As I wrote about here, my social media strategy was
weak non-existent for our brick and mortar children’s boutique, Dinos&Darlings. I was sharing Facebook posts in the moment, snapping Instagram pics when I thought of it, creating imagery with faulty iPhone apps and zero consistency, writing a blog post once in a blue moon…you get the idea. I was perpetually in the weeds, and this had a direct impact on my business and my lifestyle. When the shop closed and time became more abundant [that’s what happens when you quit your full time gig], I decided to delve into the how-the-hell-are-they-doing-that’s of all the successful social media campaigns I had seen from other businesses. There was one element that connected every one of these social media savvy companies…they call it a CONTENT CALENDAR. Every blog post I read and article I found told me a content calendar was a MUST for any striving social media campaign. This began my journey to find the perfect content calendar.
Perfect is my least favorite adjective. First, it imposes an unwelcome pressure on whatever noun follows it. Second, when used positively, it implies that a specific outcome was easy or achieved simply.
I quickly discovered that there was nothing to find. A content calendar isn’t a precious stone that some mysterious pixie hands you before dissolving to green glitter in the wind. I should note that if such a mythical creature existed, her name would be Kimberly Jiménez. She has an awesome guide to creating a content calendar and other tremendous resources that I have found while
stalking following her. Taking one step back, I want to talk about why you are creating a content calendar and how you want it to work for you. Let’s start with a little homework assignment:
3 Steps to widen your base before building your content calendar
1. STOP. Stop the time leak. No more on-the-fly posting. No more making sale or promo images on your phone while you brush your teeth. No more multi-tasking gone wrong scenarios. Pause everything and take a beat. Spend 10-15 minutes thinking about the upcoming events, specials and other things you’d like to share with your followers. Make a quick list and then move to Step 2.
2. DEVELOP. Think of 2 other ways you can reach your audience that don’t involve selling them something. Maybe you create a weekly inspirational quote or share industry relevant articles from your favorite blogs. You can ask questions of your audience or even feature them in a customer highlight. Think of 2 concrete campaigns that will get your followers engaged. Remember that social media is for conversing with your audience, not just selling them something. The 2 concepts you come up with will become great content for your calendar and create consistency in your overall strategy.
Do not let the consistent theme of your social media presence become sales!
3. COMBINE. Take Step 1 + Step 2 and combine. You will now have 3 campaigns. Your first campaign is promotional. This campaign is the gerbil ball for your ever running marketing mind. There will be a swirl of ideas and excitement rolling around in that transparent globe, but keep it contained. I know you’re excited to share your sales and events and all the goodness that is happening in your business, but harness the desire to share it all, all the time. Brainstorm how you will disperse content related to the other campaigns you developed in Step 2 between any promotional posts. This balance will keep your audience from feeling used and abused. They will feel heard and in turn they will hear you.
I want to stop here, partly because my toddler is shirtless and chasing the dog, but also because I want to keep things simple. The small biz life is complicated enough. This blog post serves as an awesome homework assignment for your evening. You don’t need a laptop, a phone or a tablet to do it. A pen, paper and glass of wine should cover it. Next time, we’ll talk about how to take your 3 campaigns and grow them with some great tools like Canva and Feedly. I promise we are building THE lego tower to surpass all lego towers, that will eventually lead to your glorious content calendar in the sky. But as any lego kid has learned, it all starts with a solid base.
We talk about this and SO MUCH MORE over on our #Slack channel.
ABOUT SOCIAL LYNSEY
Lynsey is 29 going on 22…ahem. When she’s not filtering the ever growing realm of social media for her small business clients and friends, you’ll find her in the yoga studio, cooking with a glass of wine by her side and reading titles from her favorite female idols. All that makes up about 20% of her day. The rest is spent jumping over piles of legos, wondering why she hasn’t developed a uniform for her children yet (laundry…pfff) and raising those heathens with her favorite blonde hipster. She’s on a mission to turn every small business owner into their own social media expert with the right tools, project management prowess and efficiency essentials. She’ll help you bust it down and build it back up without breaking the bank. Sorry, she’s not sorry about the alliteration.