I have a super busy year ahead with two novels to hand in (I know, I know, I must be crazy but I love the adrenaline rush!). This doesn't mean I step away from social media though. It just takes a little more planning. So once a month, I'll dedicate a morning (usually in the last week of the month) to plan my social media for the following month.
That morning will consist of brainstorming and writing content tweets, Instagram posts and Facebook posts. I'll then schedule them using Tweetdeck (there are other tools you can use like Hootsuite and Buffer).
But how to do all this quickly? Here are some tips...
1. Repeat engaging content: Nothing wrong with repeating content you’ve posted in the past. Twitter timelines in particular move so fast, it really doesn’t harm re-posting engaging content as long as there’s a decent amount of time between items (eg. a couple of weeks). How to find that content? Just look at your stats to see which content has been the most effective (visit the resources section of This Author Can to find out how).
2. Do an audit of available content: Make a list of all the blog posts and articles you’ve done (simply googling yourself should bring them all up if you have any). Use this list to mine for content and as above, remember you can use it more than once.
3. Find out what is and might be trending: I use Google trends to see exactly what the world is searching for. You can change the location to where your target audience is based and even search by keyword. Buzzumo is also a great tool which can be used to look at trends as well as looking up specific themes/keywords. It allows you to see what is trending by platform such as Facebook engagements and Twitter shares. And Awarenessdays.com is a great website for looking at the weird and wacky national days. OK so maybe International Talk Like a Pirate Day does not exactly fit with your theme or campaign but it can be used to add personality to your social media posts. Remember though, the key with all of these tools is not to use them to shoehorn your latest release into a trend that it actually doesn’t quite fit into (if it does – great!)!
4. Excel is your friend: To maximise my time management, I prepare all my content in Excel first and then just copy and paste into the appropriate scheduling tool. Although this may feel that you are duplicating effort, by focusing on just the content I limit the chances of being distracted by cute puppies riding skateboards when I should be posting a poll on my Facebook reader group. Excel also allows you to set up character counts for things such as Twitter so you can quickly edit your tweet to make it fit the 280 characters. You can also use it to help you to decide what images to source, whether that be images you’ve taken, that you have or which you have sourced from free image websites like www.Pixabay.com Once you’ve written it all in your planner, cast a careful eye over it for any errors or broken links.
5. Now it's time to schedule: There are a plethora of social media management tools out there and it is important to find what works for you. Great tools offering free versions include Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Social Oomph, and Buffer. These free accounts can be limited in the number of social platforms supported or the number of posts per social platform. For Facebook, I actually quite like the built-in scheduler. It is simple and effective and allows you to edit posts quickly and easily.
So that’s it. In just one morning you can create the content and schedule the majority of your marketing for the month leaving you to focus on your writing. I think that deserves a coffee!
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