When it comes to managing your own workload, a marketing assistant, or a team, planning and organizing projects ahead of time makes life so much easier and far more productive.
Recently, I covered “How We Make 20+ Pieces Of Content From One Blog Post”. I explained how at Paul Gough Physio Rooms (PGPR), we use one piece of ‘pillar content’ (core content) each week (which is normally our weekly blog post), analyze it, and then repurpose it into lots of smaller pieces of “micro-content” that we can share across all our marketing spokes (marketing channels) over the following week.
In this report, I’m going to share exactly how we plan and distribute our micro content each week in our Physio Rooms.
Creating a social content calendar (plan)…
Creating and distributing a social plan with meaning, one that is thought out, and helps give you omnipresence, will not only help you get into a better rhythm, but it will bring better results and help your brand and business to grow.
A social media calendar or content calendar is basically an overview of your upcoming social media posts (and you can include other spokes in there too, like emails and blogs).
Basically, it’s all the organic activity you are planning, which will run in parallel with any paid activity you have running in the background (for example Google or Facebook Ad campaigns).
A content calendar doesn’t need to be complicated; it can be as simple or as complex as your business needs it to be.
It can be organized in a simple spreadsheet, Google Calendar, Trello board, or one of the many social media management apps out there you can use. We use SemRush.
Depending on the scope of your organic social media strategy, your social media calendar can include one or many channels.
If you’re only using Facebook right now, that’s fine, your plan can just include Facebook. If you’re using lots of channels as we do at PGPR, then you should include them all in your plan.
Right now, we use Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google My Business (GMB). We’ve recently reactivated our Twitter account (our list of spokes is always growing… we’ve got two more in the pipeline).
Planning sounds like a big job at first, blocking out a couple of hours every week to plot what’s going to be distributed across your social media, but once you’re in the rhythm, it’s a great structure to follow.
It’s saving us time and getting us better results right now at PGPR.
What should be included in your social content calendar?…
We started with a simple spreadsheet, but now we’ve moved to a free and easy-to-use piece of planning software called Trello.
In the plan, we include elements like:
- The date (and even the time) the post is going live
- The social channel where the post will be published and any additional relevant information (eg. is it an Instagram feed post, an Instagram Story, or an Instagram Guide)
- The post’s copy and what creative assets are required (eg. photos, videos, or branded graphics)
- The call to action, and any links or tags to be included in the post
- Details about any support we’ll need from other members of the PGPR team (such as expert advice, video content, etc.)
Why should you create a social content calendar?…
1. Saves you time by being organized
Maintaining a social media calendar lets you plan ahead, batch your work, avoid multitasking, and note down all your creative brainwaves for later.
Basically, it’s the best way to make sure you’ll never find yourself desperately scrolling through inspirational quotes hoping to find something to post ever again….
we’ve all been there in the past, where you’ve got 30 minutes left before the end of your busy working day, and you remember that you haven’t made a social post that day yet, so you rush to think of something when you’re not feeling your most creative.
Our process… my marketing assistant spends 1-2 hours on a Tuesday morning mapping out our content calendar – she includes who we need internal support from and she also briefs them ahead of our Wednesday CPD meeting (see screenshot example of how she communicates with the PGPR team in our private Facebook page).
On a Wednesday, she has the opportunity to get any content she needs from the physio and front desk team (images, videos, expert advice or tips, and any additional content required for the weekly newsletter).
Then, on a Thursday she spends an additional 1-2 hours expanding on the work she started on Tuesday – writing / improving the content and creating any graphics for the posts.
She and I then spend time together on a Thursday afternoon going over the plan and I can offer any direction.
Once our content is planned, all she has to do on the day is copy and paste and press upload (She has recurring alerts in her calendar to remind her to do this).
*The times mentioned here do not include the time it takes to write the weekly blog post or create the weekly emails.
2. Post consistently
Why? Consistently showing up in your audience’s feed is the key to engaging them on social. Engagement increases your organic reach via the platform’s algorithm, so your posts get shown to new eyes, and new people start following your brand.
Populating your social media/ editorial calendar with posts ahead of time allows you to post consistently, whether it’s a slow content week, or you have an exciting clinic offer to promote.
We post on most of our social channels every day, or once/ twice a week on YouTube and Google My Business.
When distributing content, don’t be afraid to repurpose content and schedule it across different social media platforms to get the most out of it.
