For many entrepreneurs, venturing forth into the world of social media is a tentative process. First you set up a Facebook page, and then you get used to posting an update a day. You start asking people to like your page, and you include your Facebook handle on your business card and website.
And for a while, that’s all you do.
But eventually, you realize that you’d like to post more than one update a day. You’d like to share a few of the articles that arrive in your inbox each week, and maybe an interesting video or funny picture now and then. You definitely want to share your own blog posts, and publicize any exciting events or opportunities that are coming up in your business.
So now the question is: how do you go from posting one update a day to posting 4 or 5 without logging into Facebook (or Twitter, or Pinterest, or Google+) every hour? More specifically, is it possible to plan a week’s worth of Facebook posts in a single day?
In a word: yes.
It’s not only possible to plan your entire week’s worth of Facebook material in one day, it’s actually very easy. All it takes is a little organization and pre-planning. So let’s dive right in and get started, shall we?
Step 1: Make a plan
Like most business solutions, the first step is to make a plan. Figure out what kinds of material you’d like to post, and how often. For example, maybe you want to post an interesting article every day, a video twice a week, a picture twice a week, and an update or two about your latest blog post or business-related news.
Next, schedule those posts onto a weekly calendar. I use a simple Excel spreadsheet, with the days of the week across the top, and some time slots down the left side of the page. You can use a day planner, a Google calendar, or any kind of calendar tool, as long as it’s something that’s easy to access and easy to update.
Finally, decide what time of day you’re going to post each update. This is kind of arbitrary, but it will really help when you’re pre-scheduling your posts in bulk to know exactly what date and time you’d like your article, blog post, or video update to go live.
Example: My Excel planning worksheet for the week of Jan. 14 looked like this:
Step 2: Create a file in your email for interesting articles
Now that you have a plan for when you’re going to post certain kinds of updates, it’s time to do some email management. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, your email inbox is full of the latest blog posts from your favorite bloggers and websites. These are the same articles you’d like to share on Facebook or Twitter, but you just don’t have time to read them when they come in.
The solution is simple: create a file (or label, if you use Gmail) called “Articles to Share.” Put any email that links to a potentially share-able blog post in that file (or label) and forget about it until you sit down to pre-schedule your posts for the week.
Step 3: Set aside time each week to pre-schedule your posts
The biggest problem in going from one post a day to 4 or 5 is the time involved. That’s why I recommend setting aside one day each week to pre-schedule as many of your social media posts as you can.
Doing it this way has a couple of advantages. First, there’s a dedicated space on your calendar each week, so you know you’ll be consistent about posting updates to your social media account. (Remember that consistency is one of the biggest keys to a successful social media presence).
Second, it means that you don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the week. This is huge. There are never enough hours in a day to do all the work that our business requires. Knowing that this one task will be finished is one less thing to worry about during the day-to-day running of your business.
However, I want to stress that pre-scheduling your posts does not mean that you can ignore your Facebook fans or Twitter followers. You still need to set aside 15 minutes a day log into each social media account and respond to likes, comments, or question. Success with social media comes from engaging your fans, and no amount of pre-scheduled posts will be able to take the place of that interaction.
How do you plan to make the transition for single post a day to 4 or 5? Let me know in the comments below! And, if you have any handy planning tools, be sure to let me know that, too!
P.S. Stay tuned for next week’s blog, when I’ll cover my favorite tools for actually scheduling your social media posts in advance!
[hana-code-insert name=’Felicity Fields Author Bio’ /]