So you’re new to scheduling social media posts or maybe you’ve been posting one day at a time and are in need of some scheduling help. We’ve all been there and that’s why today I am sharing with you not only how I schedule content but tips and tricks to make your scheduling dreams come true.

So how do I do it? I follow three key steps:

  1. Generating Ideas
  2. Planning
  3. Scheduling

Generating Ideas

It should go without saying that without ideas on what you are going to post, you’ll find scheduling hard. So your first step whenever you are preparing your scheduling plan should be to generate ideas. How you do so is up to you.

For me, I’ve recently discovered the power of having all my ideas on a document. I am going to be honest with you, I too found myself posting content without a real plan, I had rough ideas in my head but I never really wrote them down or really thought about what to post.

The trick here is just to write down any and all ideas that come to you. Then ask someone you trust, a potenital customer or a current one one question: What do they want/like to see? By asking this question you are ensuring that you are understanding what your audience needs, this is also helpful if you are having content block. This is something I did for the first time a few months ago and from that discussion this post was born.

My Ideas Document

Another tip is to think about ways you can reuse content you already have. Do you have a blog post you can take content from, is there a subject you can talk about further, can you simply update an older post?

Once you’ve got all these ideas down, sort them into some kind of order be it by theme, product, content type, audience type. I personally as you can see sort by theme. This will help you filter the good ideas from the bad one and start thinking of content types you can use. I know this may seem like a lot of work but trust me it will help you as you move onto step 2: Planning

Planning

Planning is arguably my favourite part of the process as its where you start to visualise how your ideas will transform into content. It’s also a great time stealer if you need one. I personally find it alot of fun. So how do you plan?

Simple all you need is a calendar.

Any calendar will do. It can even be just a simple spreadsheet formatted to resemble a calendar. In the past I have used my internal calander, Google Calendar and Excel but after some trial and error I discovered my perfect calender. Trello.

For those who haven’t heard of Trello, it is commonly used for task/project management but a little secret is that it can also be used for scheduling content.

Once you have your calender, start looking at all your ideas. What format suits each of them, what do you need to implement them, what channel do you think works best for each? Be sure to also take note of any awareness days, national days or trending topics that you can tap into. Once you have a rough idea, start populating your calendar. This is also where you can decide how often you will post. A task in which I found Trello to be super helpful.

Using Trello, I simply take one of my ideas and add it as a new ‘card’ with a date and labels, dictating which channel(s) it is to go on, then watch as Trello automatically populates a calendar for me. (Note: You have to have the Calendar PowerUp on) Then I switch to the calender view and if needed move things around until I have something I am happy with, this is also where I duplicate any ‘cards’ that relate to weekly content by copying and dragging them into their chosen dates. Simple.

My Trello board and calendar for November

Once you’ve populated your calendar, do what I do and play around with it until you have something that you can a. accomplish and b. feels right for you. If something doesn’t feel or look right change it or, if needed, delete it and try a new idea. You can then repeat this process until you have at least a months worth of content planned. Just be sure to stay open to the idea of adapting the plan if you need to, so if one week you get some news that you didn’t plan on but think your audience wants to hear, change the schedule or add it in as bonus content.

Then as if by magic you are ready for the final step.

Scheduling

Believe it or not but this is the easiest stage. Afterall, you have your ideas, you know what you are going to post and when so all thats left is finishing the puzzle.

Now there are three ways you can go about scheduling your content. Natively (posting directly on the chosen channel), by using a social media scheduling service or a mix of both. My advice is to aim for using a social media scheduling service and only post natively when the need calls. This is due to one key aspect, Time saving, as most providers allow you to share the same post across all connected social media accounts at the same time. You can also schedule a full months worth of content at the in one sitting and without the complicated process of logging in, writing the post, uploading the visual and crossing your fingers that you didn’t hit post now for each channel. Plus not all channels allow you to schedule content and there is nothing worse than making sure you are free at the set time to post your content.

When it comes to finding the right scheduling service you should think about the following, what channels you are posting to and what extras you want from the provider after that it is personal preference. If you follow me on my social channels you know I use Later and my choice to do so was down to how it looked. You can read more Later here.

My Schedule on Later

Once you’ve chosen how you will post all thats left to do is write copy, create/find matching visuals, pop it into the scheduler, check your time and date and repeat for all the posts confirmed in your planning calendar. You can do this all at once, once a week or at a frequency that suits you. After that you can sit back, have a cuppa and celebrate your scheduling success.

There you have it. My three steps on how to schedule content. With these three steps in your toolkit you’ll always be ready to adapt your scheduling plans and more importantly market your business.

For more tips and tricks be sure to check out the related posts below or get in touch.

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