The Social Media Manager’s Definitive Editorial Calendar
Have you ever heard – or said – the phrase “I’m too busy for social”?
While being busy may be a badge of honor for some people, successful marketers know it is just another word for inefficient. According to a recent Statista survey, the majority (33%) of marketers are spending 1 to 5 hours a week on social media. On the other end of the spectrum, 5% of marketers are spending more than 40 hours a week.
Whether you are a social media manager who spends all day managing social or social media is just one of your many responsibilities, doing it effectively and efficiently demands you understand what is required of you on a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. Here is your to-do list:
Engage with Brand Advocates and Potential Customers
Users of social media have come to expect an almost instant response, which means a social media manager must keep an eye on all platforms and respond to all inbound messages. People may be posting about your brand, either with positive or negative feedback, and you should be responding in a timely manner. Unfortunately, only 20% of social media comments receive a response from the company and the average time for those responses is 11 hours.
This engagement helps you add a human element to your brand, can increase conversions and help keep current customers.
Monitor Feeds, Trends, Hashtags and Competitors
Besides monitoring those engaging directly with you, you should also monitor your social media feeds to stay on top of trends that interest your customers and target audience. This includes any mentions of your brand that you aren’t directly tagged in, new announcements or developments in your industry and any competitor activity. Monitoring your competitor’s feeds gives you insights into their social media strategies and what is working for them. Keep an eye on which hashtags are trending and be sure to use them in your posts as well to gain visibility.
This daily monitoring helps you start conversations and create posts relating back to these trending topics.
Post on Each Social Media Platform
Regardless of which social media platform you use, you should post to each of them at least daily. Some platforms, such as LinkedIn, you want to post once a day. For Facebook and Google+, you should be posting at least once a day, but no more than three or four. For Twitter, you should be following the 4-1-1 rule, which states for every self-serving tweet, you should retweet at least one other tweet and share four pieces of relevant content written by others. To ease the volume you must post daily, be sure to utilize a platform to help you schedule your posts in advance. Knowing the best time to post on social media depends on your industry and targeted audience. Analytics can help you determine when your audience is most active and engaged on each platform.
It’s important to have a content creation program in place that follows your editorial calendar. In fact, companies that post new blogs 3-4 times a week tend to generate five times more traffic! You can also schedule these posts out in advance (check out our WordPress plugin for social media scheduling that lets your schedule social posts before your blog goes live).
If you are not the one creating these blog posts, make sure the content your writers and thought leaders are creating matches your social media strategy and vice-versa. Other content that should be utilized include white papers, consideration checklists, short videos, case studies and infographics. Interesting content is one of the top three reasons people follow brands; a variety of materials will yield more interest on your feeds.
Every week, analyze each of your social media platforms to discover what drives engagement for your brand. Test when your target audience is most active and analyze what content resonates in order to create higher engagement levels and a better user experience for your followers. Discovering the key trends and higher interactions will help you use your time and resources wisely. Be sure to measure the click-through-rates, new followers, and conversions in a custom-created report.
Connect With Employee Advocates
Company employees should be sharing brand content with their personal social media networks. With an employee advocacy program and a solid strategy, you can expand the reach and visibility of posts. Once a week, check in on your brand ambassadors to encourage them to stay active with your brand. If you have an employee advocacy leaderboard, share it with your top performers at the end of every week.
Run Monthly Reports
While you should be looking at your analytics every week, running monthly reports will give you an in-depth view of how your customers and prospects are interacting with your brand and content on social media. You can learn more about your target audience and their behavior, which content is resonating, and any social growth your brand is seeing. 76% of marketers reported that data-centric decision making is key a to success, yet only 39% use customer data and behavior patterns to shape marketing strategy. You hold a wealth of data – analyze it to determine where your marketing strategy is working and where it needs adjustments for the future.
Present to Marketing and Other Departments
Once a month, have a meeting with your entire marketing team as well as other departments, such as recruiting, HR, and sales, and discuss your social strategy. It is crucial to keep your entire marketing team updated on all the campaigns and events that are occurring so you can refine your strategy and plan the editorial calendar with everyone onboard.
Create and Refine Your Editorial Calendar
In order to have a complete strategy, create an editorial calendar spanning a few months that includes all of the postings and themes that you will be focusing on. Trends are fast-moving and your calendar must be flexible to adjust. Your calendar should not only include campaign themes, but also any events, sponsorships or webinars. Social media is a great way to drive promotion to the events, but also a great tool during the event itself. For example, you may want to live-tweet a webinar or post pictures of your booth at a convention telling people to stop by.
At the close of the quarter, take time to thoroughly evaluate the entire quarter’s performance, and compare the results to the goals you set at the beginning of the quarter. If you did not perform as high as you would have liked, analyze why that may be the case. Maybe you set your goals too high to begin with, or maybe you are lacking the resources to perform as well as you need to. If you exceeded your goals, focus on what you did to succeed and set them higher for next quarter.
Meet with Executive Management Team
Once a quarter, present your requested budget, spend, and results to your company executives. In order to validate your spend on social media and even to increase your budget, you should provide ROI reports to your CEO and executive management team. You want the team to be fully aware of the overall strategy; present all successes and reasoning behind your strategy in a strong presentation which motivates and impresses them. Social media budgets are projected to double in the next five years – make sure your department gets what it earns.
While the job of a social media manager can be difficult and sometimes time consuming, understanding your daily demands and responsibilities, planning your time accordingly and utilizing social media management tools to handle those tasks will ensure your success.
How do you schedule out your social media tasks? Do you have specific things you do every week, month and quarter? Less us know in the comments!