“Content is King” – Bill Gates published an essay about the importance of online marketing with this title in 1996, and the phrase soon became a famous tagline. Today, I would propose a slight revision to this received wisdom: “social media content is king.”
Effective social media content is critical for customer engagement and business growth. Failing to create a strong schedule for releasing this content can cost businesses thousands. Below, I share the best practices I’ve learned throughout my career.
Why Content Schedules are Mandatory
Having a content plan and schedule is the heart of a business’s entire social media strategy. While most business leaders understand the need to develop content, some don’t understand why it’s necessary to develop a content schedule.
Creating and adhering to a strong content schedule will set your business on the right path to achieving your goals. Neglecting to do so can cost you a lot of time and effort. If you don’t know when the right days of the week and times are for releasing content, then it doesn’t matter how brilliant or funny your posts may be. They risk going out when the platform’s users are lower, and fewer eyeballs translate directly into fewer views.
At the end of the day, marketers want views because we want sales, and poor planning can also lead to wasted opportunities from this angle. Failing to engage potential customers through social media at the right times means losing them and their orders.
Timing Is Everything
Understanding the best times to release content is necessary before creating a content schedule. When first starting any social media account, conduct a study to see which time windows will work best. To do this, track your engagement during different time slots and days of the week for at least the first three months. Afterwards, conduct an extensive analysis of the results and generate insights.
As a result of following this process, our social media team came to the conclusion that our most effective content schedule for TikTok is every Thursday and weekends, 7 PM and up Philippine time. Once we knew when to deploy our content, it became easy to set up a schedule to grow our presence organically.
In my experience, it’s best to plan and decide what content to release each day of a given quarter during the previous quarter. For instance, my team determined what content will go out in January 2023 starting in October 2022, when we brainstormed ideas, picked topics, and set Q1’s social-media calendar. We finalized our scripts and mockups for the content in November and produced the actual posts and videos in December.
Doing this ensures ample time to produce all the necessary content to complete your calendar. It also enables your team to focus on other important tasks, such as community management, paid ads execution, and live sessions.
I recommend conducting multiple studies so that you can compare results for different kinds of content. One productive direction is to spend three months tracking the numbers for unpaid, organic campaigns, followed by at least one month paying to boost posts or distribute ads. It’s also productive to set up studies that measure the effectiveness of different topics and styles of posts, or different audiences that were targeted for ads.
Each run will yield different results that can then be applied to the next run. Over time, you will refine your understanding of what works best for your business. Even if you get a good result on your previous campaign, I advise continuing your research efforts because social media constantly evolves. What worked previously may only work sometimes the next time.
Consider generating two different kinds of reports on the results. A seven-day report of the past week will give you fast insights into which content is getting the most traction and has more potential to go viral. Results after 30 days will supply overall insights on which content and schedules performed well over the previous month.
How to Decide What Order to Release Content
Categorizing your content can help you determine the order to release it in.
“Always on” content is content that has proven its effectiveness and will work no matter what day your team releases it. Once published, it’s 100 percent sure to be well received by your audience. I like to release “always on” content in a steady stream to keep our metrics robust, no matter what other experiments we might be doing.
“Filler content” is made up of experimental posts that should only be incorporated periodically into your feed. These are opportunities to try new things. Since their effectiveness is unknown, however, they should be buffered by plenty of dependable content on either side.
“Seasonal content” is mostly about celebrations and holidays. Company anniversaries and meaningful birthdays would also fall into this category. This content must be yoked to specific dates, so when building your calendar, schedule it first. Once that is done, add the other kinds of content around it.
The one type of content that can’t be planned is “Urgent/ASAP.” These posts ride on trending content locally or worldwide. Since they tend to be highly time-sensitive, try to release them as soon as possible — typically within the following 24 hours.
These kinds of posts can also happen when your company hits a significant milestone, but no one thought to prepare content for it. When that happens, prioritize getting the new post out immediately and move the other scheduled content accordingly.
The Smartest Investment
In my experience, many business owners don’t have the time to learn the nitty gritty of creating content schedules and social-media campaigns. The smartest investment they can make for their business is to hire an expert to handle those responsibilities.
Without a doubt, social-media marketing that follows a tried-and-true schedule can help leverage your business.