You already know that there are many skills required for creating compelling social media content (that is: content that moves your audience to take action!). Great content requires good visuals, well-written captions, thoughtful social media goals, and more! But if there is one area I can help you simplify right away, it is your brainstorming and creation process. Today I would like to share with you a simple process for getting one month of social media content mapped out quickly.
Using these steps, you can create yourself a simple, repeatable content system to use month after month. Once you have this system set up for the first time, you can use it as a template to simply wash, rinse and repeat.
Another thing I love about the process I’m about to outline for you is that you can use it for any amount of time that you want to create content for. If you would rather plan 90 days’ worth of content at a time instead of just a month, it scales!
Step 1 – Create Your Content Recipe
One of the best things you can do for yourself to simplify your content creation process is to create a Content “Recipe.” This is 5-15 types or categories of content you can share on repeat.
The great thing about a Content Recipe is that it makes content creation “automatic” for YOU, but it is virtually invisible to your audience. No one will notice the “pattern” of content that you play on repeat… and if they do, I promise they will not care one bit!
To come up with your own Content Recipe, think about:
- Your social media goals, and what you need in your business to get there. Is it leads? A certain number of website visitors? Email list subscribers? Etc..
- What your audience needs from you to be able to buy.
Where these two things intersect is your Value Zone. The content you create and share should fall between these two things: content that helps you get closer to your goal while also serving your customer.
With that in mind, brainstorm categories of topics you could share.
Some examples are: tips and tutorials, fun facts, behind the scenes, personal stuff, quotes, ideas and inspiration, promote products and services, humor, and community events. And there are many, many more!
Step 2 – Decide How Many Times to Post
Once you have come up with a list of content types, you need to decide how many times per week you want to post on each platform. When you know this, you can put your content types on your calendar as place holders.
In this example, I have decided I want to post to Facebook four days per week, and I have seven content ideas. Since I post a blog post each week, I want to make sure to get that out on Saturdays. I drop the other content ideas on the other days I want to post.
Now I have a simple, repeatable pattern for my content categories.
Step 3 – Do Some Math
Now that I know I’m posting 4 days per week, and I have 7 content categories, I can do some simple math to see how many posts in each category I need to create one month of social media content.
In the example we’ve been using, my pattern is going to repeat itself once in a 4-week period. It will look something like this:
Now I know that I need:
- 3 helpful tips
- 2 quotes
- 2 personal posts
- 4 blog posts
- 2 fun facts
- 2 mini-tutorials
- 2 humor pieces
Step 4 – Plan Your Content
Now that I know what types of content I need to fill my queue, I get to work actually brainstorming my ideas. I know there are a lot of Trello lovers out there, but I personally love spreadsheets for this.
I keep the column headings simple: date (the date the post is for), content category (from above: is it a fun fact? personal? quote?), idea (a quick description of what my content idea is, like listed below here), caption (the actual words I will post), asset (a description of the image or graphic I need).
For example, for my Helpful Tips category, I might want to share content like:
- How to look at analytics and decide what is working
- Re-share your best-performing content
- 5 things to save to your Instagram Story highlights
For my mini-tutorials I could create:
- How to save things to your IG Story Highlights
- Show three things to do on social media every day
For quotes and humor, I would need to go out and find that content to share. For my blog posts, I would find that on my blog editorial calendar.
I pencil each of these content ideas on my monthly social media content calendar, then I can go back and write my caption copy and decide what I’m going to use for a visual.
I personally like to create and schedule one week worth of social media content at a time, but the process is made easier because I have a plan for the entire month.
How far in advance do you plan your social media content? Do you have a process for getting your content planned in advance?
Molly Marshall teaches small business owners and online entrepreneurs how to systematically and simply grow a profitable online presence through social media. Get your FREE Instagram Strategy Guide now!