Marketing Roadmap Part 1: How Your Small Business Can Get the Most From Social Media
Marketing Roadmap Part 1: How Your Small Business Can Get the Most From Social Media
Posted 27th April 2021 •
By Design Bundles
In the first post in our marketing roadmap series, you will learn how to use social media to grow your small business online. Are you ready to harness the power of social platforms to raise your brand profile, boost traffic to your website, and sell more of your products/services?
If so, here’s a brief overview of what you will learn in each section:
How To Establish A Unique Brand Voice & Tone
You will understand why establishing a unique brand voice and tone is essential before posting on social media. And how to find your company voice and style and ideas to put it into action.
How to Create Engaging Social Media Content
You will learn how to create content that resonates with your audience and encourages them to engage with your posts on social media.
You will discover recommended tools to streamline your social media post creation, saving you oodles of time and stress, ultimately making your life easier. Yay!
Popular Social Media Platforms Examined
You will learn about four of the most popular social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Including which ones are best for your business and schedule based on demographics, usage, and popular trends/topics.
You will also discover how to get the most out of each platform. We’re talking hashtag best practices, recommended content length, how often to post, the best days and times to post, and some content ideas to get you started.
Creating a Content Schedule That Works for You
You will learn how to put together a social media posting schedule (that you can be consistent with) to achieve your business goals. We also share a content schedule example.
You will discover tools to make scheduling posts days or weeks ahead of time super easy, which means you can share posts even when you’re not at your desk.
Using Analytics & Insights To Replicate Success
You will learn the importance of accessing usage data (analytics and insights) to find out what is working well and replicate social media success.
You will learn what trends or user activities to look out for when examining your analytics and insights: meaning you can perfect your social media content and schedule.
In the first two sections, we help you establish your unique voice and create engaging social media content: meaning you can better connect with and grow your audience.
Let’s hop to it!
Why Establishing Your Brand’s Voice & Tone Matters
If you’ve never heard the terms, you will have come across the concepts online, even without knowing them. But defining both brand voice and brand tone will help you develop a better understanding. Let’s start with a clear definition of each.
Your brand voice is the content of what you say online.In contrast, the tone is how you express your voice.
Now we’ve defined our terms, let's look at why they matter to your business.
Developing a unique yet consistent voice and tone sets your business apart in the sea of social media while painting an explicit and authentic picture of your brand. A clear voice will help you to attract your ideal customer because they resonate with your content.
Also,few things aremore confusing to social media browsersthan a brand whose content is all over the map. People can tell when there is no cohesive voice or tone, and it can be jarring at best and off-putting at worst.
If you outsource your social media content creation and posting, you will undoubtedly need to establish clear guidelines in these areas. Because how can a freelancer, employee, or even you as the owner, authentically represent your brand online if you’ve never gotten clear about your voice and tone?
Finding Your Company Voice & Tone
There are a few methods worth exploring to create your company voice and tone. First, we explain the techniques and then share tips on using them in the next section.
If you have no idea where to start, research your audience. You likely have a target customer in mind, but go beyond demographics and budgets: think about their interests and personality traits.
If you have established a business mission and values, see your social media posts as an extension. Consider how you can represent your mission and values when you communicate online.
You can also think of your brand as a person to paint a clearer picture of your brand and tone. So if your brand was a person, what would be their personality traits? Fun? Quirky? Balanced? Welcoming? Empathetic? Try and narrow your brand’s personality traits into three key areas: meaning you can get specific about how you communicate online.
Another question to consider ishow you want people to feel when they interact with your brand online. What can you say, and how can you say to invoke a specific feeling?
Here’s a top tip: Language, vocabulary, specific phrases, and branded imagery are all extensions and ways to express your brand's voice.
Your Company Voice & Tone in Action
(1) If you sell outdoor equipment, your audience will likely enjoy outdoor pursuits and be a little more adventurous than the average bear. What tone do you feel would resonate with them while still maintaining your authenticity? They may appreciate a bold and direct voice that speaks to their sense of adventure. And welcome the specific phrases and language used by people with the same interests as them.
(2) If delivering excellent customer service is one of your core values, think about the customer service best practices you encourage in a real-life setting. Can you integrate these into how your brand communicates, presents itself, and solves customer queries via social media?
