Social Media Scheduling

In last week’s Social Media for Beginners blog we talked about where to get ideas for content and how to create that content. This week we’re going to focus in on scheduling content. We’ll talk about how often to post, when to post, and the importance of scheduling. 

How Often Should I Post?

Everyone wants to know how often they should post. Unfortunately, there isn’t a hard and fast rule for this. There is no formula. There are however a few things to keep in mind that might help you figure out the perfect number for you.

How Much Time Do You Have?

You might find it odd that I would tell you to think about how much time you have to devote to your content but this is honestly the first and possibly most important question for those creating and posting for themselves. Creating content takes time. Scheduling it out and monitoring it also takes time. The more times a week you post, the more time you’ll have to spend preparing that content. 

You might be one of those people who says, “I’ll do whatever is best and I’ll make time” and while I admire your ambition if you burn yourself out your content will suffer, you’ll run out of ideas, you’ll be frustrated, and eventually stop posting altogether and what good does that do?

While it is true that the more you post the more engagements and impressions you’ll get, if your content suffers and your audience loses interest then you’ll likely have less people who see the things that you really want them to see. Find your line. It’s a balancing act. More often than not, consistency is more important than quantity.

How Much Content Do You Have to Work With?

Knowing what content you have to work with is also helpful in determining how often you should post. For example, if you only have one product to promote and that product isn’t very multifaceted, then it might be difficult to come up with quality content daily. No one wants to see a picture of the cover of your book every day with a new reason why they should buy it. 

However, if you have a lot of material to work with and you want to get it out there in a timely manner then posting more often might be good for you. This is especially true if you have time sensitive information.

In general a good rule of thumb is to try and post 2-3 times a week. This is frequent enough that you should be able to get important information out there and also have some room to try new content and post engaging posts that aren’t necessarily information based. 

When Should I Post?

Once again, the answer here is that it depends, but luckily there are some tools out there to help you decide what’s best for your business. Keep in mind however that these tools are only available for business pages so if you’re going to be using your social platform to promote your business, it would be helpful to claim it as a business profile (more on that in another blog).

On most all social media platforms there is an option called insights in your dashboard. Insights gives you information about how your content is performing and who your audience is. It even tells you when the majority of your audience is online. 

For Facebook, you’d click insights at the top of your business page and then click posts on the sidebar. This will then take you to a screen that looks like this.

As you can see this, gives you a chart that shows you what time the majority of your followers are online on any given day. You can also choose specific days if you’d like to be even more fine tuned in your posting. This is our Dogwood page and based on this graph the best times for us to post during the business day would be around 8 am and noon to about 5 pm (make sure you notice that the times on the graph are in Pacific time zone). 

You can also do this on Instagram. It looks a little different but the principle still applies. Go to your profile and click the menu button in the top right corner. Tap insights and click audience. Then scroll to the bottom of the page and you can now switch between days to see what times your followers are most active. 

This is our Dogwood Instagram insight for Mondays. For us, posting from 12 pm to 9 pm would be best. 

If this seems like way too much work for you, there are scheduling tools that will tell you the optimal send time for each message but they are far from free. Sprout Social starts at $149 per user/month. While it is on the expensive side it’s worth the price for the optimal send times,  reporting functions, and more. 

Why are Schedules Important?

Last but not least, we’ll talk about scheduling and why it’s important. The big answer is, scheduling is important because your time is important. As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, keeping up a beneficial social media presence is not an easy job. It takes time, effort, and planning. The more you schedule the more of your time you’re able to spend on your business.

Scheduling doesn’t have to be hard either. Tools like Sprout Social and Hootsuite will post your content automatically once scheduled. By taking an hour or two to schedule out your week of content, you’re saving yourself a lot of time. Now you don’t have to stop 2-3 times a week, think up content, create the graphics you need or find the pictures, find optimal send times and get it sent out. 

If you don’t like the price tag of Sprout Social, then get a free Hootsuite account. It allows you to schedule content for 3 profiles and up to 30 messages at a time. Take an hour or two and schedule out your week. If you’re feeling really productive, take the time to schedule an entire month. You can then supplement with current content as you go. This will save you a lot of time and ensure that you don’t get behind on posting. 

Conclusion

There’s a lot to consider when figuring out how often you should post and when. However, one thing is for sure, scheduling content is your friend! As with all things, it takes time and effort to do anything well. You’re not going to stumble into a great social media presence.

The good news is, there are tools to help make things easier and if at any point you’d like some professional help, Dogwood would be more than happy to talk to you about setting up a social media contract!

