#TimeManagement – Planning for Social Media by Developing an Editorial Calendar


It’s 5 p.m. after a long work day and you sit in front of your computer or mobile device primed and ready to write a promotional post for your company, product, service, etc. for your favorite social media platform. And yet you stare, unable to come up with content. Or worse yet, you can’t remember if there was a meme, challenge, hashtag, or event you were supposed to mention or use today. Does this seem familiar?
How about this? As you’re going through your social media accounts you realize you haven’t posted on your blog or Instagram in days or even weeks. Now you know, based on several studies, that you should have at least two blog posts a week and consistent posts on Instagram to keep people engaged. Worse yet, when you go to your Facebook page, you realize you posted four or five of the same kind of content or pitch in a row.
Wait, there’s more. What if your twitter account is lively, but there are messages you haven’t responded to just sitting there?!?
While social media can be fun, it can also be mentally draining. You’ve made decisions all day long, sometimes into the weekend, and there are thousands more coming. Trying to keep track of it all may seem like an impossible dream.
It’s not.
You, my friend, need an editorial calendar.
What is an editorial calendar and how is this different from a regular calendar? I’m so glad you asked. An editorial calendar is a visual layout of your future social media posts. It gives you a single snapshot of upcoming content, tracks your previous posts, and best of all, becomes an anchor in the sea of social media analytics. Did you have a theme that did particularly well? How about a heartfelt post that drove interaction up? What triggered your sudden spike in Facebook likes?
As it is typical for your team to have access to the editorial calendar, you’ll want it keep it social media focused. Does your blog count as social media? Some say yes, others say no. If you end up sharing it or pressing it to social media upon publishing the post, then I say it definitely counts and should be included.
So how do you set up a social media calendar?
Whether you hand write it on a paper calendar, planner, use Google calendar, Evernote, a word processing document, or spreadsheet, there are many ways to get your calendar started.
First, you want to set up a regular posting schedule. It can be as intense or laid back as you like. Some prefer to set up daily posts and others prefer to make a list at the beginning of the week or month. It makes no difference how you set it up. Try a few things out and see what works best for you. Pay attention to your peak times – those times of day where followers or viewers tend to visit your pages the most. That’s when you are going to want to schedule your posts.
Second, make sure your schedule is doable and not full of wishes. Time is money. You’ve heard that phrase. How long does it take you to write a blog post? Hunt down quotes? Build images for your twitter feed? Keep a mental picture of the time involved in your mind as this may be a talking point later on if you discover your time is worth more elsewhere and want to bring in help.
Third, schedule your content. Prescheduling is your friend in this case. Facebook and most blogging platforms allow it, but others, like Twitter and Instagram, require a third party software for scheduling. If you’d rather post daily, set up your posts ahead of time either in a document or excel sheet. Prep your hashtags ahead of time and make sure your links are properly shortened for twitter. That way, on the day of your post, you can copy and paste it straight to your preferred platform. It cuts down on decision fatigue and keeps you focused on what really matters: providing the best experience for your potential clients, customers, and associates.
And before we forget, here’s the fourth: keep track of how you do and be willing to adjust what isn’t working. Each of the social platforms has their own analyticstools. Schedule half an hour once a month to look into what is or isn’t working with your social media so that you can adapt, edit and get better traction.
Want some extra insight into building your calendar? Here are some links that might help:

Know you need a great editorial calendar but simply don’t have time to sit down and plot out the strategy on your own? Contact the Social Media Advisor for an audit of your current social platforms and help developing your own content calendar. We love helping businesses #BeAwesome with your presence online!

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.

#DevelopStrategy – Return on Investment in Social Media



As part of our series on Developing Your Marketing Strategy (#DevelopStrategy), we’re covering how to receive a Return on Investment (ROI) in social media.

Unlike a cost-benefit analysis, an ROI cannot be estimated beforehand. This is extremely important to understand when you develop your strategy. Also, ROI is difficult to measure without an investment in advertising since paid ads usually give a considerable amount of analytics, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

The first step in developing your ROI marketing strategy involves setting goals for your social media. These goals will need to align with your mission statement. The primary goal needs to state what you hope to accomplish. Beneath that is a set of smaller goals that align with the primary.

Let’s say your primary goal is to build your mailing list full of loyal fans who are excited about your products/services.

Your smaller goals must be S.M.A.R.T. goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Bound. I like to keep the scope to no more than three smaller goals since your marketing strategy will develop from this. For this article, we’ll create one example: increase social media conversion by 10% in the third quarter.

Note: You can give specific numbers. Gain 10k followers by x date, for instance. These goals are unique to your business model. 

It’s time to develop your strategy. For our 10% social media conversion increase example, we’re going to have a three-pronged attack. 

1. Create a lead magnet. This can be as simple as a discount coupon or as complicated as generating a comprehensive ebook to help your potential clients/customers deal with a real-world problem. 

