Organic Social Content Planning for Beginners

We get it, you wear a lot of hats and are doing it all. You know your company needs to be on social media, but your boss doesn’t see the value and you just don’t have the time. Posting to social media regularly doesn’t have to be a big part of your job. If done correctly, you can spend only a couple hours per month populating content to start building a presence. The following guide will help you help navigate through social content planning and give you a couple quick ways to push out valuable content.

Step 1: Define Your “Audience Buckets”

Every business sells to someone – an ideal customer. Group those customers into buckets of like audiences. For example, if you are selling a food product online, your audience “buckets” could be:
– Health and fitness: Those that buy your food as part of their diet/meal plan and are very active
– Chefs: Those that like to make elaborate and tasty dishes using your products
– Moms: Those that do the shopping and like the convenience of browsing online

Each audience will have different types of messaging that they will relate to, but it’s important to be broad enough to capture a large group. Once you’ve identified who’s in each bucket, the next step is to describe these customer types.

This would be things like:
– What motivates them to buy a product like yours (or work with you)?
– What do they all have in common? (age/race/gender)
– What challenges do they face in buying your type of product/service?
– Who are there referral sources – where do they get input from?
– What media sources/social channels do they commonly use?
– What messages should they hear about your product (based on the above)?
You should define this once a year, so take time to do it right. Then, review annually to see if anything has changed or new buckets have been created.

Step 2: Define Your “Content Buckets”

Once you have your audience clearly defined, you will know what kind of content to build. Let’s use the example from above for creating our content buckets. In analyzing the audiences of this food company, we know that fitness/healthy living, cooking enthusiasts, and families are all key things we should have the content built around. Example content buckets could include:
– Recipes: A mix of healthy, impressive looking and family friendly recipes. These should “live” on the website but if not find trusted sources to use and direct people. This could include written recipes, photos, tutorial videos, and more.
– Healthy lifestyle: This will be content built around exercise, fitness, mental wellness, and other articles that help contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
– Life hacks: Whether you are at the gym, picking the kids up, or prepping a big meal, time is always of the essence. Find links and sources for life hacks to save time in your daily life.
– Product features/Company news: Feature new products, explain in detail an existing product, or other company news of note (includes events, hiring and recognition)
Define your types of content, making them broad enough to fit multiple within each option. It also helps to place a value on each bucket, so you know how to break out the content each month.

Step 3: Find Content

In a perfect world, you would have a site that hosts all the content you need… and it would be already written for you! In the real world, we know that content doesn’t grow on trees – but it does grow on the internet. When starting out, you can source a majority of your content from other trusted sources. By directing people to good content that matters to them, you are seen as a valuable resource. Just be sure to properly credit authors and creators in the process.
Once you have found the content, start organizing it into spreadsheets, using tabs or sections for each “content bucket,” and labeling columns to organize data. Here’s an example:
– Column A = “content bucket”
– Column B = Social media channel (You may use different copy for different channels)
– Column C = Post text (this is what you will type in the post area)
– Column D = Link to article (internal or external)
– Column E = Link/Location of images/video used for post)
– Column F = Date posted

The key to making this functional is to find 15-20 articles/links/content pieces for each bucket. Spend a couple hours with this effort in mind. Create a list of content that may need to be developed in house, but find as many external sources as possible to start, and decide from there what each bucket is lacking.

Step 4: Find a Scheduling Tool

There are a ton of tools out there that make social media posting/scheduling/monitoring a breeze. From one dashboard, you can post to a number of your channels, respond to comments, and learn what people are saying about your brand. Most have a free option that works well for small business. Here is a list of tools we like the best:

Step 5: Post!

With your content spreadsheet full of glorious articles and internal content, you can now easily copy and paste them into your scheduling tool. We recommend about 2 posts per week to start. Remember to update your spreadsheet as content goes up so you don’t create duplicates. Place content as far ahead as the software you chose will allow you to. Then repeat the content gathering process once a quarter to always be ahead of the game.
As you develop a rhythm and start getting buy-in from stakeholders, start figuring out what content you can build in house and if you have the right platform to do so. A simple blog functionality on your site can be a great start to publishing your content or can act as a bridge to outside content.

*Disclaimer: Facebook is continuously updating their algorithm to put the best possible content in front of its users. “Best content” is typically content that people are reacting to and engaging with. Most businesses that post organically only have about 3% of their audience see it. To increase that number it is important to put out content that can be engaging and create an action. The other option for businesses is to incorporate a paid content strategy. Looking for help on that? Give us a shout!