 

Creating Social Media Content

Last week, we talked about how to decide which social media platforms your brand should be on. Now that you know where to start, you need to start coming up with content! This is the fun part, or it can be the anxiety-ridden part if you feel like you’re not very creative. Whether you’re an artsy person or not, you can create great content. 

In this blog, we’re going to talk about some ways to create content and how to get awesome ideas without having to reinvent the wheel!

What Exactly Do You Mean by Content?

Content is anything that you post from your account. It can be in the form of a graphic, a link to something else, an event, a video, gif, or simply text. It’s really up to you what you want your content to be. Word to the wise though, you generally want all posts to have some kind of visual and also a caption.

Posts that are just words tend to get skipped over because they take more time to get the point across than a graphic. However, even though a picture is worth a thousand words, you still need to caption your images or videos. Captions are your opportunity to add your personal touch and explain in a bit more detail what your post is about!

So, you can create graphics, write blogs, post videos, etc. but how do you decide what to post? You might be feeling creatively stunted which is completely normal. We all have creative blocks sometimes especially when you haven’t created this kind of content before. So, what do you do?

Get Inspiration from Similar Companies or People

No this isn’t stealing. It’s called doing your research. In life, we all have people who we admire and aspire to be more like. The same goes for brands and companies. There is always another company that you see and aspire to be more like or a goal that you’d like to reach. Find the people, brands, and companies that are doing social media well and learn from them.

If you have similar audiences and similar products then chances are that if you begin posting similar content and targeting similar people, you’ll begin to get interactions and interest. However, this doesn’t mean that because you’re alike that the exact same things will work for you both. You have to get deeper than that. What one audience enjoys seeing, another might not care much about.

Now that you know what kind of content you want to create and have some killer ideas, how are you going to make these graphics?

Our Favorite Way to Make Graphics for Beginners

I say this is for beginners, but honestly, you can make some pretty great stuff with this program. It’s called Canva. They have a website as well as a mobile app that you can use to create graphics of all shapes and sizes!

Canva has a free version as well as a premium version. I suggest starting with the free version and if you decide you want Canva Pro, it’s only $9.95 a month! Canva has thousands of stock photos, hundreds of icons and images to use as well as a ton of fonts to choose from. You can also follow them on Instagram or Facebook for more inspiration and design tips!

Creating content can sound overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be difficult! Create content that you would want to interact with and that represent your business well. If something isn’t working, you can always shift gears and try something new. Get some inspiration and use your intuition and you’ll be off to a good start!

What Social Media Platform Should I Be On?

Social Media Icons on a Phone

In the increasingly digital world that we live in, most people recognize the importance of being on social media. The lines between the digital world and the real world have been blurred almost to the point of non-existence. This is especially true for businesses.

However, just because you recognize the importance of being on social media doesn’t mean that you know how to do that well. Many people that I talk to want to be active online but have no idea where to start.

For the next several weeks we’re going to be sharing some simple steps to help you develop your social media presence. This week we’re going to discuss knowing which social media platforms your brand should be on.

What are Social Media Platforms?

Platforms are simply the different social websites and apps (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok etc.) There are lots of options out there. However, no one person can be on every platform successfully, nor do they need to be. You have to determine which platforms are going to be the best outlet for you and your business.

How Do I Decide Between Them?

A great way to do this is by figuring out who your audience is and what your product is. If your audience is 25 to 65-year-olds looking to buy life insurance, then you probably aren’t going to get much meaningful traction on an app like TikTok or Twitter. You also might not necessarily want to spend your time on Instagram. That’s because your product isn’t something physical that you can show in images and pictures. This isn’t a hard and fast rule but is more of a guideline.

In a later blog, we will go through some of the most popular social media platforms and talk about who their average user is and what kind of content is used on that platform, but here is the crash course.

The Two Basics

Facebook is a universally good platform for promoting your business to adults. According to Statia, the highest concentration of Facebook users are 18-44 but there are plenty of younger and older people on Facebook. Despite not being the “sexiest” of the social media platforms, Facebook is by far the most versatile and is, therefore, a good place to start for everyone!

Instagram is great for posting pictures and short videos of products and sharing the day to day processes or updates of a company or brand. The largest demographic of Instagram users is 25 to 34-year-olds. However, Instagram is not a great place for sharing lots of information or testimonials because long captions aren’t generally read, and long videos are generally skipped through.

Having a social media presence is important, but a bad social media presence can be detrimental to your brand and its reputation. Start off on the right foot! Next week, we’ll discuss how to create content and get inspired, especially if you don’t feel very creative.

Emily Tew – Digital Media Specialist

Emily Tew

We are excited to introduce you to our newest employee, Emily Tew!