2. Create buzz using a hashtag campaign that our influencers will be willing to share and participate in. 

3. Share theme-related content on all social media channels that generates buzz for new product or service.


Keep in mind that your strategy may need to be adjusted based on your business and goals.

Now that you have a primary goal, a set of smaller S.M.A.R.T goals and a marketing strategy in place, you’ll need to track your conversions (ROI). You do this through Reach, Traffic, Leads, Customers, and Conversion Rates. Reach includes fans, likes, followers, etc. that you have. The more reach you have, the greater your conversion rates, and is usually trackable inside the social media platform.

Traffic to your site or other URL mentioned in your campaign is another great way to measure ROI. Leads are the number of sign ups you gain through this campaign. Customers are the number of individuals who actually convert from potential to become paying clients. Conversion rates involve tracking the percentage of visitors based on social media platform or promotion campaigns. This tells you which part of your campaign is working and which isn’t.

It’s true that it can be difficult to track ROI when it comes to social media but not impossible. Most of the social media platforms have their own analytics tracking system that will deliver valuable information on what is and isn’t working for you with social.

Take time to develop a winning strategy, keep track of your metrics, and be willing to adapt. These are the keystones to a quality ROI. If you need help working on your social media marketing strategy, the team here at The Social Media Advisor is here for you. Our goal, as always, is to help you #BeAwesome as a business.


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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

#Develop Strategy – Why Strategy in Your Marketing is Important

When you are running a small business it can be difficult to maintain all the different facets of running a successful company. Owners need to manage the work, the clients, the numbers, the team, and the marketing. It can be both daunting and overwhelming. Many entrepreneurs and business owners simply overlook marketing due to a lack of time, energy or experience. However, business growth is dependent on your marketing strategy. 
Business Plan
First, you need to have a plan. The more detailed your plan the easier it will be to set measurable and achievable goals. Your plan should incorporate what you intend to do during the year – the amount of work, the level of profit, staffing, expenses, purpose and messaging. Leave no rock uncovered when you sit down and develop your plan. This will include your marketing strategy for the year. 
Branding & Storytelling
What a lot of business owners don’t understand about their brand is that it exists whether you develop it or not. How the public views you, and your company, makes up the elements of your branding. Owners that ignore this fact will find that the public has 100% control over how their work is perceived. Smart companies understand the power of creating a business message – a method of storytelling for work – that projects the image that business owners want their staff, clients, competition and the general public to associate with their work. Understanding your own brand and company story is the first step in developing a marketing strategy.
Target Audience
We no longer live in an age where we market our services to everyone. Traditional advertising is slowly becoming a marketing tool of the past. Why? Because it is ineffective to sell to a wide group of people without narrowing down the demographics. Want an effective marketing strategy? You need to hone down exactly the type of people that make your ideal client. The time and effort involved in sales and marketing should be utilized only in areas where your target audience works, plays and relaxes. If you don’t have a picture of your ideal client, then you need one right away.
Types of Marketing
Now that you know your message and where your clients hang out, you need to determine the types of marketing that will be most effective for what you do. This will be different for every business. The variety of marketing options feels endless. This list alone will have your head swimming. 
In 2016, online marketing is the place to be. This means social media marketing and content marketing are huge right now. Building a mailing list (or funnel) is another area that many marketing experts say is essential for your business. Developing content and booking stages is a type of marketing as well, called influencer marketing, and can be quite effective for establishing expertise and presence. Relationship marketing is a great way to build a village of partners that are invested in you and what you do. 
This article showcases a study that proves the younger generation does utilize social media when it’s time to make purchasing decisions. Another reason that demonstrates how knowing your audience is vital. 
Marketing Plan
Having an editorial schedule with goals and focus for your content, messaging and social media is practically essential.  If you are not certain which direction to take, do some initial experimentation. For instance, you can concentrate on one type of content or platform each month, while maintaining your other marketing channels.  If you switch it up and continue focusing on different platforms over a 3-6 month period, you can see which platforms are doing the best for you and get a better understanding of each option. 

If you know one choice will work well for your business, focus your energies on developing that area first and then slowly begin incorporating other channels. Often it’s better to do one thing well than to do a variety of marketing tactics on a sub-par level.
Networking
Networking is another way to grow your circle of connections.  You can do this both on- and offline.  Recommendations back and forth are extremely beneficial.  You can also reach out to your network if you have questions about how to get the most out of your marketing, social media platforms, content and emails.  You might have a connection who is masterful in a certain aspect of marketing you are you’re interested in.  You and your connection might work in the same industry, but have different niches.  If you both have blogs, you can refer to each other in your content. This is a great way to develop both referral and power partners for your business, not just new clients!
The best advice is to have fun!  Think of your marketing strategy as an adventure.  You will learn so much about how you want your business to look, feel and present itself to the world. 

Having trouble creating your company’s story? Don’t have a clue how to put together an editorial calendar? Just don’t have time to deal with all the little tasks involved with staying on top of your marketing strategy? Give the team at The Social Media Advisor a call – we specialize in small business marketing strategy development!

~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind ~ 


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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.


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