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DIY Social Media Content Planner

Creating a social media content planner saves you time and stress. Go high tech and use planning software, love your stationery with a pretty template from Etsy or grab your diary and plan in pencil. It’s not the medium that matters; it’s the formula. 

Planning your social media using the four pillars of social media will make your life simpler and keep your audience engaged and interested. It’s as simple as one post from each pillar each week: 

  1. Education
  2. Inspiration
  3. Entertainment
  4. Sales

1. Education

In today’s information-rich world, we can all choose to learn almost any skill we desire. But we can’t be everything. And nor can our clients. So for most of us, there is little risk that we will be giving away too much knowledge on our social media feeds in the snippets that people are willing to read.

Indeed, the truth is quite the opposite. By giving away your knowledge, your audience knows where to come for the answers. Then, when they are too busy to DIY or reach a point where they need a professional, they will already feel like they know you and believe in your expertise. 

Share educational posts with simple, easy to apply tips. Share answers to frequently asked questions. Share the last thing you learned about your business. Consider these posts on #toptiptuesday and always hashtag them to tap into your target audience.

2. Inspiration

Inspirational quotes are often broadly appealing and can be good for engagement. If used in a manner consistent with your brand values and objectives, they can also help your next post get in front of a larger audience. 

The best inspirational posts are true to your business, use original images and are used sparingly (roughly 1 in 4 following this plan). Use them to share a little about your day, how you work or why you do what you do. Even better, ask people a question to engage with your inspirational quote.

Sell chocolate for a living? Excellent; feel free to post all the great chocolate quotes – with images of your chocolate and connection to your product. Sell financial services for a living? Consider some tax time panic quotes, connect to your audience over the pain of numbers or a quote that says something about you. 

Also, consider whether your inspiration can be your own story or the story of a customer. We’ve all seen the reused classics go around, but perhaps your client or colleague inspired you. Perhaps you have a saying you often share with your friends or clients. Perhaps your original inspirational quote is the next viral post! 

3. Entertainment

Most of us go to social media primarily for entertainment. Posts that entertain are more likely to be shared with friends, expanding your reach and introducing you to new audiences.

It doesn’t need to be about your product. Just appeal to your customer avatar. For example, if your ideal client loves pets, share pictures of your pet; alternatively, if they are late night owls, perhaps share the coffee jokes, just keep it on brand. Entertainment posts are about building the know and like part of your business relationship. Funny, shareable content that entertains, helps to humanise your brand and connect with your ideal customer avatar or target audience.

Alternatively, use entertainment posts to share snippets of your world, things that have brought you joy and things that entertain you about what you do. Remember that even entertainment posts should be on brand for your business; use your brand colours, stay within your brand’s style and values, and use your own images if possible.

4. Sales or content to convert

Sales and conversion posts come last. Not least but last, because you need to build your know, like and trust before your customers will buy or take action. 

Sales posts include any post where you are asking your audience to take action or informing them of your services, including things like:

  • Sign up for my newsletter
  • Check out my new product
  • Did you know that I can help with this problem?
  • Huge sale on now

Great sales posts include testimonials from other clients, interactive demonstrations of products and notifications for promotions or sales. Their purpose is to drive business your way. And that’s ok because goodwill and shares don’t pay your bills!

How to turn these pillars into a social media content planner

To DIY your social media calendar, grab your favourite stationery and a cuppa, then jot down four ideas under each content pillar. Next, pick a few templates in Canva, set them in your brand colours and merge your ideas into your Canva templates. These templates can be recycled with new images and words every month or few months, saving you even more planning time.  

If, like me, you like organisation, there are content planning calendar apps that you case use to schedule the posts for the upcoming months. One day of planning might set you up for the next 2 to 3 months. Then all you need to remember is a couple of lives when the urge hits. 

You can totally do this. And if you don’t want to or choose to focus your attention on what you do best – you know who to call, right?

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