Emily is joining the team as a Digital Media Specialist and will be working on content management, some blog writing, and other tasks that need to be done to help all of us at Dogwood do our job more efficiently. She has already been a huge help and has willingly taken on any task we give her!

Emily is from Headland near Dothan, AL and attends Troy University (Go Trojans!). She is a Communications Major with a Minor in Public Relations and will be graduating in December of 2019.

Graduation isn’t the only big event coming up for Emily. She will also be getting married at the end of the year to her fiancé Brannon Jones! They will both be moving to the Montgomery area soon.

When she isn’t in class or wedding planning, she likes to write, workout, and spend time with her family. She says she’s excited to start her career and hopes to hone the skills that she’s learned in school as well as learn some new ones.

It’s an exciting time for Emily and we’re excited to have her join us as part of the Dogwood team!

Beth Gillem – Digital Media Specialist

We are very excited to introduce our newest employee, Beth Gillem! Beth joined the team as our Digital Media Specialist as of August 21, 2019.

As our number of social media, content creation, and SEO clients increased, we realized the need for another person to come in and help carry some of the load.

Beth will be working heavily on blog writing as well as managing social media for a few clients of her own. She’ll also be handling some SEO for clients as well.

She brings along with her many skills that she’s accumulated through past work experience. Beth previously worked at Minute Man Press, where she was responsible for graphic design, layouts, and printing for commercial orders. She also worked at Capitol Filmworks and owned her own photography business.

Beth is a skilled photographer and businesswoman in her own right, and we are excited to see how her addition will help take Dogwood to the next level.

Beth, her husband Cully, and their two kids, Van and Celia, live in Pike Road and are very active in their neighborhood and school. Brian’s family is actually their neighbor.

She is also an active member of Eastmont Baptist Church where her father was the pastor for 32 years and that’s how she and Lauren know each other. It’s a small world, right?

Join us in welcoming Beth to the team!

Preparing to Work with a Marketing Agency

marketing meeting

The digital world was once a place where only large businesses were able to successfully promote themselves. As technology has advanced, the doors have opened wide for anyone to have an online presence. However, just because you have an online presence doesn’t mean that it’s a beneficial one.

That’s where a marketing agency, like Dogwood Media Solutions, comes in.

We have a team of professionals who have the skills and capability to make you successful online. We’re always excited to work with new clients and to make their vision a reality. When meeting with a digital marketing team, there are some things that you can have prepared ahead of time that will increase your success and decrease the amount of time it takes to get there.

A Clear Vision

Whether you’re a small business owner, the CEO of a huge company, a church pastor, or the director of a non-profit or ministry, you have to have a vision. There’s no one better to cast a vision than you. Our job as your marketing agency is to elevate your brand, so if you come in with a strong understanding of what your business is and who you are then the whole process is more straightforward.

Here are a few things to think through about your vision:

What’s Your Voice?

In writing, there is always an overarching voice or tone that corresponds to the writer and their personality. Similarly, brands also have a tone. Are you looking to set a professional tone, a witty tone, or maybe a more personable, relatable tone? Determining the voice behind your brand is important because it will impact all the rest of your content. From your website content to your social media posts, we want everything to feel cohesive and authentically you.

What’s the Purpose?

You also need to have a good idea of what the purpose of your organization is. This purpose will help determine what direction to take your marketing. It will also help determine what to accentuate on your website and social media as well as what kind of digital interaction is most important for you.

A Budget

Since digital media is by definition not a tangible product, it’s sometimes hard to wrap your mind around what digital marketing costs. Logos, websites, social media posts, graphic design, ads and more take time and cost money.

According to Forbes, you should expect to spend about 12% of your annual revenue on marketing efforts. However, keep in mind that the more you put into it the more you’re likely to get out.

This leads directly to the next important thing to keep in mind when working with a marketing agency.

Realistic Expectations

Having realistic expectations of what can and cannot be done by your marketing agency is highly important. The reason that you came to a marketing agency is that you want to take your organization to the next level. Ultimately, you want to see it succeed. We want to see that as well! However, this will not happen overnight, and marketing strategies are intricate and constantly changing. Therefore, what worked last quarter might not work as well this quarter.

Make sure that you express your expectations with your marketing agency so that both parties can discuss what is desired versus what is attainable. Being on the same page allows you to stress less, your agency to better do their job, and ultimately for both parties to be more satisfied with the outcome!

Working with a marketing agency can feel overwhelming because it means that you’re giving your organization over to the hands of someone else instead of doing everything yourself. We at Dogwood want to make that process as easy as possible. If you come in with a strong vision of who you are, where you want to be, and a realistic timeframe to achieve it then we can make it happen.

Everything we do at Dogwood is made with love. So don’t worry, we love your company too!