A hard and fast deadline is a powerful motivator. When it comes to generating fresh content for multiple social media channels, planning in advance can mean the difference between higher search engine rankings and leads and a failed online strategy. There’s a reason why publications plan their editorial calendars well in advance of printing. Everyone involved in the success of the pub knows the topic, target audience, responsible party and deadline associated with the content.
If your business is just getting started with online content, there are reasons for using a blogging or social media editorial other than organization:
- Get the creative juices flowing – There’s nothing more frustrating to a busy business owner or marketing manager than feeling the pressure of getting a blog post up. Many businesses have great intentions of engaging with their customers by providing informative content and boosting their SEO efforts, but fall down when it comes to frequent publishing. Search engines are looking for frequent and fresh content, so planning ahead by simply developing a month’s worth of ideas is a worthy exercise. Google Docs has templates for a social media editorial calendar or a blogging planner available by searching under Calendars & Schedules. Better yet, they’re free!
- Revisit your keyword ranking strategy – If your website and blog are optimized for search engines, you should have a list of keywords and keyword phrases you want your site to ranked for. Revisit that list and think about blog topics that relate. Sit down with your list of targeted keywords and the editorial calendar templates and think about topics you know your customers are searching for. Remember to write blog posting titles that include keyword phrases. Shoot for 5-6 topics with a goal of publishing weekly.
- Find relevant links and sources – Follow SEO and blogging best practices by including outbound links to other sources. Look at your list of topics and spend some time researching credible websites, blogs and online news sources to find content. Remember, a blog post doesn’t need to be a novel. Simply sharing informative content (an interesting article or video) with your online community with a comment from you is a great way to stay engaged and build exposure for your website and brand. Some blog posts can be longer and more informative while others are intended to share links and content.
- Plan your social media strategy – Decide which social media sites you’ll use to share content and how you’ll distribute the information as you publish it. Set dates and alerts to make sure that once a blog post it live, you’re also tweeting and posting a link on Facebook or LinkedIn. Remember to consider your audience. If you’re a business targeting other businesses, LinkedIn is likely the best home for your content. If you’re targeting consumers, Facebook is ideal. For most businesses, a strategic mix is the right choice.
If you’re already blogging or maintaining your company’s social media presence, you’re well aware that the planning is easy to put off. Set a realistic goal to plan and follow your social media editorial calendar for 1-2 months. You’ll be surprised how a little bit of organization can lead to spikes in your web traffic!
Need help generating new ideas or writing fresh content? Email me to discuss your social media strategy.