Mary Wu, Virtual Assistant

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Forming a Social Media Success Plan – Step 5

Secretary And Boss Discussing This week we’ll be talking about creating a publishing plan. This is a great thing to think about anytime, but especially at the beginning of the year.

There are 7 steps to building a successful social media platform. During the next few weeks, we will be going over these steps one at a time.

The steps are:

  1. Create a Vision
  2. Set Strategic Goals
  3. Find Your Social Media Voice (Persona)
  4. Build Your Social Media Platform
  5. Create a Publishing Plan
  6. Build Your Tribe (Community)
  7. Evaluate Your Results
  8. (Yes, I said there are 7 steps, but I’m going to doing 8 posts and #8 will be a summary of tools of the trade – stay tuned to find out about useful things like Buffer, Hootsuite, and others).

This week we’ll talk about creating a publishing plan.

One of your first questions might be, “Why should I create a publishing plan?” Having a publishing plan in hand will help you:

  1. stay consistent and organized.
  2. stay focused on your goals.
  3. schedule your publishing.

EXAMPLE

I know a health coach. She would study and read a great deal of information in her field and would share these posts on her social media platform (in her case Facebook) whenever she ran across an article. This meant that sometimes she’d go a week or two without posting and then post 5 or 6 articles in a row. Depending on how people choose to read Facebook, they might only notice your latest post. You will want to be purposeful in picking the post at the top of your queue. You might want to make sure that your latest offering is there, or (an example from my life last week) you might want to make sure your friend’s missing dog is at the top of your newsfeed.

HOW TO POST

  1. Content is king.
    Having a page, but having it sit idle, does not help touch your clients. Having a page with regular pictures of cute kittens might touch your ideal clients (consider whether or not you’re a vet or pet store owner). What you want to say is less important than what your clients want to hear.
  2. Less is more.
    Like children in school or people in church on a Sunday when the football game is about to start, people have a limited attention span. Make sure you grab them up front and you have a better chance of holding their interest.
    Also, (I remember reading this but can’t find the link), Jeff Bullas showed a study that for most people posting one to two times per day produces 40% higher user engagement than posting 3+ times per day. (If I can find that study sometime, I’ll be sure to report in a future blog post.)
  3. Maximum Engagement.
    Ask simple questions or request feedback on posts.

WHAT TO POST

What to post depends on who your clients are, but here are some ideas:

  • Inspiring quotes
    (Especially photos with captions)
  • Engaging questions
    (Questions that spark dialog)
  • Product photos
  • Event announcements
    (Make sure to add all details)
  • “How to” posts
    (Most of my “how to” posts come from questions from current clients or prospects.
  • Discounts, specials, or limited time offerings

WHEN TO POST
According to one posting from Entrepreneur.com, the best times to post are as follows (see related article below for complete details, infographic, and sources).

Google+: 9:00a – 11:00a
LinkedIn: 7:00a – 9:00a | 5:00p – 6:00p
Facebook: 1:00p – 4:00p
Twitter: 1:00p – 3:00p
Pinterest: 2:00p – 4:00p | 8:00p – 1:00a

Another article I ran across from Social Media Today suggests that  “the best time to post depends on your business and your audience. With a little extra effort and a little creative thinking, you can determine the best time for you.” (Which will bring us to step 7, evaluating your results).

While there are general guidelines, there is no one right answer for everyone.  One suggestion that I would posit would be that the best time to post might be the time that you can regularly and consistently post. If you’re trying to start up a new business while working a full-time job, you post when you can. (However, in step 8 we’ll be talking about tools, some of which will schedule postings for you).

Next time we will talk about building your community.

My calendar plan is available until the end of January

Social Media Calendar Plan for 2014 ($160)

  • Overview of your business, products, services, market, target audience, and Internet marketing activities
  • Determine the one or two best platforms for your business communications (based on your market and target audience)
  • Help you determine your online voice (strictly professional – somewhat personal).
  • Create publishing plan for 2014 using the PIC Principle:
    • 20% promotional (product launches, free offers, upcoming events)
    • 40% informational (Blog posts, industry news, quotes and tips)
    • 40% conversational (questions, replies)
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