Ok so it may seem a little counter intuitive to plan out your social media content. I mean after all, we want authenticity, we want your real personality to shine through and we want to respond and engage with our audience. Spontaneity kind of comes to mind in that context, right? So why does planning your social content contribute to achieving all that and more?
If content is king, then consistency is queen. You need to achieve consistency both in terms of the content itself and in terms of when and where you post.
Yes, consistency is an absolute priority. The way you write, the kinds of things you post and share, your tone, images and themes need to be consistent with who you are and with your brand. Consistency of message deepens brand awareness and consistency in when and where you show up with that message is critical in your audience learning to trust and engage with you. Quite simply, a plan takes care of what you’re posting and when you’re posting it so your audience can rely on you.
Planning as a form of quality control means that you have the opportunity and are more likely to create content ahead of time. This means that instead of either just trying to pump something out to a deadline without proper attention to quality and detail, or going the other way and posting periodically and haphazardly, you can properly create and review drafts in advance of when you want to post it. It also means that because you know that post or group of themed posts is coming up, you can start researching your piece in more depth to make sure it’s accurate and highly relevant.
Planning gives you more flexibility, not less. By following a plan and seeing how you put things together, you’re also able to respond and tweak them much more easily. For example, you may have scheduled 2 inspirational quotes per week, but have noticed that they get a lot of likes, comments and shares. You can then easily review your plan and change inspirational quotes up to a daily post. This is much harder to do without a plan as the blueprint.
This is related to consistency and quality in that having a plan enables you to see the overall flow of your content so you can make sure it has flow and makes logical sense. A plan will show you that spending a week talking about and sharing content on a particular topic is the perfect pre-cursor for a related, more in-depth discussion the following week. It also helps you plan the right proportions of different types of content within the context of an overarching topic. This not only allows you to get into the groove of that theme and produce better work, but it’s more logical and enjoyable for your audience to consume.
When you plan, you can batch. That means that instead of spending time all over the place preparing and posting your content, you can create a whole heap of posts in one sitting so then all there is to do is post them. This is good for time efficiency, but it’s also good for getting in the zone and being consistent with your tone and your theme. When you can sit down and create a whole week’s worth of posts, you can often achieve a really good flow, which not only makes it more enjoyable, but often allows you to create better quality work. Plus, if you batch your posts, you can also then use a content scheduler to publish them at whatever time you choose. Many platforms, like Facebook, have this function built-in, but you can also use additional products to post across platforms … but that’s another topic for another day!
You’ll often find that you want to link to someone else’s work, or share examples from others about your topic and planning allows you to do a better job of it. You can spend proper time researching and curating supporting articles and other sharable content to support your own ahead of time rather than flying by the seat of your pants and scrambling to find a piece, any piece, that supports your theme.
By using planning to leverage the above benefits, you’ll not only see more engagement from your audience, but you’ll have more time to spend engaging with them and responding to their comments.
Your content plan can be as fancy or as simple as you’d like it to be or have time to make it, but the main thing is that it gives you that bird’s eye view to create and share content that’s valuable to your audience, consistently. Take some time to map out just one week’s worth of content today - give it a go and see what a difference it makes and how it ups your game.