In May we released a brand new Calendar feature to help users be more effective when planning, scheduling and collaborating on their social media content and posts. The Calendar replaced the previous Scheduled Posts feature supporting the way modern social media marketing and comms teams want to work today.
If you're interested, you can read more about the new Calendar here.
On the blog we regularly share insights, advice and best-practices, but today I wanted to share a bit into how the CrowdControlHQ team are using the new Calendar to help plan and generate our own social content.
So if you're involved in generating or planning social media content for your team, or just curious to learn a little bit more, read on!
Identifying social media content requirements
When it comes to identifying and planning upcoming content requirements and opportunities at a tactical level, we typically start with:
- Upcoming marketing campaigns and events
- Upcoming product feature releases
- Weekly / monthly content themes
- Upcoming national days or events
The content associated with each of these streams can often have different goals such as brand awareness or lead generation.
Marketing campaigns and events
Naturally, social media plays a key part in our own marketing and communications efforts, and so reviewing what campaigns or events are coming up feeds directly into the content we create.
For example, we run webinars regularly on various social media related topics. These webinars are designed to help educate our users but also raise brand awareness and engage prospective customers. We promote each webinar organically across our own Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, posting once to Facebook and LinkedIn, and typically posting 4 or 5 times on Twitter over a 2 week period as we build up to the webinar.
Depending on the topic and goal of the webinar we will also use paid promotion to help reach a broader audience.
Weekly content themes
We have themes running for specific weeks, where we will post more content related to a specific area of social media management which of course feeds directly into our content requirements. For example, social customer service is a fascinating topic, and we will create and curate content and resources, mostly for Twitter, surrounding the topic.
In these cases we produce new blog posts to support weekly themes, and also use existing posts and downloadable resources such as our social customer service guides, or even webinar recordings.
I mentioned that we often curate content too. Sharing quality content from relevant third party sources can help increase reach. By mentioning the original content owner in a post, they will often like, comment, retweet or share our post helping to increase the organic reach.
Product feature releases or updates
The CrowdControlHQ software development team are always hard at work to release new software features and updates. We sometimes produce blog posts or other content that is related to the latest software feature, and so of course this is reflected in our social media schedule.
For example, you'll have likely realised already that this blog post linked to the new Calendar feature!
National dates and events on social media
There's currently a huge amount of content around #WorldCup - read our blog for about that here. But there are many cultural and sporting events taking place most months, plus the weird and wonderful national days like #WorldChocolateDay 🍫.
To see what days are coming up this month, you can download a copy of our latest Social Media Content & Hashtag Ideas Calendar.
Of course, not all national days and events are relevant to us, but we try to get involved in those that are relevant and provide an opportunity to show our personality and engage our audience.
I wouldn't advise any brand or business to jump on a popular or trending hashtag just to get exposure. If the topic is not relevant to your audience or your team, its best to stay away.
For example, 14th June 2018 was World Blood Donor Day (as well as being the first day of the #WorldCup), which fit with our company culture as something we could get involved in. And from a social media content perspective, would allow us to show a little personality of our brand and the people and perhaps generate a little engagement from our audience.
Getting colleagues or stakeholders engaged in social content
Having this in the Calendar view, I can then use our internal chat tool, Slack, to reach colleagues and capture responses all in one place that might otherwise be complex or time consuming via other channels like email. This is one way to get colleagues engaged in social content.
Company intranets or even WhatsApp groups could be used in a similar way to capture feedback from the wider team.
I also make the most of our communal spaces where possible. Our office kitchen has a feature wall with a large blackboard where members of the team can write jokes (sometimes funny, sometimes not so much), draw doodles, and provide updates on upcoming company social events.
By sharing the upcoming dates and social media hashtags on the board, it acts as a visual reminder to the rest of the team what is coming up and anything they are required to provide input to. It might seem a little bit old-school but it genuinely works!
And of course, the CrowdControlHQ software itself makes life easier when it comes to collaborating on social content planning and scheduling. It's really easy to plan and make changes as and when required, and give visibility to everyone involved.
In the case of the World Blood Donor Day, having good visibility of the plan in a single place, engaging colleagues to support the content, and using the software to collaborate and schedule the actual post.
The result was a very genuine piece of social content that supports our goal of showing the people-side of the business and the brand, whereas other posts are intended to drive website traffic or generate new webinar registrations.
With different requirements and goals for social content, the CrowdControlHQ Calendar helps make light work of planning and scheduling. Managing multiple content streams can become complex very quickly if relying on simple scheduling tools or spreadsheet solutions.
Thanks for reading! And while I have you, I’m curious to hear your thoughts! Did you enjoy this post, pick up some ideas, or have a question or suggestion? As always, we would love to hear your thoughts, Tweet us @CrowdControlHQ or find us on Facebook.
If you want to chat more you can reach me @DanAston 😊