For example, you will always aim to solve a question within a set time frame as an extension of your values (2) and adopt a welcoming and empathetic tone because that’s your brand’s personality (3).
(4) If excellent customer service is a core value, you will also likely want your audience to feel heard and like they genuinely matter. So engage with your audience, ask them questions, and respond to queries or comments in a way that translates ‘active listening’ into a digital medium.
Here’s a top tip: Once you have decided the right voice and tone for your venture, put together a set of clear brand guidelines. This means that everyone is on the same page while representing your business on social media.
How To Create Engaging Social Media Content
While developing a unique voice and tone is specific to individual businesses, there are certain best practices that any brand can utilize to createengaging social media content.
The first golden rule: don’t forget the social part of social media.
Many brands see social media platforms purely as a means to promote themselves. And while this is part of doing business online, it’s not the only or even the most crucial aspect.
Think of it this way, if you were at a dinner party, would you warm to and remember:
a) the person talking only about themselves and what they had to offer
b) or the guest who took the time to ask about and learn about you in a meaningful way
The chances are you answered b, huh? Simply put, your content and time on social media should be more about your audience and less about your business.
Here’s a top tip: build a connectionwith your audience by engaging with and responding when they comment on your posts.
The second golden rule: adopt an 80:20 ratio.
Your content and time on social media should be around 80% customer-focused content to 20% selling or promotion.
Here are some questions to consider:
How can you add value to people’s day?
What content is your customer genuinely interested in discussing?
How can you make selling fun, helpful, and interesting for your audience when you promote your products or services?
The takeaway: don’t just sell, sell, sell all day, every day. Have fun and be human while considering your voice and tone.
Here are some top tips: when it comes to crafting copy for social media, keeping it short, sweet, valuable, and to the point generally works best.
Think of your captions like a newspaper; you want the headline/primary information to appear first to attract attention.
Although, every platform has different character limits and ‘ideal’ caption lengths. We will cover these when we examine Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
The Power of Visual Content On Social Media
One of the best ways to create engaging content and stand out on crowded social media platforms is to use visual content (branded images, infographics, videos, gifs, etc.) alongside your captions.
Don’t just take our word for it. Check out a few interesting statistics collated and shared by HubSpot.
“Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images. (Buzzsumo)”
“When people hear information, they're likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. (Brain Rules)”
“Across social channels, photo and imagery posts are the most-used content type to increase audience engagement.” (HubSpot, 2020)
The takeaway: social media posts accompanied by visual content generally outperform those without imagery.
How to Easily (& Affordably) Create Visual Content For Social Media
Because of the demand for visual content on social media, many people (including ourselves and our excellent independent designers) have developed products to help you produce DIY social media graphics for your business.
Polite disclaimer: it’s time for a wee plug of some of our products :)
Depending on your membership, you can also access over 90,000 design assets licensed for commercial use. Meaning you can use our online editing software (featuring pre-sized templates for social media) and graphics to produce visual content. Or use DesignScape to add a professional finish to your existing business photos.
More Recommended Resources & Tools for Content Creation
We also recommend GoogleDocs to write your social media captions in advance and Grammarly to fix any spelling or grammar issues. If you want to get an idea of how your post will look, insert your visual content into the GoogleDoc beneath the text.
If you do this in advance, you can sort the running order and delegate the task of scheduling the content in advance.* Or if someone else has created content for your business, you can use GoogleDocs to edit the text directly, suggest edits and change the running order if necessary.
*more on that later!
Now we’ve covered brand voice and tone and how to create engaging content for social media, it’s time for a deep dive into Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for business. After which, you will feel empowered to choose the best platform for your business and schedule.
Popular Social Media Platforms Examined
This section will introduce four platforms with insights to help beginners and more advanced social media users alike. We have chosen Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn because they are popular, have established audiences, and you can use them in different ways to suit your small business.
When it comes to social media, it can feel like there is never enough time in the day, especially when you already have your hands full with other areas of your business. The good news is you can still be active on social media even if you’re short on time.
Here’s a top tip: it’s always better to do one or two platforms well, rather than try to do ALL of them poorly because you’re trying to cover all bases. So, you need to identify which social media platforms are the best fit for your business needs, industry, business model, and time frame.
