How to easily plan social media posts

How to easily plan social media posts

How do you feel when planning your social media posts?

When it is time to post out on social media do you feel relaxed and happy that you have great content ready to go.  Or, do you feel that sinking feeling in your stomach and you instantly get a mental block and can’t even think of how to write a birthday message to your bestie, let alone come up with some creative writing to attract people to interact with you?

I am happy to say that I am now in the first category, although it wasn’t always that way.  I have literally thousands of social media posts all pre-prepared that I can tap into at any time I need.

When I sit down with clients and talk to them about creating banks of posts, I invariably get asked how I think of so much content and how I can prepare so many posts in advance.

Many women I talk to feel they simply cannot think of so much content and feel overwhelmed at the thought of preparing just one month of posts in advance and struggle to get in the creative mood.

I used to be the same until I found a way that simplified the whole process for me and saved me hours (if not days) of struggling to come up with ideas of what to write.

And I am now going to share with you how to do it.

Create the social media posts

Firstly, I come up with a topic to cover and focus on for each month.

I then sit down and offload all my thoughts on each subject onto paper (or rather my laptop).  I start off with headings, subheading and then bullet points.  I then split this into 4 separate sections and flesh out the content, creating 4 blog posts (one for each week and all linking to each other).  If you can write 2000 words on each subject matter, these can easily be split down into 4 x 500 word blogs.

Personally, I find blocking out one day each month and writing in this way keeps the creative juices flowing and by breaking one long subject down into 4 gives me enough content each month.

I then take each individual blog post and from this come up with numerous social media posts that can be used again and again.

From each blog post, I will usually extract:

  • 2 top tips
  • 2 quotes
  • 1 bitesize video (approx. 2 minutes)
  • 1 video tutorial or Facebook Live broadcast
  • 1 key question to pose to readers to gain their interest

You can immediately see from the above that I now have 8 instant posts for social media each week by using the initial long blog post, breaking down ad creating the extra content types from it.

Have a read of my post on how to create content from one blog post as this will give you some more ideas. http://www.thesmallbusinesskit.com/blog/repurpose-blog-content/ 

Finally, for each main subject, I then create a freebie giveaway

Planning to use your social media posts

Using this system, I can easily create 33 posts for each month.  I record all of these in a spreadsheet and make a note of when and where I post them so that I don’t duplicate the same post across 2 channels on the same day.

On day 1, I may post the blog post in my Facebook group and post a question on my Facebook page.  I may also post a top tip in another group.

If you are really organised, you could plan a longer series each quarter.

If you are in the weight loss industry you might choose a 3-month series on the lines of:

  • Getting in the right mindset to lose weight
  • Choosing the right diet for you
  • Losing the first stone

You can then create 12 individual blog posts from these main subjects, with a further 74 individual posts (are you still with me?).

Record all your posts into a spreadsheet which you then simply copy and paste from when you need to post out on your chosen social media channels.  Over time you will create a huge bank of posts that can be used time and time again with your chosen audience.

If you use a social media scheduler, you can pre-plan your posts for the month ahead.  All you have to then do is to make sure you check in each day to see what interaction you are getting, respond to comments and tweak if necessary.

Using this system, I now spend no more than half an hour on social media each day.  It’s so liberating!!

 

If you would like a done for you spreadsheet and planner to download and use along with a full video tutorial on how to create and schedule your social media posts, come join my member’s club for immediate access.

Are you in danger of being a social recluse?

Are you in danger of being a social recluse?

Money or memories.  Which is more important to you?

Today, we rely more and more on social media.  We become a social recluse and base our success and popularity by how many followers we have and how many people we have on our mailing lists.

We while away hour after hour sat staring at a screen in a virtual world, feeling ecstatic when someone comments on one of our posts only to return to a feeling of despondency when someone then unsubscribes from our mailing list.

We spend so much time trying to be proactive in these virtual communities that we stand a very real and present danger of alienating ourselves from the real world.  Scary, but true!

While we become a social recluse, we stop seeing what is going on around us.  We stop being present with our friends and family.  Even if we do tear ourselves away from our laptop to go for coffee with a friend, we don’t really hear what they are saying as we are so busy reacting to the ping of a notification on our mobiles just in case we miss something.

Well STOP!!

