Social media is such an incredibly useful tool for all small business owners, but sometimes it can be quite daunting and time-consuming to create content that connects with your audience and has a meaningful message, rather than just posting for the sake of posting. So that's why we wanted to give you guys a quick rundown on how we plan our social media content as efficiently as possible.
There are lots to remember when planning out your content, firstly I'm going to run you through the go-to tools we use when planning our content. The first and most important is our content calendar, which we like to call our bible, because well it is literally that. We plan everything in our bible from captions, to hashtags and times when we plan to publish our posts. Our content calendar includes an overall feed aesthetic tab where we plan which posts go where, a calendar that shows when we will post different images, videos or stories, and finally a week by week breakdown of both posts and stories where we plan out our captions, hashtags, links and also do our weekly reporting.
You can purchase our social media content planner directly from our store for just $20 and it comes with a video explanation on how to use the planner, or you can have a go at making one yourself. Purchase the planner here.
The second is a third-party publishing site which is a must-have for small business owners, our personal preference is Later because it is so user friendly but you can get away with using whatever is best for your business and you can utilise free services such as Buffer if you're wanting the convenience without the expense.
The third thing you'll need is a sticky note on your computer, your phone notes, or good old pen and paper to write down your ideas and keep a bank so you can draw on them for inspiration!
Now, let's get into our step-by-step method of planning:
STEP ONE: Feed Plan
We always start with planning out the Instagram feed aesthetic, now it's completely up to you about how you want to layout your feed! There are so many options which we will put below depending on how many text posts you want to post for your business. Now, remember you can post text posts as little and as much as you like and these are only suggested layouts. You can do random text posts if that's more the aesthetic you're after.
STEP TWO: Brainstorm
Sit down and think of as many content pillars that you can, content pillars are almost like topics of content that can include meet the team, service spotlight or a client testimonial. Try to get a list from between 5 - 10 ideas to ensure you never get stuck, although the more ideas the better!
NOTE: When brainstorming really think about why people follow you, or what you want to give them from following you. Do more than just sell your service or products, share helpful tips and tricks with your audience to entice them to stick around!
STEP THREE: Content
Create your text posts and source your images, slot them into your layout on an excel spreadsheet or if your scheduling service offers a feed planner use that to see the overall look of your feed! Even if you haven't made your creative for some posts yet, you can write in the excel spreadsheet a brief description of the content you plan to make so you know where it goes. We often do this for weeks in advance so we already know what we want to create and when we have the time we only need to create the content rather than think of all the ideas on the spot.
If you're using our content calendar, we also copy and paste our images from the feed aesthetic into the calendar to play out with when you want what to be posted. Having the calendar is also great because you can put in events such as public holidays or staff birthdays so when your planning your content for the month you have all the information in one place.
STEP FOUR: Captions + Hashtags
Next you write your captions and hashtags, when writing captions don't forget to include a call to action. It doesn't always have to be related to visiting a website or calling, sometimes a simple save this post for later is all you need! Also, write in the dates and times of when you want to schedule each post to make your scheduling work easier.
STEP FIVE: Schedule
This one is quite simple, schedule your content through your third-party site by just simply copy and paste all your planned content into the correct days. Remember that you can only send reminders for carousels and stories so you'll need to be available to post at the time you schedule.
STEP SIX: Reporting
It is so important to check your insights and report on the previous week, to ensure you are cutting the content that isn't performing and focusing on what is. Our best advice is to do your reporting at the start of each week for the previous week or before you plan your next lot of content to ensure you are going back and reviewing the previous batch you planned.
Some things to remember, planning is time-consuming. Set aside at least 2-3 hours per week to plan your content for the week! Don't overdo it, for most small businesses posting 3-4 times per week will suffice and trying to stay active on your stories when you can.
If you really want to get some great exposure try to incorporate reels into your planning, although we know this can be daunting for a lot of small business owners it is an extremely helpful tool to gain engagement on your page.
Most importantly, be yourself, be present and try to learn as you go. Your business is a reflection of you and your team, you are the key reason why people support you, so show your face, be confident and get planning.
If you have any questions regarding this blog, social media content or our social media content planner feel free to send us an email at email@example.com or DM us on Instagram.