How to Create an Effective Social Media Schedule - Free Template!
So, you are taking the big leap into social media. Your business or blog has started and you want to make sure you have a terrific social media presence. You might also be realizing you need something – anything – to help you keep all those ducks in a row when posting amazing content onto many different platforms.
With so much content, so many new ideas, and a need to stay relevant, building a strategic social media schedule is key. It will keep you organized, save you time, and maintain your strategy in the most effective way possible.
We’ve simplified things so you can quickly get organized and start posting your content. Here are the basic tools, tips, and tricks that we have used for our clients and seen incredible success with. We’ve made it as simple as 1, 2, 3!
Make sure to hang on till the end for our free template. You can customize it and start scheduling today!
1. When To Post
Deciding what days and times to post is the best place to start. You want to pick times when your audience is most active. Here’s a pretty chart to help you out:
Pro Tip: On your Facebook Business Manager Insights page, you will find a chart that looks like this, but contains data from your audience. Be sure to take advantage of this free tool and optimize your posts for your specific audience.
It’s completely up to you how aggressive you want to be with your social media presence. You can post as much as you wish without getting burnout. The more the merrier, as long as the content is valuable and you’re not spamming your audience.
For our social media clients, we post anywhere from once to three times a day. We have seen this strategy work wonders. It can feel overwhelming to have to create content and schedule posts for every day of the month, but, once you get the hang of scheduling two weeks in advance (gradually growing to a month in advance), it will seem incredibly easy.
For our social media clients, we post anywhere from once to three times a day. We have seen this strategy work wonders.
If you want to go for an aggressive posting strategy, here are the numbers of posts we suggest for each platform:
- Facebook pages: 1–2 per day
- Twitter: 3–10 per day
- Instagram: 1–3 per day
- Instagram Stories: 2–5 per day
- Pinterest: 3–20 per day
- LinkedIn: 1–2 per week
Wondering why it’s necessary to post so much? It’s all about presence. You want to engage your audience and be a consistent, inspiring and safe place for them. Also, out of sight, out of mind! You want to make sure to tap into your audience’s lives at least once a day to keep them engaged and thinking about you and the value you add to their lives.
You want to engage your audience and be a consistent, inspiring and safe place for them.
2. What To Post
Deciding what types of posts to add to your schedule is the second step. This can get wildly out of control if you are creative, with lots of ideas. That’s why we suggest focussing those amazing ideas into three main types of posts: informational, inspirational, and conversational. Even if you simply repeat these different types every three days (in different ways, of course), you will keep your audience active and engaged with you and your content.
We suggest focussing those amazing ideas into three main types of posts: informative, inspirational, and conversational.
Informational posts are a must, as they increase engagement with your audience members and keep them coming back to gain information and insight. The fact is, your audience is coming to you for a reason, so share the wealth – find out what they need, and give it to them. Here are some easy ideas for informative posts:
- Create an eye-catching photo with information in the description or infographic.
- Video clips are always handy for sharing information in a quick and concise way that captures your audience’s attention. Make sure to add those into the rotation.
- Carousels are crazily successful on Instagram right now, so make sure to utilize this great strategy to share your insight. Check out how to make a carousel here!
Grow your audience into a community by incorporating conversational posts. These encourage people to be part of a discussion by commenting with an emoji, answering a question, or giving you feedback. This benefits you, as it will up your engagement, and it will add value to your audience members as they begin to feel part of your community.
Grow your audience into a community by incorporating conversational posts.
Who doesn’t love to be inspired and encouraged? We all can use a pick-me-up from time to time, and inspirational posts help create bonds between you and your audience. They’re a great way to give back to your audience, but also to reinforce your brand identity and values.
Want more details on these three different types of posts? We’ve got you covered! Check out our article here.
3. Hashtag Research
Hashtags. Previously known as the pound sign. You either love them or you are still trying to figure them out. But go ahead and trust us: they can be your best friend and do the footwork of getting your content in front of people’s eyes for you. Who doesn’t love some free labor?
The most important thing to do with hashtags is a little bit of research beforehand. You don’t just want to pick random words to hashtag or use the same hashtags for every post.
Instagram’s algorithm will realize if you are using the same hashtags over and over, flag you as a possible robot creating spam, and throttle your content so that fewer people see it. So do the research, make lists of hashtags, and then add them into the schedule, so you can simply copy and paste them over.
Pro Tip: Do the research, make lists of hashtags, and then add them into the schedule, so you can simply copy and paste them over.
Some Hashtags Dos and Don’ts
1. DO - Use hashtags that are relevant to your post. Are you posting about a product or service? Be sure to hashtags things like #shoplocal #shoponline #shoppingonline #shopaholic.
2. DON'T - Avoid using hashtags that have millions of followers. We know that sounds backward, but if you do, your post will get buried under all the other posts with the same hashtag. Try finding hashtags that have 300k and fewer followers. And, yes, be optimistic and throw in a couple of hashtags that have millions of followers.
3. DO - Use the maximum number of hashtags allowed. Remember, these are basically free workers that put your content in front of people who are already interested in something similar, so why not use all the hashtags possible? On Instagram, the magic number is 30. Be sure to use all of them!
Pro Tip: Use the maximum number of hashtags allowed.
Now that you have your timing and types of content and have done your hashtag research, it’s time to start adding it all into the schedule. We’ve gone ahead and created a basic, customizable template for you. Try it out and let us know how it works for you!
Do you need help creating a social media strategy? That’s where we come in. Our professional experts will help you launch your social media accounts, create an effective strategy, and teach you how to maintain it.
Please, don’t hesitate to contact us.