You want to promote your business on social media. You’ve even started business accounts on your favorite social media platforms – way to go! But every time you are about to post, you just freeze! Ugh. The words are just not coming to you. What do you even post? How does everyone else seem to be doing it so effortlessly. Ah, forget it – you’ll do it tomorrow.
I know the frustration of not knowing what to post on your social media accounts, but I’m here to tell you – there’s a solution to that problem . . . plan ahead!
Yup. A little time spent today doing some planning will save you a lot of headaches in the future and increase your social following. So block off about an hour or two right now, (yes – right now. There’s no time like the present.) and let’s get started:
Step 1: Pick 5 categories/themes
I’m sure you’ve heard that you shouldn’t over promote your business on social media – and those who say that are absolutely right! One way to avoid over promoting is to pick approximately 5 categories (or more if you’re feel adventurous) that you want to talk about on social media that can be related back to your overall business strategy.
For example, let’s say you sell a weight loss product. Five categories that you can expand on could be: time saving and easy workouts, delicious healthy recipes, what inspires you to stay fit each day, a behind the scenes look at your daily life and how you incorporate the shakes, and the fifth could be actually promoting your business.
Now, hold on to these 5 categories, we are going to use them now . . .
Step 2: Plan out your copy
Since you just put together your 5 categories, write each of them in one piece of paper (believe it or not, I’m old school – I like to write things out. But a word document will be just fine). Now, take one paper at a time and write down 5 potential ideas that you can expand on for each category.
For example, (going back to the shake business) for your “what inspires you” category, you can talk about how keeping up with your kids inspires you to stay healthy. Or how getting in that swimsuit or those old jeans inspires you. Or how being healthy makes you feel is a great inspiration, etc…You get the idea.
List 5 things you can expand on for each category.
Step 3: Write your post
Now, if you just don’t have the time right now and feel like you can write a post on the spot (as long s you know what you are going to write about with Step 2), you can skip this step. But if you like to plan (like me!) feel free to start writing your posts…
Since you know what to write about for each category, write down some complete sentences (that will essential be your social media posts). Here, I would recommend taking your phone and writing them within your Notes App. There are tons of social media planning apps that you can also use – but we’ll discuss those another day. Baby steps!
You can also write them in a word/excel document and save them to a google drive. The point here is to have your posts accessible on your phone so you can copy and paste when you are ready to publish them.
Step 4: Illustrate with images
The hard part is over – see that wasn’t so bad. Now you will want to think about what kind of image you want to use with each post you created.
A thought that a lot of business owners have is that they HAVE to showcase pictures of their store, their product, their life and it HAS to be perfectly curated pictures.
And sure, it’s true – most of the pictures for big, successful accounts are either professionally taken or are just stock images – but, they don’t HAVE to be, especially if you’re just starting out on social media.
Here, the important thing to remember is that your images are meant to be in addition to your post. An inspiration. A way to illustrate what you feel or are trying to say through you’re post. And remember, using your own pictures that you take on your iPhone is totally ok! But if you want to go the more curated route – that’s cool too!
Here are some ideas of what you can use for images:
- Play photographer one day and take the images yourself, with your phone. You can set up your phone wherever you want and use a timer.
- Look up local photographers looking to expand their portfolios and see if they want to collaborate (you can even offer an exchange of services or goods if you don’t have the money for a payment)
- Maybe you have a cousin, aunt, or a friend who loves to take pictures – ask them
- Look up “free photo stock images” on Google – there are tons of sites and services you can pay for a low rate, but make sure to read their licensing carefully. One site I love is Unsplash. It’s a huge library of images from amazing photographers – all free to use with no credit needed
Step 5: Plan and Post
So you have your themes, your content ideas, your actual posts, and your images – man, you’re practically done. But there is one more step . . . plan your posts for the month. Take one of the categories and designate it for Monday, the next for Tuesday, the other for Wednesday, and so on. Rotate them throughout the week so you have variety each and every day.
Also, if you don’t want to post every single day on social – that’s ok. Skip a day here and there – just don’t skip too many and not one after another.
Now you are ready to post and pat yourself in the back. You did it! See that wasn’t so hard.
If you think you might forget to post, some networks, like Facebook, will let you schedule your posts ahead of time. Also there are apps that you can use to schedule your posts so they automatically publish on the date and time you set. Or, if you just want to manually do it – set a reminder on your phone’s calendar.
So what now?
The most important thing that should be done first is to carve out some time in your schedule to do this. I can’t emphasis this enough. Take a couple of hours on a Saturday or Sunday and actually sit down and plan your posts.
And if carving out a couple of hours seems like too much, then no problem – schedule one hour and just plan out your week. Maybe every Sunday morning you take one hour and plan your posts for the week ahead. Then, when you get in the swing of things, you can expand to two weeks and then one month of planning.
Do what works for you and your schedule – but just make the time.