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Do You Plan Your Content and Social Media Calendars Together?

Updated: Feb 28

Aligning content and social media for improved outcomes

Why not plan the two together and see how you can better integrate themes and topics?

While developing a marketing plan for 2020, spend some time thinking about content strategies and social media campaigns. Although many view these as separate areas of marketing and approach them in this manner, they are part of the broader picture and you can strengthen your goals and achievements by addressing them simultaneously. A robust marketing strategy features a unified approach that plays on the strengths of content and social media.

Combining social media and content marketing to improve performance for both

When social media management and content marketing operate as separate aspects of a business’s marketing plan, there is substantial overlap (see below). These areas address many of the same goals, and combining them produces better results with less wasted time.

Several functions of a marketing plan apply to social media and content marketing. Both focus on:

  • Building a brand

  • Entertaining an audience

  • Educating visitors on relevant topics and solutions

  • Drawing visitors into the sales funnel

Goals often overlap as well, creating an opportunity to eliminate excess work and tighten the marketing workflow. Social media and content work to increase sales, expand the customer base, and encourage community interaction.

A synergistic plan helps social media benefit from strong content while helping content take advantage of an active social media presence. Adding social media cues encouraging visitors to share posts, tweet quotes, or interact with a brand turns content into a tool that expands a brand’s social media community.

Check out this page that we think is particularly effective:

Every Pampers blog post on their website has a set of “share” icons that move with the user as they scroll down the page, letting consumers share immediately without having to scroll back to find the appropriate icon.

Page feeds give visitors a way to find posts they missed when they were originally published and helps brands bring new visitors into the fold by suggesting high-performing pieces from the archives. Subsequently, traffic to web properties increases. Social media is an effective distribution channel and enables your content to develop cross-platform communities and interactions.

Take a look at this piece that engaged especially well:

By sharing a post from August 2018 on their Facebook page, hello, Wonderful racked up over 300 reacts, hundreds of shares, and nearly 200 comments.

Create a viable, actionable plan

A successful plan combines elements of existing social media strategies and content strategies to capitalise on the benefits of both.

Start by assessing what’s working

Start by analysing existing social media. Some brands have multiple profiles on platforms after several rounds of trying different social media strategies, and duplicate platforms should be combined or deleted. If accounts have few followers and minimal engagement despite repeated efforts, consider closing them.

Conduct a thorough analysis of which platforms are yielding the best results, and which ones are better off left behind. If your brand maintains active profiles across three or more platforms, an automated social media scheduler that pulls data and compiles it could be beneficial. Plus, many options have free trials to allow users to try them out and decide if they are right for them before committing.

Platforms platforms platforms...

Before moving ahead, know where your efforts are best spent. Read our handy article below on social media platforms to explore some widely-known platforms, as well as niche options. Throughout this process, keep your audience in mind. You might know your ideal customer, but do you know who your actual audience is? Before investing substantial energy into one platform or another, know where both groups spend their free time.

Don't pick them all; pick the right ones.
Here’s another recent blog post you’ll find handy:
The Best Social Media Sites for Business

Create your awesome posts and schedule them to go out at the best time

Scheduling content and social media is the backbone of any cohesive strategy. It’s helpful to list posts and dates in a spreadsheet before transferring that data to a calendar that team members can view.

Relying on memory leads to missed posts, which makes it difficult to stay in your customers’ social media feeds and minds. Include content posting and social media posts on one calendar for a unified approach. Plus, always schedule content updates no more than 6 months after posting.

There are numerous types of social media posts to use with this two-pronged approach. Schedule social media posts highlighting newly published content and older content that new visitors haven’t seen yet.

Here’s a channel we think is pretty good at this tactic:

Healthcare company Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield switches between older posts and newer posts while promoting content on their Facebook feed to put a timely spin on older content to maximise its effectiveness.

Drawing visitors into a multi-post series is one way to increase engagement and build traffic to your web property. Build the your community with questions, polls, seasonal messages and well wishes to visitors.

Posting outside links (but not too many) to useful content drives home the feeling that you are interested in visitors’ well-being, not just self-promotion. Do not forget brand-specific posts, such as news, website updates, and limited promotions.

The below post received massive engagement and highlights the importance of timing and appropriateness.

A New Year’s post from vehicle manufacturer Toyota on Facebook yielded massive interaction from subscribers and visitors.

Getting Started

Before implementing a social media and content strategy, decide which metrics will determine a campaign’s success. Set conversion goals for each platform. Whether you utilise each platform’s tracking dashboard or a centralised hub the data you glean will help, it’s easy to see which posts convert.

Other measurable goals include engagement rates, new subscriptions and follows. Revisit these metrics frequently to determine whether a platform deserves more time and effort, requires a different approach, or should be scrapped entirely.

Practical Steps to Develop your Social Media and Content Strategy

Explore new potential audiences by segmenting visitors into smaller niche audiences. This tactic works: growing brands use this technique to uncover new audiences to target.

Turn existing web content into social media content. A blog post produces numerous quotes that can be posted for discussion and inspiration. Use long-form content to develop ideas for Facebook Live discussions or Instagram Live question-and-answer sessions.

On the other hand, use topics and ideas from your social media community as the basis for creating engaging, insightful content. Listen to visitors and devote some time to reading comments across different platforms. Visitors are an excellent source of ideas that you can turn into blog posts or multi-post series. Other breeding grounds for content ideas include poll results, posts that generate spirited discussions or debates, and commentary that visitors add when they share posts.

Remember the importance of attractive graphics and infographics while fleshing out a content and social media strategy. An eye-catching infographic makes content pieces easier to scan and enjoy. The same graphic turns a standard social media text post into a post people are more likely to share.

The key to this strategy: it isn’t content or social media, it’s content and social media. Funnelling efforts from both areas into one integrative approach gives you the freedom to achieve more objectives simultaneously. You’ll uncover connections between content and social media that would go unnoticed if you looked at both areas as separate parts of your marketing strategy. Plan now for growth throughout 2020 and beyond.

Boost your website traffic and customers: contact us for more information about our copywriting and content services.

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Published 7 February 2020

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