Are you stuck every week wondering what to post on social media for your winery, wine shop or other business? Get to the end of the week and realize you forgot to post at all? Or are you continually missing fun post opportunities because you realized a social media “holiday” or other opportune digital moment has passed and you’re too late to capitalize on it? (leaving all opinions about those made-up “holidays” aside for now…)
You know that consistently showing up on your brand’s feeds is crucial to building a following and an engaged customer base online. Or if you don’t, read why here. The gist? If you post consistently, your followers will engage with your posts (think: like and comment on them) more regularly, and the algorithm will then deem your content “interesting,” thereby showing your posts higher in your followers’ feeds – getting more eyeballs on your posts about your upcoming winery dinner or retail sale.
But you (and I) also know how busy you are, especially if you’re the owner or manager of your business. You may not have a dedicated employee or consultant working on your social media, or marketing at all. Competing business priorities mean that social media is often forgotten – let alone addressed and strategized on a daily basis. (Which is crazy, because when it’s based on analytics, social media can be a real revenue driver for your brand, like it is for my clients!).
Nevertheless, social media neglect happens, and I don’t blame you – but I am here to give you some tips for staying better on top of your social media marketing goals!
Plan Out Your Social Media Posts Ahead of Time Using a Content Calendar
This is where a content calendar comes in. No more scrambling to think of a post at the last minute. Instead, create a social media posting calendar for yourself, where you can plot out important dates, and what you want to post on those dates (or in advance of them!).
Once you organize your key dates, and how often you want to post on social media about them, you can also include draft captions, notes on which images you plan to use, important hashtags or people you want to remember to tag, and what time of day you want to post. And don’t forget to specify which platforms you plan to post on – because if you’re following social media best practices, you’re hopefully tailoring your content to what works best on Instagram, vs. what performs better on Facebook, and so on.
This is a lot of information – so how do you organize it all into a “calendar”?
There are many ways to do so, and every social media manager has their own preferred method. I am a Google Sheets fiend – so I’ve created a spreadsheet for each of my clients organized into tabs for each social platform, then rows by date, then by the focus or priority for each post. From there I fill in each row with caption drafts and links to the photos I plan to use, and then I share the docs with clients for approval. I do this 1-2 weeks in advance for all clients – that way I’m only spending a few days per month on actual content creation, leaving me more time throughout the month to track results, and strategize.
You can also set up all of this information in good old Microsoft Excel, or even create each draft post as an alert in whatever calendar interface you use. The added benefit of using a real calendar is that you can set it to notify you when it’s time to post. Project management tools with calendar functions can also notify you, too: popular platforms include Asana, Monday, and Trello.
(I’m a big fan of Asana, and have used it to plan content in the past – because you can attach images and captions to your projects, which is helpful for drafting social posts – but I now prefer to keep it separate from my client materials and instead use it as a multi-faceted personal to-do list app).
If you’re not using a tool that notifies you when it’s time to post, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of checking your content calendar every day (or however often you’ve decided to post), that way you know what your social media focus for the day will be. While this added step to your morning routine may not sound thrilling, the good news is: you will have already planned out the posts for yourself ahead of time, so all you need to do is copy your caption and paste it into your social media channels!
You may have also heard of social media planning tools that allow you to automatically schedule posts in advance (like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Planoly, etc). My personal preference is to draft all content for clients in Google Sheets first, and then schedule their posts in my scheduling tools once the captions and images receive final approval – but some people do use them as content calendars and for drafting, too. (Stay tuned for a future post on social media scheduling tools and how they work!)
Congrats – you’ve completed my introduction to content calendars! Got further questions about how to create one? Comment below, or get in touch.
Thanks for reading!
Meaghan Webster is a wine and food photographer, marketing consultant, and results-based social media manager for wineries in Washington, DC, Virginia, and New York. Learn more about her services at meaghanwebster.com or see her latest work and tips at instagram.com/meaghanwmarketing.
In addition to managing social media and taking photos for clients, Meaghan is also available to host classes, lessons, and one-on-one workshops on social media best practices for brands. Interested in booking a workshop or class? Get in touch here!