Whether we’re adapting our current platforms to new trends, or developing new platforms all together, social media is constantly in flux. There’s always something new to learn and never-ending content to see. At Mirror Matter, our clients rely on us to create content for their social channels, and since joining the team about 16 months ago, I’ve had the pleasure of coordinating most of our efforts.
Previously only having experience with my own personal social media accounts, it was tough at first to know what clients were looking for and the tone they would like to set. It was especially hard to keep track of when things need to be created in time for posting. Throughout my first few months of social media coordination, I discovered what works best, and the steps needed to create a successful social calendar.
Setting Your Calendar
I have found that the easiest way to plan out social media content is to look at a calendar and go month by month, however, it is all based on preference so content can also be planned out by day or week. When planning by month, all major holidays, even small ones such as “National Chocolate Day”, can be a good base for planning post content.
Create a Scratch/Content Dump Document
The more ideas, the better. If possible, pass around a document to anyone on the social team to add their thoughts and ideas whether it has to do with the specific month or not, some of the most random ideas can create the best posts. Each month there may be different topics you would like to cover; ecommerce, new promotions or deals, merch, vendor callouts, or highlighting specific products are among some of our most used topics.
Planning and Scheduling
Since social media has become such a large industry, there are so many different platforms to choose from now that make it possible to plan, organize, and schedule future posts all in one place. Once you find one that suits your needs, the monthly layout is much easier to digest. This can help when trying to decide how many posts should go out per month, and on what days. Additionally, once all posts have been finalized and sent to the client for approval, these programs can have all posts scheduled in advance so that nothing more needs to be done throughout the month and no posts are forgotten about.
A lot of social media is planning and creating a strategy, and while it is possible, most of the time not everything can be done by one person. Especially being part of a “social media team,” it’s helpful to be able to delegate tasks to those who are more specialized in certain areas. Between caption writing, photography, and graphic design/photoshop, there are several different parts that all add to the perfect post.
My personal favorite part of social media planning is the shoot day, this is because of being able to actually execute your ideas and seeing what works and what doesn’t. It is extremely important to come to the shoot day as prepared as possible. Props and all other materials need to be bought, and a plan needs to be in place. Two key components to a successful shoot day is a shopping list, and a shot list.
The shopping list is written once all post ideas have been solidified and includes the products needed for the clients brand (what is being highlighted/promoted), and what extra props could be added to the photo. The shot list is for the day-of, and details what needs to be shot first, where and when it will be shot, a description of the image needed, who will be shooting it, and any extra need-to-know notes.
After all photos have been taken and edited, and captions have been written for the whole month, the next and final step is to send it to the client for approval. It’s best to send it all at least a few days before the next month begins in case there are changes that need to be made, and it also gives enough time after approval to schedule everything before the first post is supposed to go out. Once everything is scheduled, you now have the rest of the month to begin planning for the next!