This post was originally written for authors in mind, but can be applied to any individual, small business, or organization that uses social media, particularly for marketing purposes.
If you’d like help getting started on social media idea lists or on your social media calendar, Authors On A Dime can help. Check out our services related to social media management. The first month of calendar management is FREE!
Technology has made the world of the author into something very different from what it once was. Not only do we have the ability to self-publish and reach a mass audience through eBooks, but marketing has changed with the advent of social media.
The level and frequency at which an author uses these tools is entirely personal preference. You’ll find scads of articles both for and against large use of social media as a marketing tool for authors. Whether you use it a little or a lot, getting organized now will help you stay on top of what can easily become overwhelming.
Getting organized for your social media has several benefits, including:
- making it less overwhelming
- ensuring consistent usage
- ensuring varied types of posts and higher level of interest for followers
- spreading usage/types out evenly each month
- pre-planning for important events (releases, book cover reveals, etc.)
- tracking ideas
Our example uses OneNote to help organize my social media in a very basic (and therefore easy to use and easy to keep up with) way. However, you can use any document or note-taking method (spreadsheet, word doc, write it down, whatever works for you).
For social media, keeping organized requires two steps:
- keep track of ideas
- schedule a month at a time.
Let’s look at both.
Social Media Idea Lists
This is as easy as keeping a bulleted list. Pay attention to what you see other authors do (or anyone using social media for marketing) and add to your list. Particularly if you found their method engaging or effective.
- In OneNote, create a “Social Media” Notebook
- Create a Section (tab at the top) called “Social Media Ideas”
- Create a Page (tabs down the right side) for each type of social media (Ex. Blog, Website, Facebook, Twitter, Newsletter, etc.)
- On each ideas page
- Click the “bulleted list” icon in the top
- Start typing
- Hit the enter key to add another bullet
- Hit enter twice to stop the list and add a new section
- Any time you see something another author does that you found effective at drawing you in, add it to your list of ideas.
Monthly Social Media Schedule
At the end of each month create a social media schedule for the upcoming month. The easiest method we’ve found for this is a table. If you’re not a OneNote fan, a spreadsheet is a fantastic way to track this
- Create a table with the following columns
- Day of Week
- Create a row for each day of the month
- Fill out your event schedule first
- dates for releases
- dates for giveaways – start and end
- other big promotional/writing/publishing moments
- author spotlights
- big personal life moments (even if you won’t be sharing on social media, just so you schedule around them)
- Fill out your blog schedule (how often you blog is up to you)
- Use your events list to determine key blog post timing.
- Fill in the rest of the blog dates with ideas from your Social Media Ideas page.
- Make sure to spread out the type of blog posts you do. Example:
- Promotional posts
- Posts about your craft
- Tips for other authors
- Progress on your current WIPs
- Fill out Facebook/Twitter schedule
- Blog posts and event announcements get copied over because you’ll want to announce those on all your social media.
- Fill in the rest of the days with ideas from your Social Media Ideas page.
- Feel free to leave blank spaces – just remember to do something that day.
- When executing, feel free to NOT do what’s on your schedule if what’s happening in your life/writing gives you something else to post.
- You are NOT writing the full posts here, just jotting down ideas of what type of post you’ll do
Ta-da! You have a social media schedule. Now, on any given day, you don’t have to necessarily come up with what to post from scratch. You are also less likely to have one of those moments where you realize you haven’t blogged in six weeks, or you forgot to post an important announcement on Twitter.
A Few More Tips:
Cross Off Completed & Fill In
As you complete days/posts, cross it off. You can do this by doing a strike through text, or check marks, or changing text to a different color. This will help you track what you’ve done. Also, any posts you don’t do…that idea can be used later.
Also, update the tracker with what you do end up posting. For example, if you had “blog post” as a place holder on one of the dates because you couldn’t come up with an idea, add in the topic you ended up using. This will help you know what topics you shouldn’t cover again immediately.
Frequency & Twitter
Authors On A Dime are not marketing experts. That said, note that social media experts recommend more posts on Twitter daily than on Facebook.
Don’t put every Twitter post on this tracker. You can use an app/software like Hootsuite to schedule your tweets, so that is a schedule by itself. I reference my Social Media Schedule when scheduling those tweets in Hootsuite to make sure I’m including versions of what are going up on my other social media. (You can also schedule Facebook and other social media with those apps.)
As much as you are able, get a head start on your above calendar by scheduling Facebook and Twitter posts ahead of time. If you can get most of your blog posts written and scheduled, even better (but harder to do because they are much more time-consuming).
A full month of scheduling might be overwhelming. If you find that to be true, do it in weekly chunks. For examples, every Sunday spend an hour scheduling as much of your social media for the week as you can.
Pay attention to when you will be unavailable to post – like when you’re on vacation, and get anything for that time period completed and scheduled ahead of time.
Social Media and how time-consuming it can be is one of the things we see authors complain about the most. By adding organization to your social media, you can become more efficient and more consistent with your use of these marketing tools.
If you have any questions we’d love to hear them. And if you have a different tool or method, we’d love to hear that as well! We are always looking for ways to become more efficient!
If you’d like help getting started on your idea lists or on your social media calendar, Authors On A Dime can help. Check out our services related to social media management. The first month of calendar management is FREE!
Happy social media scheduling friends!