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  • Mike Scott

Social Media Planning: Guide to Success

We are often asked "what is the best way to keep on top of your social media presences?"

"Quite simply it comes down to good planning."

In the social space there is a benefit to operating in real-time, you can be reactive to the real world, converse directly with your audience and get the sort of traction that only a 'breaking news' story can. The issue with this though, is that it is massively time-consuming and ultimately set to fail.

We tend to advise our clients to operate an "80/20 rule" when it comes to their social media content. This approach will allow you to create the perfect mix of pre-planned, pre-scheduled content and real-time interaction, which is required to really boost your social presence.

The 80%

We call this 'base coverage'. This is the content that lays the foundations for your business presence and provides anyone looking at your brand page an idea of the market that you operate in, your offering and they types of promos/advice/conversation that they can expect from the brand and often includes curated news, brand posts, business updates and promotions. This is the sort of content that you can collate and schedule a week or two in advance, saving you the daily task of getting content together and posting it that day.

The 20%

This forms the real-time, reactive, conversational element of your content. Because things change in your marketplace, news stories break, customers ask questions and things that you 'really must do' pop into your head, we advocate that you keep 20% of your content slots as placeholders. This allows you to provide the feeling that your page is fresh and your coompany is keeping up-to-date with the market. It is this 20% that can really bring a page to life and transform it from a brand broadcast station to a living community.

The split doesn't have to be precise - 70/30 or 90/10 might be more suitable too, but you get the idea.

In addition to the above, it's also worth noting that you can 'fake' real-time. There will always be some dates that are fixed in the calendar, whether it's Christmas and New Year or an event that you are attending. You know when they are, so you can schedule in content that appears to be real-time for that date and let it take care of itself.

To conclude

Managing your social media accounts can be a hugely time-consuming exercise. If you have the time to do it all 'on the day, every day' or you have a person in your organisation who has this as their primary function, that's great. For most though, the need to plan and schedule is the only way forward. If you take some time out each week to get all of the content together for the weeks ahead, you have a system of collating content that you might use, and you have a calender that lays it all out for you, then you are likely to succeed.

Who are we?

We are Hydrogen, a Glasgow-based social media agency. We provide a range of social media management services to our clients that fit in with their individual requirements. Our clients range from FTSE100 organisations, for whom we provide consultancy and creative campaigns, to global magazine publisher that we provide a full community management service for, managing 11 Facebook communities in total.

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