Why I am keeping a social media diary this year.
A New Year and already another broken resolution!
Well, that’s how I usually start each year, but then again I tend to pick ridiculously unrealistic goals – like never drinking again or swearing not to steal chocolates from my daughter’s secret stash.
Well, this year you could make a vow that you will easily stick to because it’s a huge help in keeping stress levels down and will make you look like you really know what you’re doing when questioned by your boss!
Don’t get too excited – it’s not some amazing, earth-shattering revelation I’m about to divulge.
It’s simply a forward planning diary for social media.
I’ve been keeping one for years now and it’s well worth the time investment.
“Eh? You’re doing what?” I can already hear some of my friends muttering.
It’s no big secret that I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type of woman and generally hate any sort of planning, commitment or even just a pencilled-in tentative arrangement.
It’s just not for me. I’d rather see what the day brings and react accordingly.
And that’s fine for my already rather chaotic personal life but totally rubbish when it comes to looking after our social media accounts.
Plus, now I am officially in the depths of middle-age, I find my short-term memory rather unreliable, to say the least.
(Although, to be honest, some of my longer-term memories are pretty sketchy too, but at least I can blame my love of gin for that!)
So, I am the proud owner of a rather spiffing social media calendar and have a day-by-day, week-by-week posting plan.
(And if you email me on firstname.lastname@example.org I’ll happily share it with you. For free. Well, perhaps you could buy me a drink when you next see me!)
It’s nothing too swish, I mean I know Excel spreadsheet functions are pretty impressive, but I decided to create something fairly simple so I don’t spend more time planning than I do ‘doing’.
It really does help enormously. I know exactly what I am going to post every day, which hashtags to use, what websites to link to and even which photos to use.
It also allows me time to do a little bit of research before I decide what to post and when.
So I can look for brilliant videos to share, amazing stories people have already told that back-up what I want to say and, of course, pick my own message to promote.
And as I do that I am building up a great library of content that I can refer to again in the future so I curate it all quickly and easily as I go along.
I’ve even managed to add important dates that are coming up – awareness days, quirky events, and other opportunities to latch on to likely-trending hashtags.
Admittedly, I do still need to spend a couple of hours being creative and coming up with the funky, interesting posts but it’s still so much easier to set aside some quiet time and focus solely on the job in hand.
I tend to work on it on Sunday evening when the phone’s not ringing and I know I can spend a solid, uninterrupted couple of hours.
Before I would often remember I hadn’t posted anything at the most inconvenient times – like just as I got to the pub.
And, as everyone knows, social media and drink just don’t work well together!
Plus of course, the big bonus as far as time management goes is that I can schedule all the posts at the same time (I use Hootsuite for Twitter/Instagram and Facebook’s own scheduling tool) so once I’ve set up the week I can relax and know all the social media accounts are covered.
And if you’re still not convinced you need one, well, in a nutshell – a social media calendar will help you consistently post high-quality content because you’re not rushing to just “post something”, cut down on the amount of time you waste faffing around trying to think of what to post and allows you to curate suitable content for the future.
What’s not to like about that type of New Year’s resolution?
If you want to find out more about using Facebook to improve your PR success then you’ll enjoy this blog.