3. Reduce the risk of mistakes
Planning your posts ahead of time means you have time to proofread, fact-check information, or even check the content with other team members (eg. the marketing manager, business owner, physio team, or clinic manager).
A marketing assistant can invite their team of colleagues to review their plan and use their feedback to improve their work.
I spend around 30 minutes sitting down with our MA (Marketing Assistant) every week to go over her plans for the week ahead.
4. Collaboration to make higher-quality content.
Behind one single post, you might need support/knowledge from multiple people.
If your social content involves images and videos from your physio and front desk team (which it should), then the most productive way to get this content from the team is to ask for it in advance.
Asking one of your physios in between appointments to quickly stop what they are doing for a last-minute video that you want to post on Facebook is not the best use of everyone’s time.
A social media calendar helps you allocate your assets effectively so that the full team has the breathing room to do their best work.
During our PGPR weekly CPD meeting on a Wednesday, the physio and front desk team spend around 30 minutes creating all the photo and video content required for the following week.
Our MA briefs everyone on the topic (pillar content) and what’s needed from everyone ahead of this meeting to create some of the micro-content. This helps us to create a well-rounded plan.
Social Media Marketing Tip: Platforms make more money the longer people stay on the platform because they have more opportunities to show ads. Keep people engaged on your platforms with videos, a collection of photographs, long-form posts, etc.
And you can increase your engagement by starting conversations with your followers – ask questions and encourage them to respond in the comments.
5. Don’t miss out on relevant moments
You can link this plan together with your yearly calendar to make sure you remember big national/global events. (eg. Thanksgiving, Halloween, Independence Day, or even the likes of Star Wars Day, etc.)
Also, make sure your plan is synced with any of your campaign of the month “slot machine” topics that you have planned ahead.
6. Track what works, and improve it
What gets scheduled gets done, and what gets measured gets improved.
A social media content calendar allows you to look at what you’ve been posting and spend time thinking about how you can improve to get better engagement and interaction, etc.
Your social media analytics has a lot of insights for you, including the best time of day to post for each social platform (this will be different for everyone’s Perfect Patient and for different locations across the world). It will give you invaluable insights to your content strategy.
Recognizing when your audience is active and sharing posts at the right time will help you reach more people.
If you’re only posting on social media the minute content goes live, or you’re not repurposing your content fully, you’re missing out on a massive opportunity to optimize your reach and get more eyeballs on your work.
Also, remember that different types of content perform better on different platforms, and different calls to action are more effective than others.
Every week, when our MA is creating the plan, she looks at our social analytics, looks at which posts performed best, and which email headlines performed best too.
She also has around 15 minutes a day blocked out in her calendar to look at “clickbait” headlines in the local and national press – we then use this research as inspiration for our own headlines and copy.
At PGPR, we’re currently working on (with our graphic designer, Lewis) some new branded elements / graphic templates that we can use across our social media channels, to make our posts look and perform even better!
We’ll share them with everyone as soon as they’re ready.
7. Start publishing (or scheduling)
I would always recommend that you post in real-time when you can… we find we get better engagement and results in that way, so that’s what we do at PGPR (unless we’re scheduling ahead of time due to being out of the office or in a busy period).
However, I get lots of questions from people in the Planet Paul community about scheduling platforms and content creation.
I appreciate that if you don’t have a marketing team, and as you start distributing content consistently, you may think that it’s taking too much time to sit down and manually publish your posts every day (especially if you’re posting consistently on lots of channels).
If you relate to this, there are lots of systems you can use to schedule your content – people use Hootsuite and Facebook/Instagram also has its own scheduling platform called Creator Studio.
Social Media Marketing Tip: Aside from posting good content that your audience wants and is actively engaging with, the next biggest thing you can do is take into consideration what the platform wants you to do as a creator. Play the platform’s games to win, so if you want to schedule your posts, try using Creator Studio first.
Swipe and Deploy
Create a plan to suit your clinic, using all the tips I’ve included in this report (think about how often you want to post on each channel, the best time to post, and who you will need help from).
- Schedule a regular meeting with anyone that can help you create content (eg. your physio and front desk team)
- Brainstorm and prepare your content – remember to read Planet Paul Special Report #10 which is all about how to make the most out of your content… by repurposing it!
- If you’re a marketing assistant, schedule a recurring meeting to review your plan with your manager.
- Schedule a short amount of time every day to post your content (if you haven’t already scheduled it)
- Remember to track what is working and look at your social analytics.