Randomly shot social media, whether auto-fed Tweeted quotes, day-in-the life-of blog posts, or needlessly controversial Facebook updates, gets you nowhere. Your goal is developing a certain niche of followers or community, and you need to be strategic and targeted in the type of content marketing you do. One tip that really helps is to use a social media calendar. I hear over and over that authors feel overwhelmed starting up a social media platform. The social media calendar breaks down the process; it is a spreadsheet or playbook organized on a Monday to Sunday grid where you schedule your tweets, posts, and updates with guidance on tone, types, and targeting. It’s a stress-relieving, strategic tool that forces you to clarify your ideas and plan for your content (see these examples on Wheeler Blogs or on GigaOm.com.)
As you see, social media calendars ask you to develop your content with the end user in mind. In this way, you create content strategically. Some posts keep existing followers engaged, others will win new followers; on some days you will post on news folks can use; other posts will provoke thought and ask questions. According to the wonderful GigaOm site, “an effective social media calendar should include clear designations of each task, clear assignments to specific people, clear deadlines to set expectations, and a place to show a task is complete and demonstrate expectations have been met.”
As with any planning tool, you have to use it or it won’t help you. Ensure you keep the digital file on your dashboard or print out a hard copy version and tack it up near your desk. As with all marketing, test your efforts. Follow your blueprint for a couple months, and see what kinds of posts get response and engagement—and do more of those.
Best of luck!