Here’s What You Will Learn About Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & LinkedIn
We will share the following information for each platform:
*These are general recommendations. You will get a much better idea of the best times, days, and frequency for your specific business and audience when you implement your social media strategy.
What Is Twitter?
Twitter is a microblogging and social media network in which users post messages, aka ‘Tweets’ in a public setting. One of the most attractive things about the platform for Twitter users is that they can spark conversations with celebrities or influential people, businesses like yours, and other people who have similar interests to themselves.
Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter Inc, stated that:
“Technology to me does two things: it increases the velocity of communication and increases the number of people who can participate. That's it. That's really all technology for our entire history has ever done.”
And Twitter has (for the most part) accomplished just that.
Twitter Demographics & Usage
Twitter has around 187 million daily users, and the most represented age group is between 30 to 49 years old. The platform has 32% female users compared to 68% male, and people spend just under 4 minutes per session on Twitter.
The short average session times and word count restrictions (more on that later) make it a platform to drop in and out of quickly. Meaning you can get the scoop on breaking news and find and solve customer queries quickly. But your posts might get lost in the shuffle because of the fast-moving nature of the Twitter news feed.
Is Twitter Right for My Business?
One of Twitter’s best features is that it’s easy to identify and connect with your ideal audience based on the topics and interests they follow on the platform. In Jack Dorsey’s own words:
“I'm less interested in how people are following each other and more interested in how they are following topics and tweets themselves. People are following more keywords and concepts and more ideas and acting on those rather than individuals or organizations.”
In that respect, Twitter suits pretty much any industry providing your audience frequents the platform. According to Twitter’s 2021 trends report:
"People come to Twitter to talk about the things that matter to them. Entertainment, news, sports, fashion - it’s all here..."
The report also highlights more specific “big trends” with wellbeing, creator culture, sustainability, and tech included.
Is Twitter Right for My Business Continued
It’s essential to consider the following when deciding whether Twitter is the right social platform for your business and schedule:
Refer back to the Twitter demographics listed above. If your business audience is primarily male, aged 30 to 49, Twitter is a good choice.
The Twitter news feed moves pretty darn fast, so you have to set aside time to be active on the platform and get in early when something (relevant) begins to trend.
Twitter isn’t the platform for long-form content as the character limit is 280 characters. However, you can number your tweets with 1 of *insert total number of tweets* and continue your post in the comments of the initial tweet.
Do the popular topics on Twitter fall in line with those favored by your target audience? If your business centers upon self-care and wellbeing, it’s likely your audience ‘hangs out’ on Twitter. Or if you’re an independent creator (like a blogger, YouTuber, writer, or artist), Twitter is likely a good fit.
How Can You Get the Most Out of Twitter?
If you’ve decided that Twitter is a good fit for your schedule, industry, and business model, here are some ways you can get the most out of your precious time on the platform.
Hashtag Best Practice on Twitter
While hashtags aren’t suitable for every platform, they are right for Twitter. Using hashtags, you can connect with people outside of your existing followers interested in the type of conversations that relate to your products or services.
So if you are a brand with sustainability at the forefront of your mission, discuss this topic in a tweet and use hashtags like #sustainability or #green to connect with new people with this shared interest.
Tweets with hashtags generally receive more engagement than those without, but it’s all about balance. Don’t be too heavy-handed with your hashtags. Stick to a maximum of two, and layout your tweets in the following order:
URL link if needed
Visual content automatically goes at the bottom
Recommended Tweet Length
Twitter has a short character limit (280) compared to other platforms. And according to Sprout Social, Tweets are best received when they have 71-100 characters, making sense because the Twitter feed moves so fast. So be short, sweet, and to the point.
How Often to Post on Twitter
Businesses are best to tweet between 3 to 7 times a day: which is just enough to stay at the forefront of people’s minds, but not enough to become a frustrating part of the Twitter feed.
