Ever had that nightmare of trying to figure out what to share on your social media account (or accounts)?
Every day or every few days you sit down and think “what the hell will I share today?”
After 20 minutes or an hour, you land on an idea you like and then share it.
Then you try to shut off the idea-generating machine that is your mind as more ideas keep popping up. You wonder why you couldn’t think of these earlier and by the time you post again, those ideas are gone.
It’s frustrating and inefficient!
Fear not, I have a process I use which is really efficient and makes the job SO much easier and you don’t have to think of something new every day.
So let’s get into it.
Below I have a video covering the process, but you can read instead, below as I have also typed it up here for you also.
You need a basic system
You want everything to be structured, planned and easy to produce idea after idea without spending 15 minutes starting your brain.
Here’s my basic process summarised:
- Work out a weekly/monthly posting frequency
- Create a Post type structure
- Create a calendar/spreadsheet for above
- List topics relevant to your niche
- Pick one post type or topic brainstorm enough ideas for 3, 6 or 12 months. Do this for topic or post type
- Schedule each post idea to be posted according to the initial structure.
Does that make sense?
Well, I thought I’d explain in further detail and even touching on how to make this more efficient for multiple networks.
Work out a Weekly or Monthly Posting Frequency
When it comes to social media, you have to be consistent to expect any kind of results.
So depending on the type of social media you intend on using, the frequency is going to vary due to the varying nature of the platform and its audience.
Here’s a basic guide to how often you should post:
- Facebook: 2 times a week minimum, 1 or 2 per day is good.
- Instagram: 2 or 3 times a week minimum, 1 or 2 per day is good.
- Twitter: 1 or 1 per day minimum, 10 times per day is good, no more than 30 per day.
- Pinterest: 1 pin per day is minimum – aim for 10 per day
- LinkedIn: 1 or 2 per week minimum, aim for 1 per day.
- YouTube: posting every few weeks is OK, 1 video per week is good for consistency, you can do 1 a day if you can manage but don’t sacrifice quality.
So, if you only need to post a few times a week, make your structure monthly. If you post daily, make the structure weekly.
So you have a frequency to work on within a cycle of one month or one week. Moving on!
Create a Post type and topic structure
OK, what works?
What kind of content do I post? Here’s some basic ideas to start (just as an example):
- Post a motivational quote
- Post a link to your blog, podcast or YouTube content
- Post a portfolio Piece of your work (art, design, house you just built, whatever)
- Share a small lesson or some advice within your niche
- Post a joke or meme relevant to your audience
- mention a product or service you offer
- Give your opinion on something in your industry
- Ask your audience for their opinion on something
- Post a personal update
You get the idea. The idea is to give you a list of things to rotate (even repeat) throughout this social media cycle). It will make more sense in the next step.
Create Your Calendar/Spreadsheet
You know your post frequency and cycle. If it’s daily posting on a weekly calendar, then create a weekly calendar with those post types.
So you may end up with calendar like this:
- Sunday: Post a personal Update
- Monday: Post a product or Service Post
- Tuesday: Share a Small Lesson or some Advice
- Wednesday: Share an old Blog Post or Video
- Thursday: Post a Portfolio Piece
- Friday: New Post or Video, then a second post a question for your audience
- Saturday: Share a Joke
So if you want 12 months of content, you need 52 personal updates, 52 service posts, 52 small lessons and so on. If anything is repeated (twice per week), then you need 104 of those posts. This is where a spreadsheet can be useful as each row is numbered.
The main thing to remember is that you need to make your content primarily something your audience will enjoy and make the blog posts, videos, and services minimal so people are engaged first and sold to second.
This will create a blank template for you to fill in with your ideas. You can do this with Excel quite easily.
Create a List of Post Topics
Come up with a list of topics in your niche. If you are a personal trainer it might be muscle growth, rehab, injury prevention, fat loss, nutrition, etc, etc.
Once you have this topic list, keep it aside as it will be the perfect reference for coming up with content ideas for your calendar or spreadsheet.
Now it’s time to really get moving.
Go through each topic, listing ideas that match each post type (if applicable). Put these all onto paper, into a word document or note-taking system. You can even use Trello as I’ve shown in the past.
Do this for each topic and you will have a tonne of ideas to pop into your schedule. You are essentially creating your own vast resource of social media post ideas.
Pile them up, take a few days if you need to. Work out how many posts you need for each post type in your weekly or monthly cycle. AIm for 3, 6 or 12 months of content!
Schedule those social media posts!
It’s easy, fill out your spreadsheet or calendar, rotating topics throughout your post types to keep it fresh (or grouping if relevant).
The next step is to create the actual content. You can do this as you post it, or more efficiently, do it nice and early in buffer or by popping images and text into a folder. This will take the burden of daily creative thinking off your shoulders and allow you to get on with what’s important.
But it doesn’t end there.
You will forget about this and the ideas will dry up – schedule up the next big brainstorm session to keep your ideas banked up for the future.
If you do forget on a daily basis and everything is automated, you need to remind yourself to log in, check and interact with those commenting on your posts to create a good, natural interaction.
That about wraps it up!
You’ve got a system for planning your social media and relieving the stress of creating something on the spot.
If you’re looking for a good piece of software to schedule your posts on social media, check out my guide on Buffer, it offers a free plan to get started.
Tell me, do you already use social media scheduling software? Let me and everyone else knbow in the comments below, and help others find the platform that’s best for them :)
Have a great day and talk soon!