Are you a busy Direct Sales Consultant who is trying to grow your social media presence? Are you finding it difficult to be consistent on all of your social media platforms? I was there too until I realized I needed a Social Media Planner – and an idea was born.
I am a systems kinda gal and since I constantly need access to my To Do list, my scheduled events, my contacts, etc., I found my Smartphone was perfect for handling all of those details. I have systems in place for almost everything in my business, from sponsoring to class planning to sales.
But when it came to social media – blogging, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest – I was one hot mess. I could just never seem to stay consistent – which meant that I was doing more harm than good when it came to my social media efforts.
In June 2017, my company released a gorgeous planner for creatives, and while I loved the Planner, I honestly didn’t know what I was going to do with it. (Check out my previous post about the new Love Today Planner Kit by Stampin’ Up! for details about this planner.)
And then it hit me – I planned everything else in my business to the tiniest degree – but I was flying by the seat of my pants when it came to social media. So I decided to use this new Planner Kit to try and get myself organized, giving myself 1 year to see if the results pay off.
Know Your Stats
For someone who tracks her sales religiously each month, I truly had no clue as to how many people were reading my blog, visiting my Facebook Page or re-pinning my pins on Pinterest.
So the first thing I did on my monthly Planner Dashboard was write down the stats for all of my social media accounts as of July 1st. (See the blue square with the gold arrow in the picture above.) This will help me stay accountable and hopefully give me motivation as I see my numbers start to grow.
Plan, Plan and Plan Some More
I am not kidding when I say I was flying by the seat of my pants. I had no action plan, no intentional goals when it came to my social media – especially blogging. So now, I’m using an intentional plan that will cover 3 main areas: monthly goals, SEO & Hashtags, and On-Going Post Ideas:
- Monthly Goals (yellow box in picture above)
Because I craft for a living, it’s important to get a jump on the holidays. We start making Christmas Cards in the summer, plan for Mother’s Day in February, and start working on Back To School 3 months before the kids go back to school! So planning in advance is critical. By setting monthly goals for what topics I want to cover each month, it will help me drill down on my sales goals as I help my customers get organized as well.
- Post Ideas (white grid in picture above)
Every time I tried to get organized with my social media, I’d end up writing things on sticky notes or making notes in my phone. But when it came time to actually write a blog or Facebook post, I’d have to search (sometimes in vain) to find those ideas. It was exhausting and a colossal waste of time. Now when I’m flipping through Pinterest and see something that inspires me, I can go straight to my Planner and write down those ideas in the appropriate month (based on my monthly goals.)
- Hash Tags & SEO (pink box above)
When I’m writing a post, nothing slows me down faster than trying to figure out SEO keywords and Hashtags. By coming up with the hashtags I want to concentrate on that month, and doing my research in advance, it will not only speed up my writing time, but it will also help me stay on track.
Find Your Social Media Mojo
One thing that I’ve learned in my 21 years as a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator – it’s hard to be creative when you’re feeling pressured and stressed out. So I think this next step is really going to help me maintain my creative process.
At the end of each month, I plan to write down all of the “interesting” holidays for the month on my weekly calendar. (I use the Holiday Insights website to find fun & wacky holidays.)
Then I try to come up with ideas on how I can use these holidays on my Facebook Business Page or VIP group for some fun interactive posts.
For example, Thursday, July 6th is International Kissing Day. I could post on my Facebook Business Page an easy fill-in-the-blank prompt such as “If you could kiss any celebrity, who would it be?”
Or take a picture of myself kissing my favorite Stampin’ Up! product. You get the idea – these are prompts that I may or may not use, but the act of writing them down and then letting my creative juices flow is really fun. It took me 1 hour to do the entire month of July – and I think I’ll get faster each month.
The next step, of course, is to take a few hours and create graphics for all of these prompts. I don’t know about you, but I find it much easier to sit down and do 20 graphics at one time – I tend to get into a rhythm and can even find it relaxing.
Once that’s done, all that’s left is to write your post!
Using Your Monthly Calendar
On my monthly calendar, I plan to write down what I’ve posted as I post it. Every little thing. This way I’ll be able to see at a glance what the last thing was I posted on each social media channel and make sure that I stay in balance between all the channels.
I love scheduling tools (they’re about the only thing that can keep me consistent), so I plan to do an entire month of Facebook using Cinchshare and Pinterest scheduling with Tailwind.
My goal is to schedule 4 days at the beginning of each month where I do all of my posts for the month.
If doing a month at a time seems overwhelming for you, then consider doing it weekly. For me, monthly just works better for my schedule – batching like work together is my friend!
Over time, this will give me a good view of my accomplishments, what months I seem to struggle, and how I can set better goals for myself in my social platforms.
Wins & Losses
At the end of each month, sit down and review your successes for the month. (There’s a great note section at the end of each month’s calendar that will work perfectly for this.)
What posts got the biggest views? What posts got little to no engagement? Which social media platform saw the biggest gains? What weeks did you struggle getting your posts done – why?
Answering all of these questions will help you move forward as you get ready to schedule next month’s posts.
So what do you think? Despite how this may sound, I am not an anal, over-compulsive person. We make a joke in my stamp classes (where I have a lot of Type-A creative types) I am a “Type Z”.
The truth is, if I don’t have a system in place, it’s not going to happen. I may find after July that trying to post daily on every social media platform is just not going to happen.
Ok, that’s good to know! In August, I can cut back to 3 times a week, perhaps alternating between Facebook & Instagram.
Because the one thing I do know is that if you don’t plan some baby steps, it is not going to happen. As Creighton Abrams famously said: “When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time.”
The same is true with social media – start small – but START.
If you’ve made it this far, Thank You and I hope you’ll visit my blog again. Each month, I’ll be posting my results from my Social Media Planner, as well as sharing tips & tricks on how to maximize the use of the Love Today Planner Kit. If you have any questions, be sure to leave me a comment below – I’d love to hear from you!