Best Days and Times to Post on Twitter
As you begin to Tweet more, you’ll get a clearer picture of when your audience is generally active. However, here’s a general guide to follow in the first instance:
Tweet at 9 am because this is when a lot of people are active on Twitter
Wednesdays and Fridays are the best days to post
Avoid 10 pm to 4 am as most people are asleep or not checking their feeds
It’s generally safe to post anywhere between 8 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday
Struggling with Tweet ideas? Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Engage with your audience by conducting a Twitter poll. This is also an excellent opportunity for market research.
Spark a conversation within a topic that relates to your brand. For example, if you’re a yoga teacher, share a relevant news piece with some of your thoughts to target the wellbeing topic on Twitter.
Highlight a new product or service and discuss it in a way that relates directly to your customers. Think about why someone would want to use it and include those reasons in a relatable way.
What Is Facebook?
Facebook is an established social media platform in which users can sign-up for free and create profiles or pages. Users connect with coworkers, family, friends, and acquaintances. You can share other people’s posts publicly or create your own from scratch and message people privately.
According to Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook, Inc:
“The question isn't, 'What do we want to know about people?' It's, 'What do people want to tell about themselves?”
And Facebook provides the platform for people to do just that.
Facebook Demographics & Usage
Facebook is one of the most established and popular social media platforms with a massive 2.7 billion active monthly users. Although the most represented age group (at 26.3%) is aged 25 to 34, Facebook has a wide range of users from all age groups.
Facebook also has an equal(ish) ratio of female and male users, at 44% and 56%, respectively, than other platforms. In general, Facebook users spend around 38 minutes per day on the platform: suggesting that people go to Facebook to browse for more extended periods.
Is Facebook Right for My Business?
If you’re struggling with time constraints and need a platform that can serve many functions or industries without too much thought, Facebook is the social media for you. One of the key attractions of Facebook for business purposes is that so many people from all backgrounds, age groups, and varying interests have profiles.
Here are some more considerations about Facebook:
It is the most popular social media platform with the most engaged users.
There are more older people on Facebook (with more disposable income) than on other platforms.
While it isn’t the preferred platform for younger people, many are still represented on Facebook.
Because of the number of engaged users, Facebook is one of the best platforms to run ads. The advertising costs are very reasonable, and you can quickly get your ads in front of your ideal customer.
You can build a Facebook group to build a better connection with your existing audience and attract new people from your target audience.
You can also use the Facebook Shops feature for advertising and selling physical or digital goods, making Facebook preferable for e-commerce businesses.
The takeaway: Facebook is a good choice for most business industries and models as it’s relatively low maintenance and widely used.
How Can You Get the Most Out of Facebook?
If you’ve decided that Facebook is a good fit for your schedule, industry, and business model, here are some ways you can get the most out of your precious time on the platform.
Hashtag Best Practice on Facebook
You can use hashtags within your Facebook posts; however, they have minimal effect on the success of your content. Instead, consider browsing relevant hashtags (aka topics that your customer base is generally interested in) using the search bar on Facebook to engage in existing conversations and connect with new people.
Recommended Facebook Post Length
The character restrictions on Facebook posts (up to 63,206) are far more generous than other platforms. However, like Twitter, shorter posts tend to perform better, so it’s wise to keep things engaging and concise.
Keep your updates between 40 to 80 characters, and remember that, in general, posts with 80 characters or under, earning around 88% more engagement than longer posts.
If you’re choosing to use Facebook Ads, keep your headlines to around five words.
How Often to Post on Facebook
As the Facebook newsfeed moves much slower than other social media platforms, it’s better to post less: especially compared to Twitter. Most experts recommend posting once a day for Facebook, with the maximum being twice. Try posting at least three times per week. And if you run a Facebook group, engage with the group daily.
Best Days and Times to Post on Facebook
Try posting on Facebook at 9 am or 8 pm, as these are popular times for people to check in with the platform. If you don’t want to get too specific, a general rule of thumb is either in the morning or around dinner time.
The best days tend to be Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. So if you’re aiming for a minimum of 3 posts per week, consider a 9 am post on a Wednesday, an 8 pm post on a Thursday, and a 9 am post on a Friday.
Facebook Post Ideas
Struggling with Facebook post ideas? Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Humanize your business by letting people in on your day-to-day operations. Share some fun behind-the-scenes photos and captions, like a cute picture of your office doggo, and tell people what they’re thinking!