Life is for living.  Yes, you may want to build a business through online marketing but for goodness sake, don’t miss out on the real life you have here and now.  By the time your business is at the level you want it to be, you may well have lost what is truly priceless in your life – your health, your friends and your family.

 

Learn to switch off and make memories, not just money

 

From today, promise yourself to disconnect for at least an hour a day.  Go meet a friend for coffee with your mobile turned off.  Go visit a family member or give them a call and chat without interruption. See how much better you feel and how much more refreshed you are.

And once you have got the habit of disconnecting for an hour, try a little longer.  Go for a whole evening once per week and if you can bear it, do a whole day at the weekend.

Your business will not suffer.  If it is so fragile that it is in danger of collapse from not being present for an hour or so, you have much bigger problems to worry about.  You are doing something seriously wrong!

Promise me you will take time out to disconnect. Stop being a social recluse and go take part in the real world once again.  Go live life.  Go build memories.  Don’t wait until it is too late.

 

Let me know your thoughts in the comments box below.

Angie x

Are you a social media friend or foe

Are you a social media friend or foe

Social media friend or foe

For those of you who have got to know me you will be very much aware by now that I am a stickler for social media etiquette as illustrated in many of my previous posts such as ‘A key tactic when your content is shared on social media

In my opinion, far too many lose sight of the word ‘social’ when using social media.  They rely on auto responders to send messages to followers on Twitter and use auto scheduling software such as Hootsuite and Buffer to post out messages but then fail to check in to reply to comments or questions.

Well Jeeves, it simply is not good enough.

And now there seems to be another abhorrent trend doing the rounds.  This has become apparent on Facebook where certain people feel the need to send a personal friend request to some poor unsuspecting victim to then, once the friend request has been accepted, automatically add them to a group without their permission only to bombard them with sales messages.

Jolly bad practice!!  And personally, one that I think Facebook should look into banning.

I am selective as to who I accept as a friend as I prefer to keep my personal and professional life separate.  But on occasions, where I have built a relationship with someone in a group, then yes, I also will accept them as a friend.

But if they are then so rude as to add me to their group with no explanation or introduction it just illustrates to me what an unprofessional person they are and one that I never want to do business with.  They have used an unscrupulous practice to entice me as a social media friend under false pretences.

Due to my selectiveness with my friends, this has only happened to me on a couple of occasions but I know of others who have been bombarded with new found ‘friends’ not only adding them to wholly unsuitable groups but also posting on their own personal walls!

This is the height of bad manners and I suspect started from some low-level MLM pundit or desperate business coach (and before you start I am not anti-MLM, far from it as there are a few very good companies out there).  It is exactly the same as me accepting to meet a new friend for a coffee only to be taken completely unexpectedly to a timeshare talk.  Not the way someone should treat a friend in any way, shape or form.

Which are you?  A social media friend or foe?

If you are an offender and guilty of this practice may I suggest you cease it now?  There are far better ways to market your services and this is not one of them.  You will only end up getting yourself a bad name and believe me, bad news travels fast.

 

The perils of using Facebook for your marketing

The perils of using Facebook for your marketing

Do you rely heavily on Facebook for your marketing?  If so ….

Are you aware of the perils of using Facebook?

On Monday the Facebook page for the world’s largest social media magazine, Social Media Examiner, page disappeared. Yep! Gone completely without warning! This page had over 380,000 followers and is an excellent source of information but for some unknown reason it went!

The owner, Michael Steizner, posted this message on his own Facebook page.

Social Media Examiner

And this message appeared on their Google+ page.

Social Media Examiner

What transpired from messages posted in response was this has happened to numerous followers ranging from pages with fans of just a few hundred, to one with over 3 million followers!!!

This proves that can happen to anyone at any level.  I personally know of a lady who sold handbags through her Facebook page and had just over 4000 followers.  Overnight her page disappeared and she lost contact with all these prospective customers.  She had to start from scratch again and in the meantime her business basically stopped.

So please don’t sit back and think it will never happen to you.  Hopefully it won’t but any business should put plans in place to protect yourself should it happen to you.

Remember, something like this can happen to anyone and any business and once your page is gone, it’s gone!! You are unlikely to ever get it back.

As a business you don’t own your fans or your page so if your page goes you lose contact with these people.

