When it comes to the world of online content, planning is key. Proper planning can increase exposure, and it can help you stay organized enough to cover all your bases. While there are tons of different types of planning calendars – everything from editorial to your yearly/monthly goals—it’s important to have a social media calendar so you can make the most of the content you create.
Below are some specific strategies that can help you plan effectively with a social media calendar to get more blog traffic.
When your content is first published, it’s important to set up a calendar and process for the initial promotion phase. The planning process should include a timeline, which is then mapped out onto your overall calendar:
Your initial distribution strategy should also include any cross-promotional planning, if needed. For instance, if the post is the third in a series, make sure the first two posts link to the third. In addition, you can mention the other posts in a series in your social media content when promoting the latest one. Cross-promotion and a concrete initial distribution strategy will help ensure your blog posts are seen on as many channels as possible, thus leading to higher traffic.
After the initial distribution push, start scheduling your re-sharing strategy. Some bloggers use a set formula when it comes to re-sharing, such as, each blog post is re-promoted every six weeks, on a rolling basis. Other sites prefer to include a space for re-sharing evergreen blog posts in their social media editorial calendar, and then choosing ones at random for each week or month as they go along.
You could also do both of these options, and you may find that the more often you share past posts that are still relevant today, the more traffic you’ll get.
While great content looks spontaneous, it actually takes a lot of planning. So while it may seem a little disingenuous at first to schedule updates in advance, if you’re creating highly targeted content that you know your audience enjoys, then the planning and organization makes it worth it.
Another aspect of social media content planning that looks effortless but takes a lot of behind-the-scenes organization is your strategy for each social network. What has a successful engagement rate on Twitter doesn’t usually have the same success on Instagram, for example – at least when it comes to messaging.
For each major social network, the strategy is different:
Consider the type of content audiences like to see on each network and shape your calendar accordingly, as having specific content for each channel can increase the likelihood someone will click on your blog post links. If you are shaping your calendar in an Excel file, use a different tab or column for each network.
Along those same lines, you can share the same content on multiple channels, but repurpose it to optimize its strengths for each channel. For instance, a quote graphic from an exclusive study would likely do well on Facebook and Pinterest, but could get lost in the stream on LinkedIn. On networks like Twitter, your comments and insights along with linked posts may also be valuable, especially when you use applicable hashtags or tag the post author.
When it comes to scheduling repurposed content on your social media calendar, assign it just as you would your initial distribution tasks. For instance, if you know you need to create three quote graphics for each new blog post, set a deadline for yourself so that they’re finished and ready to be shared in advance.
Your social media calendar will get more robust as you figure out a plan for manual and automatic promotion, as well as a social media content strategy and optimization plan for each network where you’re active. Planning your calendar at least a week in advance can help you make the most of your social media efforts, thus bringing your blog the traffic it deserves.