Social media is a 24/7, always-on hub for new posts, shares, and ideas. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest have all helped create an insatiable hunger for content, and while this represents a great opportunity for brands to get their name out there and connect with consumers, it also requires a lot of work from marketers to keep up with demand.
There are an estimated 3.196 billion global social media users in 2018, which represents 42 percent of the world’s population. According to MarketingSherpa, 95 percent of online adults aged 18-34 are most likely follow a brand via social networking. The goal of social media marketing is to create engagement, and as a result, content scheduling has become a necessity.
Here are 7 ways that social media pros can expedite content scheduling to have the greatest possible impact.
Use tools to help
There is an array of great tools out there that social media pros can and should use to maintain a steady stream of content. Buffer, Sprout Social, CoSchedule, Tailwind, and others, depending on the social media platforms you use. Buffer and Sprout Social work across most of the main social media platforms, while Tailwind focuses on visual marketing for Pinterest and Instagram.
Keep up with trends
Social media moves fast, so keeping up with trends and posting content that feels relevant is key to generating engagement. Create great and memorable content by following the latest topical trends. Whatever the hot topic of the day (or week) is will attract attention, so think about how popular subjects can fit with your audience’s interest. It’s usually wise to steer clear of delicate or controversial subjects, however, because the potential for it to backfire is big. Also pay attention to platform developments. Read blogs, watch webinars, attend conferences and follow social media experts on social media to tap into what’s resonating with internet users.
Invest time in research
Big brands, who have significant resources and a stable of skilled social media managers, can provide valuable examples of what works and what doesn’t when content scheduling. Observe what they do. You might find inspiration and come up with ideas to engage your own audience from their example. Research can also help you schedule content for upcoming events, like the Oscars, concerts, summits, and internationally celebrated days.
Allow yourself room to experiment
Experimenting is key to figuring out what content works for your brand. While there are some overarching principles that seem to underlie social media engagement—cat photos always do well—that may not be what your fans and customers are looking for. Identifying the right strategy requires trial and error, as well as data to show what works and what doesn’t. Use Facebook analytics tools to monitor your KPIs to help you develop your strategy. Deep analysis will save you time and bring better results.
Pay attention to visuals
The old adage about “a picture being worth a thousand words” is absolutely true when it comes to social media marketing. The human brain remembers images better than written information, and on social media, there’s so much noise that standing out is key. It’s unreasonable to expect all your images will be original, so look to stock photo sites that have high-quality, authentic looking photos. Keep a collection of photos with catchy images that you don’t need right away, but will need in the future. For example, Christmas photos, so you can save time in the busiest season of the year. Make sure you use images with proper permissions or licenses to avoid copyright issues or costly consequences.
Make your choices carefully
A big part of a successful social media strategy is ensuring you post the right content for the right audience on the right platform at the right time. That’s no easy task. Make sure to align the content posted with the tone-of-voice, the values of the audience, and their objectives. Given the high volume of accounts and content, users are already suffering from digital fatigue. Most tend to be loyal followers for well-established accounts and/or those that triggered a positive experience.
Also be mindful of the channels you post on. Sometimes less is more. The efforts to generate unique content for 5 different social media platforms won’t generate the expected results or engagement if quality suffers due to quantity.
Measure, measure, measure
Analytics are key to effective content scheduling, and social media marketing overall. Always consider what types of posts garner results, what sort of results, who reacts to posts, and when. This will help you adapt your future content to the expectations, preferences and needs of your target audience.
Scheduling can help every social media pro get the most out of their content and strike the right balance between quantity and quality.
Adina Cretu is a Romanian-based communications, marketing and social media expert. She’s been contributing to the Dreamstime community for two years and is passionate about sharing trending tips for photographers, consumers and social media managers.