Whether you’re a small business owner or an individual who wants to jump into the social media fray but are worried you simply won’t know what to write about, — long term – use an editorial calendar as your guide. The implementation of an editorial calendar helps keep track of social media status updates, article marketing efforts and blogging. Consider your editorial calendar much the same as the kind newspaper and magazine editors use.
Knowing who your target audience is will be the first step in planning your editorial calendar. If you don’t know who you want to reach, you won’t be able to effectively put an editorial calendar in place or target your marketing efforts. Spend time determining who your ideal client/reader is then work on your calendar.
Here are steps to jump start your editorial calendar planning efforts:
- Is your business or hobby seasonal? Are you writing about topics that have seasonal slants for your readers? Will you be looking to offer information that correlates to the season for your potential clients?
- Plan your editorial calendar for a 12 month period – getting it all down on paper for a year will make the planning smoother and will help you from repeating information and will also keep your readers interested throughout the year with fresh content.
- Readers love information on holidays and special events – even obscure ones – so plan for them in your editorial calendar. Will you market to traditional holidays? Here’s a source for national and obscure events. Choose one per month as a way to set yourself apart.
- How about promotions and giveaways? Will you have these? If so, plan them through out the year to keep the readers interested and so you aren’t lumping all of your promotions in one area of the year and leaving the rest without any giveaways. Prepare for your promotions and giveaways and have your promotions and blog posts mirror those promos.
- Set up content categories for your website and blog platform – keep it to ten or fewer. Choose topics you’ll want to cover and write your content and build your editorial calendar toward those categories.
- Choose keywords that are relevant to your area of expertise. What are your business objectives or your areas of expertise for your social media platforms? Your efforts need to enhance your business objectives. Your social media efforts should enhance your overall business plan. Keywords help you to get found on Google searches.
- Establish “evergreen” topics in your editorial calendar. Evergreen topics are those that are viable and recur on an annual (sometimes more) basis. Consider the glut of magazines that crowd the shelves at certain times of the year: “Top 10 weight loss tips,” or “Top Ten back to school ideas,” or “Top Ten ways to get published,” etc. These topics are pulled out annually because readers love to see them and magazine editors know that.
Social media is a great low-cost, sometimes no cost, way to find readers and followers and grow your business. A well thought out editorial calendar for your social media efforts will set you apart from the competition.