities and conflicts of interests – be true to your brand, the core values that you believe in and the way you want your business to be seen and heard.
Create a voice across social media where you can be yourself and give a good impression of every aspect of your business. Your unique voice is your authenticity and is essential in speaking to the right people, engaging with the right people and reaching the people that are going to want to grow with you and the brand.
Creating your unique voice will make you stand out in a crowded digital space, make you stand apart from the other businesses and competition, and increase your chances of being heard and appreciated, trusted and loved. Become known in a digital world that is fighting for attention by being authentic.
Keep your social media simple
There’s nothing worse than trying to jump on every social channel, keep up with the large organisations and compete with everyone out there – it’s not going to work! Keep your social media marketing simple, make it as easy as possible with the best possible results. Learning to be effective and efficient in your online marketing will make life a lot easier and will help control stress levels which can increase when someone tries to everything all at once.
If you establish that you need to be doing more and keeping up with bigger competition, or even that you’re not the right person to be doing the marketing (everyone has their strengths and weaknesses) then why not think about outsourcing your social media to a VA (virtual assistant) or a digital agency that has the resources and expertise to be productive and reach your business objectives.
When it comes to simply, start with sticking to the point in everything that you post – captions, images, text & copy – keep it simple and easy to manage. Once you start making it complicated and adding in extras, your audience will expect that every time and it is obviously harder to keep up with. Start small and increase as you have the time and skills to do so.
Monitor your social channels
There’s one thing to create a great social media plan and schedule every post for a month in advance, but it’s something else to monitor the reactions and engagements that come from those posts. Be reactive and responsive on the content; when someone comments, respond. When someone shares, thank them. When someone recommends, engage. At all times monitor your social media profiles along with other people’s content that mentions you – this is called social listening and is a very valuable tool.
Make the most of User Generated Content
Your followers and consumers are the people who drive your business forward, who are an influence to others seeking out your business and are the people that will help you build trust and confidence with new customers.
UGC not something that is essential in your social media strategy but always an action that will help.
When someone shouts out about your business – engage with them and share their posts on your social channels. Their reviews, experiences, journey with your business can be shown to other people looking in – utilise User Generated Content wherever possible. Not only will it help with finding a variation in your content, but it will provide insight and reassurance to others.
Above all when it comes to your online marketing efforts, be consistent and on the ball with everything. Diffuse controversy, especially when it’s something that effects your business or nature. When you say you’re going to post, post. When you get into a routine, be sure to keep it up – people expect what they are used to and can get despondent or bored if they feel let down. Be true to your brand and let your personality shine through in your content. Organise, plan and prepare everything – there’s always room to add in extras, but ensure you have your basis covered first.
How do you manage your interaction and engagement on social media? Are you finding that you’re not effective or productive? Do you love social media and have some success stories to share with your audience? Are you looking to outsource your online marketing so you can focus on other parts of your business? Do you need a marketing strategy to work towards? Whatever your situation, we’d love to listen or help you engage and interact with your online audience, feel free to get in touch and let’s talk!
In the meantime, our Social Media Checklist can help, you’re welcome to download our FREE resource to give you the first step up. Click the link below.