How to brainstorm and plan your social media marketing content for a month

Have you ever wanted to try batching your content for your social media marketing but wasn’t sure where to start? This is the perfect ‘how-to’ guide for you then!


Over a series of posts we're going to explore the process of how to best plan, batch create and schedule your social media content. The term 'batching' is used to refer to when you sit down for a certain portion of time and plan, create and schedule multiple social media posts. This is so you don't need to worry about forgetting to post, have to constantly create social media posts each day (which is often time consuming!) and can actually create content that has some strategy to it, rather than just posting on the fly!


We’re going to start at the very beginning of the batching process and work our way through to the scheduling of our posts right at the end. This will come out weekly so please make sure you check back to see the whole process! Or if you want to be notified when the posts come, you can sign-up to my email newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/gxyuz1



Plan your content for the month:


The batching process starts with some decisions and brainstorming to help us create a bit of a plan so we know what we are creating for the month, or whatever block of time you choose to batch your social media marketing for.


A social media marketing plan will help you create a strategy for your posts to ensure that you are engaging your audience but also reminding them of your offers and how they can buy from you - without boarding them with sales posts!

The keyword in this is ‘plan’. You won’t be doing any visual creating for your ideas just yet, instead you’ll just be writing down your ideas so you can pick the ones that best suit you and your business goals for this upcoming time block.


Step 1: Find a calendar to write on, printed or digital


My first suggestion is you find some type of calendar that you can easily write down your ideas on. It could be digital, such as on your computer or inside a word document (you can usually do a quick search of Google to find one of these for the correct month!) or it could be physical, like a wall calendar, a planner or a diary. No matter whatever method you choose, you want to easily be able to see what the month looks like.



Step 2: Decide how often you want to post per week


Before we go ahead and start assigning ideas to days, we want to consider how often we want to be posting. You might like to post every second day, or on certain days of the week, or even every day! This choice will often depend on your audience or if you have any special events or sales during the month you are creating content for. And on a side note, remember, you can batch content and always post more during those batched weeks if you want - you’re not just stuck with the content you’ve scheduled!

Step 3: Choose your content topics


You might have heard of content pillars, these are the topics that businesses use in their marketing strategy consistently so their audience becomes familiar with what their brand offers, whether this is educational, services/products or entertainment. They’re also super useful to help you plan your content around so I recommend using them too.


There’s no magic number of content pillars, however I would suggest just using one topic per day that you want to post on. So for example, if you were going to post once a day, you might have 7 topics you post about. In theory, these topics should reflect your business and audience.


There’s a lot of different information out there on content pillars (don't just take my word for it, go do a quick Google search!).

For example, some will suggest you break it down into rather large categories like:

  • Educational

  • Inspirational

  • Entertaining

  • Personal

  • Promotional

These categories are totally helpful by the way but I prefer to think of the above as areas on how to engage your audience. They help build the 'like, know and trust' factor between you, your business and your audience, however they're not really specific enough to help you plan your content easily and consistently.


I would instead suggest using these areas to help you brainstorm your actual idea for your individual posts and how you are going to communicate your ideas to your audience.



Instead, I suggest creating content pillars around areas of your business and then thinking about how you can use the above to create engaging posts.


For example, one of my content pillars is ‘marketing tips’, this can often be conveyed in an educational or inspirational manner and another is ‘my services’ which highlights jobs I have recently completed so my audience knows what I actually do and how they can buy from me, which mostly falls into the promotional category. The most important things about these content pillars however is that they’re sustainable for me and my business and they add value to my audience.


You will need to think of a topic for each day you would like to post that matches your business, what you do and engages your audience (likely through the areas above). These topics can be anything that relate to your business or to you, as potential customers also want to get to know the person behind the brand.

Here’s some example content pillars based on posting 4 days a week:


Dog Groomer:

Topic 1: How often a breed of dog should visit the groomer

Topic 2: Before and after photos of dogs that have been groomed

Topic 3: Tips on how to maintain dog’s grooming at home

Topic 4: What their family dog has been getting up to


PT:

Topic 1: Workout tips

Topic 2: Before and after or testimonials from clients

Topic 3: Nutritional tips

Topic 4: Short workout/set ideas to try


Artist/Illustrator

Topic 1: Artworks/details of artworks and where the inspiration came from

Topic 2: Works for sale

Topic 3: BTS of creating artworks

Topic 4: Tips for creating artworks


Step 4: Write down a post idea that matched the topic for each post


You should only need to get the first three steps sorted once and then tweak them as needed for each batching block after that. For example if you are posting five times a week but feel this is too much you can drop it back to three days a week.


Now that you know how many posts you need to create and what topics you are creating them on, it’s time to brainstorm or source the ideas that you can use.


For example, if you are posting about what services you offer each week, you’ll want to have a look and see what recent work you can include.


Write these ideas down on your calendar once you are happy with them so you can refer to them when you are ready to create your content.



For example if we look at our Dog Groomer's schedule:


Week 1, October:

Topic 1: How often a breed of dog should visit the groomer

Dog breed: Golden Retriever


Topic 2: Before and after photos of dogs that have been groomed

Sally's dog from last week


Topic 3: Tips on how to maintain dog’s grooming at home

Tips on how to choose the best brush for your dog


Topic 4: What their family dog has been getting up to

A photo of Tina the dog on her recent road trip


Obviously, I am not a dog groomer! I would recommend your posts ideas are even more specific to help you when you start creating your content, however this is entirely up to you!

You should now have a plan to follow when you batch your next set of content!



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