 

What can cause my Facebook page to disappear

There are a number of reasons why a Facebook page can disappear such as:

  • An administrator deleting or un-publishing the page. Make sure you know who has access to make changes to your page and remove anyone who should not have permission anymore.
  • A breach of Facebook guidelines. So many Facebook users are totally unaware of the guidelines.  One of the most common breaches I see are pages running competitions and asking for likes and shares in order to enter which is a direct breach.  If this gets spotted and reported you are in serious danger of your page being removed.
  • Using your personal profile as a business page. Again, this is a breach of Facebook guidelines.  If you haven’t already read it, have a read of the article Facebook Business Page vs Personal Page
  • Technical issues. It appears this may be the case with Social Media Examiner and their page has now been restored.  However, there is no guarantee that once your page has gone that it can be recovered.

 

The key lesson here is DO NOT put all your eggs in one basket. Do not purely rely on one social media platform for all your marketing. Always make sure you list build so that whatever happens outside of your control, you have a database of email addresses that allows you to retain contact with your prospects and fans.

 

What can I do to get my Facebook fans on to my mailing list?

Here are a few tips to help you get your Facebook fans on to your mailing list:

Have an opt-in form

Put an opt-in form on your website so that when you post your blog on your Facebook page and readers get taken to your site, they have the option to sign up.  Put one in the sidebar and at the top or bottom of your blog posts so that people can easily subscribe to get future news and information delivered directly to their inbox.

Offer an incentive

In order to make it more attractive for people to sign up, offer them a freebie to download when they sign up.  If you are in the holiday home industry this could be something such as ‘Top 10 things to look for when booking a holiday’ or ‘A guide to choosing colour for your home’ if you are an interior designer.

Post links to your opt-in form

Make sure you have a link to your opt-in form everywhere you can.  Use Facebook apps to add one to your business page and include the link at the bottom of your Facebook posts.

Ask for email addresses in groups

If you are in a group on Facebook and someone asks a question which you take the time to answer, ask them for their email address to send some further information.  Send them a little extra info and let them know you will add them to your mailing list (with the option to unsubscribe) for any future news.

Ask interactive fans for email address

When a person comments on one your posts you now have the option to send them a message (see pic below).  Use this to thank them for their comment and to invite them to join your mailing list (remember to send them the link).

Facebook message option

 

So now you know the perils of using Facebook and to how to protect yourself.

I hope you have found this article useful and please share the love and pass on to anyone else you know who has a Facebook business page.

A key tactic when your content is shared on social media

A key tactic when your content is shared on social media

Don’t lose your manners when using social media

Quite often when I am using social media, whether on my own personal pages or in a group, I see people asking for recommendations.  This could be someone asking for a personal trainer, a graphic designer, a virtual assistant or something else to help them personally or in their business.

If I know of someone and have used them myself, or have heard good things about them, I am all too happy to recommend them and tag them in a post.  What is then lovely is when the person I recommend puts a quick thank you for the mention in a subsequent post or private message to me.

This takes them seconds to do but lets me know that they value my support.

But what about those who fail to use basic manners in thanking someone for their help?  I have recommended a particular business on a few occasions recently and tagged them.  They have then seen this tag, and subsequently joined in the conversation to take advantage of the mention and to try gain business for themselves.  But no thank you or acknowledgement of my support was forthcoming.

Now call me picky, but I personally take this as blatant bad manners.  If I was at a dinner party and I introduced someone to another person who I thought would be a good contact for them and they totally ignored me, I would feel rather insulted.  And the same goes for social media.  Don’t forget the social part of social media.

What actually flabbergasted me this week was a small business whose posts I have been sharing and I have recommended to a few people, actually took the time to private message, not to thank me for my support but to tell me (not ask) to share and promote a new range of products they now have.  No thank you.  Just a demand for more support.

Do you think I am going to help them?  No, I am not.  I simply take it as incredibly bad manners.

So remember that social media is about building relationships.  Nurture those people who are effectively doing free marketing for you by sharing your content and tagging you in posts.  A few seconds to say a simple thank you can go a long way.  By having good manners you can gain yourself more future free marketing from your supporters who are likely to continue sharing your business with others.

Just don’t miss the key tactic of good manners when your content is shared in social media