Ask your audience questions. Make them relevant to your brand by sticking to related topics of interest. For example, if you sell house plants, ask people what their favorite kind is. Or how house plants positively affect their lives.
Share a positive quote via a branded graphic, say what it means to you and how you hope it can help others.
What Is Instagram?
Instagram is a social media platform where people share visuals like photos and videos alongside written content. Unlike other platforms, you can’t share posts on Instagram without including some visuals in your content. Instagram users engage with content by liking, commenting, and sharing.
According to Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger:
“People want to share photos with only their friends and loved ones.”
And fulfilling this need is why Mike Krieger created Instagram and why it has people flocking to the platform in droves.
Instagram Demographics & Usage
Instagram has around 1 billion users, with the largest age group represented (at 33.1%) being people aged 25 to 34. However, like Facebook, Instagram generally has high numbers of people using the app from all age groups.
Instagram has a slighter higher female-to-male ratio at 57% and 43%, respectively. On average, Instagram users spend about 29 minutes a day on the platform. Fashion, food, design, travel, fitness, nature, health, art, and general inspiration tend to be popular topics on Instagram.
Is Instagram Right for My Business?
After Facebook, Instagram boasts the second most significant number of social media users. So like Facebook, it’s worth considering if you want to reach a wide range of people with different backgrounds, interests, and age groups or a super niche audience.
However, unlike Facebook, Instagram requires visual content, making it more time-consuming to produce content. But if your brand relates to the favored topics above (fashion, food, art, etc.), it is well worth the effort.
Here are some more considerations about Instagram:
Facebook owns Instagram, so both of these platforms work nicely together. For example, if you run a Facebook ad, you can also run the same ad on Instagram.
It can be time-consuming to produce content; however, it’s easy to interact with people who may be interested in your business.
Instagram used to be the go-to platform for younger people; however, TikTok and Snapchat have overtaken them. Instagram’s introduction of Reels may help offset this.
The platform’s advertising updates mean that you can easily connect with more affluent demographics.
Instagram reels are a fun way to have influencers highlight your products and services to increase sales.
How Can You Get the Most Out of Instagram?
If you’ve decided that Instagram is a good fit for your schedule, industry, and business model, here are some ways you can get the most out of your precious time on the platform.
Hashtag Best Practice on Instagram
While there’s no debate that you should use hashtags in your Instagram posts, there is some contention as to the ideal number. You can use up to 30 hashtags on a regular post, and some people say to use all of them, whereas others say to use five.
11 is the number that comes up most in terms of the ideal number of hashtags to use on an Instagram post. It is a good base level to start with, and you should see your posts experience more engagement. If you have the time, try experimenting with more hashtags and see how this affects your overall post engagements (likes/comments) and audience growth.
To make hashtags seem less spammy, you can place them in the first comment of your post. Like Twitter, use hashtags related to topics and interests relevant to your post and business.
Recommended Instagram Post Length
Instagram has a character restriction of 2,200 for post captions. The ideal caption length to increase engagement is generally between 138 and 150 characters. And like Facebook, you want to put the most engaging/important information first to compel your followers to continue reading. If you’re running Instagram Ads, stick to about 125 characters.
How Often to Post on Instagram
Instagram is different from other platforms in that you need a visual element to post. Meaning that, unlike Facebook or Twitter, you can’t share a few sentences about how you’re feeling and leave it at that. Well, unless you add text to a background via Instagram stories, which disappear after 24 hours.
If you’re posting on the Instagram feed, you will need a high-quality image, video, or animation. So (understandably), you might not be able to keep up with the recommended one-post-per-day schedule.
The takeaway: rather than sharing poor quality and half-hearted content, post less often, but with quality content, and at key times.
Best Days and Times to Post on Instagram
Here are some recommended times and days to post on Instagram if you have limited time and resources:
Between 9 am to 11 am or 2 pm to 3 pm
Thursday is the best day to post
Wednesday between 11 am, and 3 pm is also recommended
And if you have enough time and quality content to post once a day, try:
Monday: 10 am to 10 pm
Tuesday: 9 am to 6 pm
Wednesday: 11 am to 3 pm
Thursday: 2 pm to 3 pm
Friday: 1 pm to 3 pm
Saturday: 7 pm to 8 pm
Sunday: 7 am to 8 am and 4 pm
Instagram Post Ideas
Struggling with Instagram post ideas? Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Take a batch of high-quality photos of yourself, your products, and general behind-the-scenes activity. Or hire a photographer to do this. Add your pictures within branded templates and share with meaningful captions.
