Best Practices for Creating Social Media Posting Plans

Written by: Adrian Heredia

Social media management can be a daunting endeavor, especially if you are working with a major brand or at an agency that represents many organizations. From data and copy to developing compelling visual assets, the demands on social media managers can become extreme very quickly.

After generating countless posting plans for dozens of clients, I have developed a process that not only takes the lofty demands of clients into account but also factors in important insights from data which is ultimately critical for decision-making.

I like to think about building a posting plan as a series of phases. Follow along as I break down how to create social media posting plans.

Phase 1: Identifying your focus

Step 1: Gather client insights

  • Knowing what your clients want is essential although this might change week to week. Market changes, new developments in technology, unexpected customer insights, etc. all contribute to a dynamic and changing environment. For this reason, it is important to check in regularly with clients to talk through issues and opportunities they are facing. Use these discussions to ask about any pertinent events, company news, employee or customer highlights, etc. These important check-ins allow you to remain in tune with what they are facing day to day.

Step 2: Conduct data analysis

  • Once you have a general idea of what your clients are looking for, the next step is to turn to the data to see what interesting insights you can identify. It is from the data that you get intimate and very telling insights regarding customer behavior and key industry trends that you can use to shift when necessary or continue with a certain message that resonates with your audiences. Data analysis allows marketers to dive deep into their audiences’ lives and make decisions that are informed by them and not their own perceptions!

Step 3: Posting plan audit

  • After speaking with the clients and gathering insights that are informed by data, one last step is to take a look at previous posting plans and see what worked and what did not. Insights during this step come from reviewing the data as well as seeing what people are saying and how they are engaging with your posts. This is a valuable approach as you start thinking about what to do in your next plan.

Phase 2: Structuring Posting Plans

Step 1: Templates, templates, templates!

  • In a perfect world, you will have templates set up that you can copy every time you generate a new posting plan. While I won’t state that my templates are perfect, I have put in the time to generate as many of these as possible and I urge you to do the same. It just saves time in the long run! I prefer to work in a spreadsheet format although I have colleagues that work in google word documents. It’s all a matter of preference.

Step 2: Insert the basics

  • Think through when each post will come out on each social platform. Sometimes all posts come out at the same time on every channel, other times posts are spread out across multiple days on different channels. This all depends on what your client wants and how your audiences prefer to consume your content. Also think about topics for each post, inserting links, including any relevant handles, and sourcing any imagery, graphics, or videos that are readily available. This is all added to the awesome template you have created for yourself!

Step 3: Draft social copy

  • I have always found it most effective to draft good copy by starting with outlining the angle for each post first. This consists of a maximum of two sentences that serve as a marker for what the post is going to be about and includes any important notes to consider for that particular post. Make sure to pay special attention to your CTA’s. Many ignore this and then wonder why no one clicks on their stuff. You have to tell people, clearly, what you want them to do!

Step 4: Generate visual assets

  • At this point, you might already have your visual assets inserted into your posting plan template. If you are missing assets, go ahead and create what you need. If you don’t have a graphic designer on your team Canva is an extremely helpful tool that can do just about everything you need. Remember to go back to the data and audit to help guide what visual assets are the most engaging to your audience.

Phase 3: Proofreading is essential

Step 1: Internal proofreading

  • Whether it’s your supervisor, a team member, or your mom, make sure that someone goes through your entire post with a fine-tooth comb. Do not leave anything to chance. This does not mean you are incapable of producing good work. This is something the best authors in the world do. Have someone give you insights and thoughts on the copy and the visuals.

Step 2: Client proofreading

  • Some clients might not require this, but some might. Let’s assume that your clients will want to review everything before it goes out into the world. Make sure to include this step as part of your process. It can be done in weekly meetings or by simply sending them your plan as a document or a link.

Step 3: Schedule posts

  • Now that everyone from yourself to your team members, your client (and possibly your mom) are happy with the plan, it is finally time to get it scheduled. We like to schedule posts in advance; you might prefer to do this on the day and time that each post is planned. It’s all a matter of preference. Whatever you do, make sure that you are double-checking each post before you confirm it. This includes checking links, making sure that visual assets are a proper fit for each channel, and that handles are included and linking to the proper pages.

Phase 4: Conducting community management

  • Yes, I am going to say it, having a template for this is essential. At Slice, we encourage our account managers to review our community management plans regularly. Having one to begin with will help make sure that you are speaking to your client’s audiences appropriately and dealing with issues effectively.
  • It’s also best practice to view your posts as they come out, or as soon as possible thereafter to make sure that everything is correct. This includes making sure that there are no typos and that all links are functioning properly. It might make sense to look at the performance data of these posts a few days after they go live just to see if there are any early-stage insights that you can generate as you begin to prepare for the next plan.

And that’s it! A four-phase approach to generating a powerful posting plan that factors in a variety of components, client demands, and changing circumstances. While creating posting plans can be a difficult and time-consuming task, with the right structures and processes, they can turn into exciting opportunities to tell compelling and powerful stories that help your clients achieve unprecedented attention and growth.

Need help telling your stories on social media?

Contact our team of experts to see how Slice can help manage your social media channels and create engaging content that supports your business goals.

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