A few years ago I created a tool for my own use that I’d like to share with you. I found that when I sat down to write content for my various social media channels that I’d forget to talk about certain topics. I gravitated towards the obvious, the easy, and rarely addressed some important issues that simply weren’t my favorite. I needed a way to make sure that I covered all of my content, but how? I created a Social Media Theme Schedule and it solved a lot of problems. (I’ve included a download at the end of the blog for your use.)
I love spreadsheets! They are an amazing way to track lots of information so I opened a blank sheet and asked myself the questions below. Don’t get hung up on formatting, just brainstorm and record your ideas. Answer:
- What do my clients need (and want) to hear from me?
- What other subjects do I need to cover?
- What are my profit centers (ways I make money)?
I entered the answers in a column that I named Content. My clients regularly ask about my classes, tools I recommend, and online safety. I also included topics I knew my audience would care about such as strategy and education via blogs (mine or from other sources), history of technology and social media, and great examples of social media use. I italicized the content that affects my bottom line or drives traffic to my website to remind me of it’s importance$$$.
Next I added days Monday through Sunday in the left most column. Then I matched the content to the days. I started with the most popular – Throwback Thursday – then I went on to match the rest of the days with content that I thought fit. Under Theme, I gave the days cute names to help me remember which I can now sing like a song. (I love alliteration, or words that start with the same letter/sound. Throwback Thursday, Fan Friday, Silly Saturday are just some examples. This is a literary device I regularly use to help me remember information.)
The benefit of using theme names helps when I’m out in the world living life. Everywhere you look there is something that may apply to your talking points. I will spot something and say, “That’s Back to School Monday!” or “This is a great safety tip for Safety Sunday!” I’ll take a photo or save the link for later. I use my photo album as a reminder and collection depot. I might send links to myself via email or use the Save function on Facebook. When I’m in need of content, I go back to my wells and look for what will serve my current purpose.
Don’t Forget Observation!
The last column, Channel Focus, serves an entirely different purpose. The platforms and tools change so regularly, this is my way of making sure that I spend time on the channels I don’t love as much, that I spread my attention around. My goal is to spend 20-30 minutes per day on the channel in the focus column to interact with followers, acclimate to any design changes, check out my competition, try a new feature, get answers to questions regarding its functions, and do research on topics or hashtags. By dedicating this small amount of time daily, I’m “touching” the channel regularly, making sure there are no glaring design problems, and I stay comfortable with the tool(s).
I keep this theme list taped above my desk
I started sharing this schedule after I found it worked well for me which I use just for Facebook. You can use it for whatever suits your needs. My clients and students love it so I thought you would like it too. I’ve included the Social Media Theme Schedule that I use and a blank social media schedule spreadsheet for your use. (Follow the instructions on the page so you can make your own copy.)