Re-share and credit posts from your customers or of things that would interest your audience. If you are an interior designer, re-share a customer photo of their home (with permission) to show your latest project.
Share a themed post based inspired by an Instagram hashtag like #MindfulMonday, #WednesdayWisdom, or #ThursdayThoughts. This could be a regular feature, so every Wednesday, you share some wisdom, either from yourself or from a thought leader.
What Is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a social media platform designed for the professional or business community. People can connect and network with others in their industry, share best practices or advertise products and services.
According to LinkedIn:
“LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network on the internet…A complete LinkedIn profile can help you connect with opportunities by showcasing your unique professional story through experience, skills, and education...You can also use LinkedIn to organize offline events, join groups, write articles, post photos and videos, and more.”
It’s no wonder that LinkedIn is the go-to social networking site for professionals.
LinkedIn Demographics & Usage
LinkedIn has a total user base of 738 million, which is less than Facebook and Instagram, but LinkedIn has a more specific user in mind: the professional. The largest age group on the platform is aged 46 to 55.
There is little difference in male and female representation at 51% and 49%, respectively. Most users (63%) check in with LinkedIn monthly, whereas 22% check in weekly. Some popular topics on LinkedIn include relatable humor, heartwarming stories, challenging conventional wisdom, and data-driven viewpoints.
Is LinkedIn Right for My Business?
If your target audience is professionals or other businesses, LinkedIn is a must for your social media strategy. It’s one of the best ways to reach key decision-makers and grow your professional network.
Here are some more considerations about LinkedIn:
While the audience on LinkedIn is predominantly aged 46 to 55, millennials also make up a quarter of the total user base.
LinkedIn’s audience is generally educated to degree level and has more disposable income. So like Facebook, you can get a high ROI from running ads.
LinkedIn’s user base is spread over 200 countries and regions globally, which is excellent news if you want to expand internationally.
The platform is suitable for generating leads and targeting audiences who are enthusiastic about topics related to your business.
How Can You Get the Most Out of LinkedIn?
If you’ve decided that LinkedIn is a good fit for your schedule, industry, and business model, here are some ways you can get the most out of your precious time on the platform.
Hashtag Best Practice on LinkedIn
Hashtags aren’t going to make or break a LinkedIn post like they would Instagram or Twitter, but they are still worth using within your posts to place your content in front of the right audiences. You can also follow hashtags on LinkedIn so you can engage with people who are posting about topics relevant to your business.
LinkedIn recommends about three to five hashtags in a post, and they will even suggest relevant hashtags to use when writing your post. You can also use location hashtags to connect with people in your local area: a great tactic for brick-and-mortar businesses.
Recommended LinkedIn Post Length
LinkedIn’s character restrictions are a little more generous than other platforms, but just like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, shorter posts tend to perform better. So aim to keep your LinkedIn posts between 50 to 100 characters.
How Often to Post on LinkedIn
The general guide is to post once a day and never more than twice on the same day. A once-a-day schedule is a little easier to stick to on LinkedIn than on other platforms because you don’t necessarily need a visual.
In general, most LinkedIn users keep it professional, meaning it’s easy to share other people’s updates with your reflection or addition. Without spending ages quality checking the original content.
Best Days and Times to Post on LinkedIn
Unlike other platforms, people won’t frown upon their co-workers or employees for getting social on LinkedIn during work hours. Other LinkedIn members will generally be active throughout the 9 am to 5 pm period, and some even flock to LinkedIn on the weekend.
The best times to post include between 8 am and 2 pm, while the best days tend to be Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
LinkedIn Post Ideas
Struggling with LinkedIn post ideas? Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Try sharing a funny and relatable story related to your business.
Share some interesting data from your business to highlight an interesting or unique perspective.
Upload a video of yourself sharing some unique thoughts about conventional wisdom in a way that adds value to your target audience.
