We asked a post recently on LinkedIn which simply asked “what is the biggest challenge you personally have with social media?”
And a lot of the answers were touching on the same subject
“My biggest challenge probably at the moment is I tend to post what I feel like when I feel like posting and if I have a plan rarely stick to any of it.”
“I need to make a plan – hmmm how to do that and be creative ???”
“Finding new and interesting ways to post about similar things”
“Finding the right content can be difficult?”
All different takes on the same subject – planning, posting regularly and being consistent on social media
Here’s a 5 Step Plan To Make A Creative Social Media Plan
Step 1: Start With Your Why
The start of any plan is understanding your why
And social media is no different
If you don’t understand why you’re using social media or a specific platform, then you will give up because there’s nothing to refer back to or nothing to measure the process
You have to remember your personal social media is very different than your businesses social media
My personal Facebook for instance is simply a way to stay in touch with friends and a personal diary / reminder of where I’ve been – I don’t set KPI’s and don’t give a damn how much likes / comments each posts get
On each of the social platforms for business I have a written down 6-8 line overview of why I’m using a certain platform
I check the analytics on a regular basis and measure against KPI’s such as reach / impressions / engagement / connections / emails etc
I also have a spreadsheet which tallies up any sale we make to a specific channel
I have a why and method to track each platform
Because I have this I never lose track and I never lose motivation because I’m performing against the KPI’s I’ve set
Step 2: Plan 2-3 Months Ahead
When you have around 20 Social Media Management Clients it’s important to plan ahead using what we call a “Content Calendar”
But a content calendar is just as important if you’re 1 person with one 1 business
Different people have different ideas of what a content calendar means and they vary from a bullet point prompt for each day or week through to a full blown diarised entry of the specific captions and specific photos for every single post over 2-3 months
Whatever level of depth you go into the important thing is the act of planning ahead
Planning for those national awareness days, planning around your own events / workshops / courses / business anniversaries and thinking in advance about the content you need will need
Plan your content out and don’t leave things to chance
Step 2b: Answer these questions on a regular basis
If you feel you want to be spontaneous and feel like a calendar would be a little calculated or pre-meditated then think of your social media a little more loosely
Generally the best social media accounts either educate or entertain people
And most of them answer the following questions on a regular basis
* What new things have we done?
* What is the most interesting story about a customer?
* What is a topical subject in our industry?
* what success stories have we had?
* What personal stories have happened?
* What is the 1 thing we want to sell right now?
* What one question could help you find out more about your customers?
* What interesting posts have you seen on social media that you have an opinion on?
If you just did one of those once a day you have 7 posts a week sorted with ease
To give you an idea of the above – our account is a little of Step 2 mixed with a lot of Step 2b
Step 3: Celebrate The Little Victories
Give yourself permission to celebrate those little victories
I celebrate those little victories of having posts that reach 1000 people and have 5 comments as much as I celebrate posts that reach 100,000 people and have 100’s of comments
I celebrate those times I get to help 1 person as much as I do going into a larger business to train 25 people
I do this because when I worked in the music industry I didn’t stop to celebrate those little victories and when left the industry I regretted never stopping and patting myself on the back
Allowing yourself to celebrate the little things gives you the motivation to go for those big things that really change your life
Step 4: Put A Face To It
How do you find new and interesting ways to talk about similar things?
Easy – you put a face to it
And that face is yours and your staff
Whatever industry you’re in I can guarantee that there are 4 or 5 competitors in your immediate area and 400-500 competitors across the UK or the world. Many of the people in your industry will be thinking and writing about the same
ideas, so the only truly unique way to present your content is you, your face, your language, your backstory and how that influences your take on things
If you read other blogs on www.altrinchamhq.co.uk you’ll see posts that reference points to rock & roll, running and veganism.
Now can you tell me another Social Media Trainer you know who shares a passion for all those 3 interests? Probably not.
It doesn’t mean I’m going to get you to ditch your bacon sandwich and make you run 10k whilst training you on the ins and outs of Social Media, but it’s how I make my content different and unique
Put yourself on camera. Embrace your interests and don’t ever shy away from your personality to enter a sea of blandness
Step 5: Revise or Rip Up Your Plan Every Few Months
I set up Altrincham HQ back in 2009
Imagine if I’d written down my social media plan and have never deviated from it in 10 years
I like to try new things and some of them fly and some of them fail
I get bored easily and if I get bored of it I’m prepared to stop something the moment it stops working for myself and my audience
I’m not precious about the past and that’s what allows me to revise and rip up my plan every few months (or analyse the metrics and change accordingly if you want to explain things to your boss)
If you want an extra pair of eyes and a different world view to help devise a social media strategy that works
Don’t hesitate to get in touch
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Or Please call Alex on 07806774279 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex McCann is owner of Altrincham HQ – a social media management and training company based in Altrincham, Cheshire that has worked with 100s of local business developing their social media strategy. Alex has 350+ LinkedIn testimonials and is ranked number 1 for Social Media Marketing in the UK via independent customer reviews on Freeindex.