The media realise that the need for news is insatiable – you need new ‘news’ 24/7 on TV, radio and in print. This is what people in media refer to as ‘feeding the hungry beast’ (hence the name of the TV show).

This now applies to businesses on social media, who also need to be constantly communicating (although not necessarily 24/7 – certainly regularly!). The best approach we suggest is to work out who you want to talk to, what you want to say to them and then write your messages. Next you put a schedule together.

A typical schedule might be…

  • one article/blog post per month
  • one email update per month
  • 4-7 Facebook posts per week
  • 4-7 Instagram posts per week

All of this is much easier if you plan it in advance. Firstly decide what the broad ‘types’ of messages should be. You might create a number of message types, for example…

  • Product mentions (sales messages are fine, as long as that’s not all you’re sharing)
  • Media mentions of your organisation (positive ones!)
  • Client (or other allied organisation) mentions
  • Team member intros
  • References to your blog posts/articles (current and previous)
  • Events (past and future)
  • ‘Quirky facts’ about your field of specialisation
  • Advice
  • Opinion

Once you’ve worked out what these message types are, you can then set about creating these messages, to cover a set period, for example a month. By and large the same message can be shared across two or more platforms, although the actual message itself may need to be slightly varied to suit each one.

The next stage is finding images (or short videos) to go with each social media post (this applies to blog posts/articles as well). This is where having your own bank of images is very useful, and if you don’t have one, it’s a good idea to start building one!

It’s also OK to use ‘stock’ type images, although use of these should be sparing and of course you must check that you can actually use any images you find – you cannot just use any images that pop up online – a good source for royalty free images (that you can use without payment or attribution) is Pexels. You can also use online tools like Canva to create your own graphics quickly and easily. Also be aware that if you come across a great stock image, you may well not be the first person to find it and you might see that image in many other places – not a great look, especially if it’s an image of a person. Sometimes it’s better to pick an image further down the page or check usage stats if these are given before deciding which image to use.

Once you have created the messages and found the best images to go with them, an online scheduling tool, like Buffer, Hootsuite or Later (more Instagram focused) will let you program these messages in weeks, or months in advance.

Once you have your publishing schedule sorted out, you can always add in new posts on the fly if something crops up , but at least you know you have a steady stream of information scheduled in advance.

All of this of course is only half the battle, the other is engaging with people on your social media channels… let’s talk about that another time!

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