“It takes discipline not to let social media steal your time.” Alexis Ohanian
I love this quote. And it’s oh so true.
I used to have those days where I felt like I hadn’t achieved anything at all because I’d been stuck on social media, trying to think up content on the spot and then post it right away.
If you’ve ever uttered the words or thought to yourself, “ok but before I do that, I just need to quickly share this to Instagram,” this is the blog post for you!
Why you should plan and schedule social media content
It’s simple really: failing to plan is planning to fail.
As spontaneous and fast-moving the world of social media is, if you don’t plan your content you’re not approaching your blog’s social media presence in a strategic and meaningful way.
In a similar fashion to how you’re planning your blog content, you need to organize your social media calendar.
What do you want to share and - more importantly - why? Your social channels are a space to add extra value for your audience and engage or entertain them with content that they care about.
And ultimately, having a social media plan will help you to share content that makes sense for your overall brand.
Ok, so that’s why you should plan. But why is it a good idea to schedule your social media content?
In a nutshell: if you’re not scheduling, you’re not being efficient with your time.
Social media is seriously labor intensive. I don’t care what anyone says. Not only that but it’s disruptive and attention seeking. If you’re constantly dipping in and out to post this and that, you’re going to find it very difficult to get anything else done.
How to plan and schedule your content in 4 simple steps
There’s a 4 step process for planning and scheduling your social media content.
STEP 1. Plan ahead!
You need to plan ahead. Try to look as far ahead as you can in terms of planning, like at least a month or so.
Whether you use a Google spreadsheet or a free content calendar like mine, the trick is to plot events that are relevant to your audience, your brand, and your blog goals on a timeline.
Make sure to include seasonal dates and marketing holidays in your calendar (e.g. #nationalpancakeday) so you can see what you’ve got covered and where you have gaps.
This will help you to see easily what you’ve got coming up so you can complete step number 2.
STEP 2. Create in batches
Now you’ve filled your social media content calendar, you can start creating content.
It’s way more efficient to create batches of content rather than individual pieces here and there. So pick out the common themes, or maybe take one channel at a time, and block off some time in the week to get creating.
For IG Stories for example, you can try batch recording the entire week’s worth at one time and then you’ve got them ready to schedule in step 3.
STEP 3. Schedule in batches
Similarly to how it’s more efficient to create content in batches, it’s also quicker to schedule in batches.
Once you’ve got your content made and ready to post, you can schedule it all in one go. Because you’ve got your content calendar, this should be easy to do once you have a free block of time during the week.
Facebook has its own in-built scheduling capability for Pages and Groups, but for most other platforms you’ll be using step number 4.
STEP 4. Use a scheduling tool
I like Buffer and Planoly for scheduling, but you can try others too. For Pinterest, I love using Tailwind as you can schedule and shuffle your posts. Later is also good for Instagram so depending on what channels you’re using, just use whatever works for you.
Ok, good luck content hustlers! Go get organized, get planning, creating and scheduling. It might take a bit of effort in the beginning to change the way you do things, but you’ll see the benefits before long.