Social Media Planning Tips – Getting Started With a Social Media Calendar
In our last post regarding social media success tips we highlighted why having a social media calendar is so critical to having an effective, cohesive, and on-brand social media presence across all social platforms.
The best approach when it comes to setting up your social media calendar is to choose how you want your content organized and across which platforms.
For example, if you are a dental office that specializes in a great deal of cosmetic dental procedures, having an Instagram account would be a great way to showcase before and after images of your happy patients. Conversely, having an active Pinterest account may not be super relevant to building your brand and attracting new clients. You need to choose which social media platforms you want to build a presence on and then begin the task of planning your content
Remember, all social media platforms are not created equally. What will get a response on Facebook or Twitter may not get the same response from a more professional-focused platform like LinkedIn. You need to really assess where your potential clients are spending the most time online and then focus on those platforms.
Here are a few tips to get you started on setting up your calendar for optimum results:
1. Sync Your Marketing Calendars
Ensure your social media calendar is synched with your marketing calendar for your office or business. Example, if you are planning on running teeth whitening specials in the months leading up to prom and wedding season, these dates should be built into your content well in advance.
If you don’t have a marketing calendar in place for your business, it may be time to set one up. A marketing calendar will help you share valuable promotional deals that may help to attract new clients and repeat business. One of the great benefits of social media is that you get to capture the attention of potential new clients and keep in contact with existing clients. Use this opportunity to give them something that is valuable and that they will want to share with their friends, family, and colleagues
2. Create Daily Themes
Choose themes that you want to highlight on a weekly basis that are consistent to a specific day of the week.
For example, if you are interested in giving your target audience tips for a great smile, choose a specific day of the week to share this type of content on a consistent basis. “Smile Saturdays” for dental and orthodontic offices would be a great day to showcase the perfect smiles that your office has helped create.
Many dental practices print signs like the one here that says “My Smile Has Style”, and take pictures with their patients holding the sign. Feel free to print the image on some stock paper and test it out for your next “Smile Saturday”.
3. Native Content Matters
Each social platform is different and requires a different type of content and messaging – this is called “native content”. Ensure that you are scheduling native content across the various social media platforms that you have selected.
Let’s say that after careful consideration you have decided that Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are the social media platforms that you feel are best suited for your dental office, doctor’s office or law firm. You will want to set up exactly what you will be posting across each specific platform on your calendar. Now, if you are new to social media in general you may be asking yourself why you can’t just post the same information across all handles. You can, but it’s not going to get you the best results.
Instagram, for example, is a highly visual photo and video sharing platform that is driven by having great looking feeds, and a strong grasp and use of hashtags to get your images seen by the largest number of people in your target market. Facebook, on the other hand, is a platform that is driven by sharing popular content, status updates, check ins to various places, and a ton of sponsored posts. If you are simply sharing what you post on Instagram to your Facebook page then your overall engagement and interaction will suffer, compared to having a specific Facebook strategy.\
4. Highlight Your Staff
When creating your social media calendar, don’t forget to share information about yourself and your team. You will need to get your staff involved to help build the face of your brand.
People are loyal to people, not necessarily companies. With that said, having a genuine and authentic social media presence that truly represents your office or firm is an important part of building trust with your clients and attracting new business.
You can consider adding in an image of yourself on a specific day of the week and then rotating out posts about your staff. Make it fun and interactive and, before long, you will see your loyal patients and clients engaging on the posts. Some other things to consider including in your social calendar are; staff birthdays, yearly anniversaries on the job, posts about exceptional staff/patient/client relationships, employee appreciation, and more. You can (and should!) get creative here.
The Bottom Line: Get Started
Planning your content should be done with purpose, goals, and a clear vision of what you want to achieve and convey to your target market. If you plan with purpose and bring massive value to your audience, you should be able to grow your social media profiles, engage with your target market and existing clients, and attract new business in the process.
If you would like a free downloadable content calendar example to get you started on setting up your own social media calendar, click here. As always, we are here to answer any of your social media strategy and content planning needs. Good Luck!