I sat down today at my computer, and read through a few websites to get my thoughts together what to write about. This included a really interesting article on the future of Facebook advertising (unskippable stories?) and a good posting about creative writing from the lovely AlternativeChat (go follow her on Twitter for great writing).
Social Media Strategy – or at least, the way that works for me
My mind drifted back to what I was up to at work yesterday – mostly a lot of rushed admin after several days away at the AMA conference, but also quite a bit of Twitter and Facebook scheduling, since I won’t be back in the office again until next Wednesday.
I’m the main manager for my employer’s Facebook and Twitter pages – making sure there is a constant stream of short-form copy, images, videos, things shared from other relevant accounts etc. Events need to be marketed (and how much depends on how popular they are), news needs to be announced, partner organisations need to be recognised. Weekly hashtags need to be planned in – a #tbt here, a #FridayFeeling there. Space needs to be left in the schedule for any livetweeting work, or content that is likely to be finished and uploaded later in the week.
So how to start this? For me, generally it starts with a piece of paper and a hastily drawn out table, with the days of the week as the rows, and the different platforms as columns. This is based on the spreadsheets that Hootsuite recommend you put together, and certainly I often do pop the post content into an excel spreadsheet to share with colleagues, but I find for the initial planning, it suits me better to have a something to scribble on. (My office is still very paper-heavy due to the amount of copy proofing that goes on, so there is always plenty of scrap paper around to use!)
First, I lay out the topics and summary of a post, without actually writing it up. This ensures that I have a good spread of content – e.g. I can plan to tweet about an upcoming event x number of times in the week leading up to it. I might know, for example, that there is going to be a press release going out on Thursday of that week, and I can plan to have social media posts for that day. I can also space out posts with images, videos and without so they won’t look too same-y in a news feed.
Once I’ve got a spread of social media posts planned, I’ll start scheduling the ones that can to written in advance, writing them in into complete posts as I go. For Twitter, I use Hootsuite, and Facebook posts can be scheduled directly (though you can also do them through Hootsuite if you want to see everything on one screen). For posts that will need to be written later or in the moment, I make sure to leave a time gap. I tick off the posts on the original piece of paper as I go, and I’ll keep it on my desk through the week for reference. Next, I go back through the scheduler and proof my posts!
Finally, the tweets/posts can be copied and pasted in the shareable doc if needed, with notes about images/video/links or where content will be filled in later on. Once this is done (always on Monday for the rest of the week if possible) then I can ensure that no matter how busy I am or whether I’m in the office or not, these social media accounts will keep on doing their thing.
Anything else to add?
I’m looking to get back into free online courses again, so expect to see some posts relating to that very soon.
Blaugust is nearly here again – and I’ve been putting off making any kind of commitment to daily blogging because honestly with everything that is going on next month I’m not sure I can do it and keep up any level of good output. So, I’m going to do a relaxed Blaugust this year. Posts will happen, and I’ll push myself to write, but it won’t be every single day (for example, not when I’m on my sailing trip at the end of the month), which overall feels like a much better way of going about things.
I’d like to do a quick shout-out to ChilledCow’s Lo-fi Hip-Hop stream on YouTube – I know this stream is something of a joke around the internet, and it’s not at all my usual music, but I’ve found that as background music for writing, it’s actually pretty good to have on, and honestly better than any Spotify playlist I’ve found so far.