Day 9: Plan Your Content

Today's SYS Challenge: Plan Your Content #socialtranslator
Today’s SYS Challenge: Plan Your Content #socialtranslator

Why share content in the first place?

Sharing content on social media is a fantastic way to take the temperature of your potential buyers.

With some forethought, you can use your content to move people through your sales funnel.

Checking in with your metrics on a regular basis and adjusting your content accordingly allows you to educate yourself about your clients and their needs.

Some parts of this are easy, some parts not so much…

Let’s face it – in an era of information overload, it’s not hard to find content to share online.

What’s harder is sharing content in a way that’s quick, easy and feels “natural”.

The way to do that, is to integrate sharing with your normal content production and/or consumption habits.

(I know the term “content consumption” can sound gross to delicate linguist ears. But it so neatly summarises the multitude of ways we can interact with and draw meaning from a range of media… So, until a better term comes along, I’m afraid I’m going to have to stick with it. But for good reason, I promise, so stay with me!).

Thankfully, with all the content sharing tools available, it’s not hard to do that either.

Which means we can easily have access to a ready pipeline of shared content across our social media platforms.

What’s harder is sharing the right content.

And this is where being clear on your audience and your goals can save the day.

Here are three quick tips on how to handle some of the harder aspects of planning your content on social media.

1. Get really effective

If you want to take things up a notch, you could overlay your sales funnel, your client’s buying cycle and your existing content to see where the gaps are.

This way, you’re clear on the content your audience is looking for AND on what you want readers to do when they find it, which is a magical sweet spot.

(Remember, we’re looking for action, not just eyeballs here).

Planning my editorial calendar in my local library this week

A photo posted by Sarah Dillon (@sarahmdillon) on

(Image above) The not-very-high-tech way I planned a year’s worth of content for a blog, social media channels and newsletter once.

Plug all of this into a calendar of some sort, and you’ve got yourself a potentially potent starting point for your online marketing.

2. Recycle your updates

Remember: good content can and should be shared multiple times across multiple platforms.

Here’s why:

Unlike email, social media is a constant stream of noise that people dip in and out of, as they choose.

There’s not the same sense of having to keep up, not miss anything or catch every single post and update. So the chances of everyone seeing your update the one time you share it? Nil.

For this reason, share your updates multiple times, at different times of different days, to catch different sets of people each time.

3. Maintain a content library

Create and keep a library of evergreen resources that you know resonate well with your audience. That way, you have a constant stash of updates you can recycle and share across your platforms.

This also makes it easier to review what’s working well, and where your gaps are.

Example workflow

In general, when it comes to social media, I keep my sharing activities and my interacting activities completely separate. I find this helps me to be more effective with my time, and I just enjoy it more.

Here’s how I find useful content to share, in a way that’s quick, easy and in line with my goals:

  • I use Feedly to keep up with my favourite websites, and I check in there every couple of days.
  • If I find an article I like, and I know is likely to resonate with one of my personas, I add it to Buffer with one click either from Feedly or (my preferred route), from the article itself in Chrome.
  • I can also choose which platform I’d like to share it to at this point. I use different social media accounts to appeal to different audience profiles, but at the moment, I’m focussing on my Twitter account @sarahdillon so that’s where I’ll generally send it.
  • I’ve set up my Buffer to share a steady stream of content on specific days at specific times, to cover the multiple time zones I know my audience are located in. So when I add something to my library, it automatically queues it up to be shared at the next most appropriate time.
  • For time-specific things like event reminders, regular recycling of my own content (e.g. 10, 30, and 90 days after publishing, etc), or content related to particular cultural holidays or events, I’ll generally use either Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule updates 2 – 3 months in advance. This just depends on whichever platform is easiest for me to access when I think about it.

For more engaging, real-time interactions, I do the following:

  • I’m currently checking in to Hootsuite every day or so to interact with people and see what’s happening in “real time”. This is unusually frequent for me.
  • When I log in (almost always on my phone), I’ll check and respond to replies, mentions, and so on, and chat with a couple of people for about 10 – 15 mins.
  • If I find something shareworthy during this time, I’ll either add it to my Buffer to be “dripped” out over time, or I may share it straight away.

And that’s pretty much it.

The thing to remember here is there is no award for spending the most, or least, amount of time on social media.

What matters are your goals and your personal communication style.

So get planning!

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A Social Media Challenge!

Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to do one thing each day in October that will have an impact on your social presence in the longer term.

Each weekday in October, I’m going to suggest a task to work on for whatever pocket of time you can carve out that day. You can choose to follow my suggestion, adjust it to suit your circumstances, or come up with an alternative – whatever makes most sense for you. Or just dip in and out as it suits.

Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, or here on the blog. Let me know how you’re getting on by using the hashtag #socialtranslator (so I can find you!). If you find it helpful, please give me a thumbs up, a like or a share – that’s how I’ll know you’re finding it useful, and it’ll help other translators join in too.