In our last conversation, Digital Marketing Tips for Small Businesses, we shared 3 tips on how to approach your social media tasks in order to stay focused.  As we enter a new year, it’s the perfect time to review why you should take the time to organize your social media topics, and a simple tool to keep you on track.

Why do you want to organize your topics in advance?  There are several reasons, and here are a few:

1.     Balance.  Your people and business fans likely have a variety of objectives in mind as to why they have Liked or Followed you in the first place.  Those reasons could include wanting to stay informed about classes or events you are hosting, expertise you might share, industry news or trends, and the clever or helpful tips you might come across.  Do you have something you want to sell?  More than likely the answer is yes, but you only want those posts to appear about 20-30% of the time.  Establishing the 80/20 ratio is the perfect balance.  Talking about and sharing the posts of others and broader industry news will insure a good balance.  Mapping out your topics allows you to visually test that ratio and insure your content remains balanced and interesting. 

2.     Timeliness.   Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you wished you had promoted something further in advance than just a couple of days out?  Absolutely.  By forcing yourself to map out your topics three, six, nine, or ideally twelve months out, you can include an “event” category in your schedule.  Note the date of an upcoming event and incorporate the proper promotional frequency the event deserves.   

3.     Stress Reduction.  When the workday pressures are upon us, we aren’t always at our creative best.  By setting aside time at the beginning of the year (or quarter or month) to map out your social media topics, you can breathe a sigh of relief that you don’t have to invent the topics on top of your other time-critical tasks at hand.  Take an additional step when you are mapping out your topics to research a few supporting website links and store them for later access.  You will thank yourself.

How to organize all of these topics and links is really pretty easy.  The simplest method is to set up a spreadsheet, organized by month and then devote a row to each topic.  There you can store notes about the topic.  Include whatever additional information will make the actual posting go that much more quickly.  That might include details such as an event date, a contact name, image resource, quote, and/or link to a website that inspired your post.  


If you have other members of your team helping with either the content/idea generation or actual posting, parking this spreadsheet in a shared document environment such as Dropbox or Google Docs, or a shared calendar.   If something pops up on your radar that is date-sensitive, you can quickly review the spreadsheet and easily make the necessary adjustments.

We know many small business owners who find that devoting 1 hour per day to their marketing is less stressful overall.  Incorporate that into your marketing plans this year … let us know how we can help!