This article goes out to Oliveyah Salvage – the best personal fitness trainer in Marin County! How could she not be with a cool name like that? Oliveyah and I were chatting it up about how overwhelming it can be to keep up with writing content for websites, blogs, and all the many social media platforms required in order to stay competitive. She knows I do this for a living, and was hoping I could give her some advice.
She really wanted to know what would be the best social media calendar to follow, what the key search terms were for her business, and how to develop a persona for her blog. As each of those topics is an article in itself, I tackle only the first one here – the social media calendar.
Before I jump in with the best case scenario, you may want to sit down and prepare yourself not to freak out as you read the recommendations for small to mid-size businesses. If you want to know what the big guys are doing- the major corporations and big brands- just multiply all the following suggestions and stats by ten! Having warned you, here goes…
Social Media Schedule
It’s recommended to post at least 3 blogs a week, tweet multiple times per day (every couple of hours, but never more than once an hour,) post to Facebook once a day, and interact on LinkedIn at least a few times per week. Whatever applies to Facebook carries over to Google+, which- if you’re interested in SEO- you should be posting to as well. As for content on your website, you should create at least one new page or piece of original, unique content per month and then promote that on all of your social platforms as well as through email, landing pages, call to action (CTA) campaigns, etc.
Let’s break down Twitter & Facebook a little farther:
Tweets (that’s what each post to twitter is called) can be no more than 140 characters, and statistics show that tweets even smaller, between 120-130 characters actually have the highest click through rates. Basically it’s one short sentence, even less if you are linking to someone else or retweetingl Tweeting is the art of conveying something of interest in the least amount of words- this can take some time getting used to.
Retweeting and linking to 3rd party sites is a big part of twitter, as well as engaging with your audience. You must take time not only to tweet, but also to engage with those who respond to your tweets. Note that in responding, you can place the@ symbol before the commenter’s name: @sallyclapper: Thanks for the question. Here’s a link to more info. Insert link. If you use the @(handlename), remember that your response will only be visible to people who follow both you and the person you’re tweeting. Retweets can be to other interesting related blog posts, news, events, product updates, new products, services, and great offers.
Photos and videos are not used as much on Twitter as on Facebook. Make sure those you link to are relevant and of high quality.
Suggested Twitter Timetable:
- Frequently, up to1 per hour – most effective frequency of Tweets, never more than once an hour
- Follow a 10-4-1 rule, which is 10 links to 3rd party sites/retweets, 4 original tweets (link to blog if possible), and 1 tweet that refers readers to your landing page on your website. Respond when people tweet you back!
- Midweek & Weekends – best days to Tweet
- Noon & 6pm – best time to Tweet for increase Click Through Rates (CTR)
- 5pm – best time to Re-tweet
Posts should be fewer than 4-5 lines, short and personal. Like with Twitter, a study by Buddy Media found that posts under 80 characters received almost 30% more engagement. If your content is longer, put in a short blurb and then link to the longer material. Unlike tweets, posts on Facebook (FB) should use complete sentences and not abbreviations. Links, photos, and videos are encouraged and will get more engagement. The cool thing about Facebook is that a little thumbnail (small photo image of what you are linking to) shows up with the post, enticing the reader to click through. Best practice is to write a few of your own words describing what the link, photo or video is and why it might be of interest to your audience. According to HubSpot, a 2011 Facebook study found that links have a 20% higher referral rate when personal commentary is provided. Similarly, links with a corresponding photo received 65% more likes than those without.
Suggested Facebook (Google+) Timetable:
- 3-5 per day, no less than once a day – best sharing frequency
- Saturday- best day to share on Facebook
- Weekdays at noon- most effective time to share on Facebook
General rule whether uploading to your website, blog or social media platform, is to use unique, engaging and aesthetically enticing content.
Keeping up with content and posting needs can be overwhelming as a small business owner. Making a content and social media calendar for your business can help. Start with the ideal schedule, then scale back to what is manageable for you. If you can afford it, consider hiring a content and social media manager so you can delegate the marketing to someone else, freeing up your time to focus on what it is you do best.
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