Adopting a Content Schedule That Works for You & Your Audience
In the final two parts, we show you how to adopt a social media schedule that works for you and your audience and take a brief look at using analytics and insights to replicate success.
In the previous section, we provided information to help you make an informed choice about which social media platform or platforms would make the most sense for your brand and schedule. We also outlined the best times and how often to post for each forum.
You can use this information to help you create a content schedule that means you can stay consistent (which will maximize your impact on social media) and achieve the most value in the time you have available.
Your Content Schedule in Action
Let’s say your target audience is professionals, meaning LinkedIn is the most suitable platform for your business needs. So you could start by producing the type of content which is generally successful on the forum.
You might not have time to post once a day, but you may have time to post three times a week. In which case, you would post on the best days (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) and times (between 8 am and 2 pm) to have the most impact.
If you have more time, you might look at the second-best platform for your business needs. In this case, it might be Facebook because your product is a high-ticket item, and the platform has an older demographic with more disposable income.
To save time, you could repurpose your content from LinkedIn to repost on Facebook. Once again, you might not have time to post once a day, but you can do it at least three times per week. Meaning you would post Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (the best days) between 9 am and 8 pm (the best times).
Three times a week means three pieces of content which could be:
A graphic showing exciting data from your business and a caption describing how your audience can learn from it. (Content A)
A ‘meet the team feature’ to give a behind-the-scenes look at your business. Including a photo of your team member within a branded graphic. (Content B)
A video of your thoughts (labeled #thursdaythoughts / #wednesdaywisdom depending on the day you share it) on how to solve a specific problem your customers face. (Content C)
Your weekly content schedule could look like this:
Tuesday: LinkedIn(Content B) @8.45am
Wednesday: LinkedIn (Content C) @1.15pm / Facebook (Content B) @9am
Thursday: LinkedIn (Content A) @8.15am / Facebook (Content C) @4pm
Friday: Facebook (Content A) @9.15am
The above example means that you will post when most people tend to frequent the platforms, increasing the potential that browsers see and engage with your content.
Introducing Content Schedulers
Content schedulers are like the “look, Mom; I’m riding my bike with no hands” tools of social media posting. By that, we mean you don’t always have to sit at your desk or even be active on social media for a post to go ‘live’ because you can schedule your content days, weeks, and months in advance.
Here’s a top tip: block out time to create quality content in batches and then schedule it.
Finding the Right Social Media Scheduler for Your Business Needs
There are many schedulers available that work in tandem with the social media platforms mentioned in this article, and most of them offer a free plan. Buffer, for example, works with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and their free plan allows for:
Three social channels
Ten scheduled posts per social channel (which equals scheduling up to 3 weeks in advance if you post three times per week)
If you wanted to dedicate all of your time to Twitter, try Tweetdeck. Or, if you wanted to focus exclusively on Facebook, try their inbuilt scheduler.
Maybe you want to post on all four platforms without investing in a paid plan? In which case, you could use either Tweetdeck or Facebook’s inbuilt scheduler and use Buffer to schedule the remaining three social channels.
Some other social media scheduling tools to explore are:
Using Analytics & Insights To Replicate Success
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn all gather analytics/insights to show how much/when people interact with your posts and overall audience growth. Meaning you can truly tailor your content and identify the best times and days to post for your audience.
Most social media scheduling tools arrange the data in a user-friendly way, and some even provide reports (highlighting key trends and best performing content) to save you time.
Alternatively, you can access the data directly from the social media platforms themselves.
What To Look Out for in Your Analytics & Insights
Each social media has its specific language to communicate trends. Still, in general, you are looking for posts that produce noticeable user engagement: aka lots of people liked, commented, shared, or otherwise interacted with the post.
You can also look for sharp increases in new followers, identify the types of content you posted that day, week, or month, and look to repurpose or replicate it. You can also determine when most people interact with your content.
By accessing this data, you can improve your social media content and tweak your schedule because it will paint a clearer picture of when your audience is most responsive and what content they engage more frequently.
That’s All, Folks
Thanks so much for joining us. We hope you took away some valuable learning from this guide so that your small business can get the most out of social media.
Remember to bookmark this article to return to it later, and stay tuned for the next installment of our Marketing Roadmap, which is all about blogging and SEO best practices!