Oops…or lack of planning

“Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part”

Here I would be referring to my lack of planning, the evening rather got away from me so instead of our regularly scheduled programming I am going to share what I have been reading today:

How You Can Help Find Alien Life – This article is pretty interesting, especially if you have been looking into volunteer computing lately. I think the added competition aspect will help further the projects reach into more mainstream news.

Just How Dangerous Is Sitting All Day? – Everyone loves an infographic right? Well at least for this one I found that taking a look at the many references listed is even more interesting, like did you know that an obese person is inactive for 2.5 hours more per day than an average sedentary person?

90 Tips To Make Your Blog Rock – Do you want to make your blog rock? Of course you do! This article comes from one of my favorite social media bloggers, Jeff Bullas. In fact, this is probably why my post is late today…

Take this 1931 8th grade test (you will probably flunk) – Or maybe this is why, I have pouring over this test for a while now, and I have to admit, it is difficult. Do you know who wrote Robinson Crusoe, The Courtship of Miles Standish, Song of Marion’s Men, Maud Muller, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Raven, The Green Stone Face, Evangeline, The Heritage and the Star-Spangled Banner? Can’t name them all, how about a list of the powers of the President of the United States as contained in the Constitution?

48 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed – There are always great treasures in this post, I especially like going through the editor’s picks and the social media section.

Well, that’s it for tonight and we will be back to our regularly scheduled programming next week.

How to Get Organized in Social Media

I have to say, I love my editorial calendars, I use them all day every day. They are my key to success, organization and project deadlines. I have one personal, and several in the office. The purpose of most of my calendars is to create a schedule within which I can regularly post content and engage with our fans, followers, and other shareholders, but my daily schedule and personal calendars are just as important to the organization and to my life respectively.

The calendars I create for each of my social media outlets include in-organization events, citywide events, milestones, specials, deals, changes in season, sports events, the weather, and even strange facts such as Friday, May 13, 2011 is the only Friday the 13th this year. I need all of this to keep content fresh, engaging, and valuable. I have found that the best practice is to have an overarching calendar for the year, and have a one month ahead 3-month rolling calendar in front of me at all times, for example I currently have a white-board calendar that shows my editorial schedule for May, June, and July which will quickly be showing June, July, and August.

Who Benefits from an Editorial Calendar?

Your Team, because the calendar lets everyone know when content is scheduled, gives a regular schedule for content to go out in addition to deadlines, previews of upcoming promotions and event. Remember, its social media so the calendar is not an absolute, if you have a last-minute event, promotion, or even a celebrity sighting at your store, post!

Your fans, followers, readers, subscribers, in essence all of your social media stakeholders. Consistent posting of fresh content is the best way to keep people engaged with your brand, plus they will look for your updates among the myriad of friends, celebrities, news organizations, and other brands they have in their feeds.

So How do I develop an Editorial Calendar?

  1. Determine how many posts you want to publish per day, per outlet. For example, I want to send 2 Facebook posts and 10 Twitter updates per working day, but I only want to upload 1 YouTube video per week.
  2. Set up a calendar that has a place for the subject of each post (or the complete post), the social media account, and the time that the post should be published. You can do this many ways. I have a Word document set up that separates the posts by venue, then by outlet, then date & time. I also suggest adding tasks or meetings to your Outlook or Google calendar to remind you to post at certain times or by scheduling the posts in a 3rd party application like HootSuite.

Easy, right?

Sure, but what’s the payoff?

Identify opportunities ahead of time, if you can get a snapshot of the next 3 months to a year, and a detailed overview of the next month it will help you to see and create patterns. It also makes it simple to create timely event-based content, submit project requests for any needed collateral, and other collaborative efforts well ahead of your deadlines.

Reduce Writer’s Block, your manager wants to see all posts by end of day tomorrow and you haven’t written any yet? Well with your editorial calendar the subjects is already in place and can be switched up if needed.

Track Engagement.

t’s all about the strategy. This type of editorial calendar will give a jumping off point to compose weekly, monthly, and yearly reports. It will help you determine which campaigns had high engagement or low conversion rates so you can see what needs to change. Statistics like these can garner valuable insights for a bigger better content plan moving forward.

The Takeaway

Editorial calendars can you help you get your team organized, stay on topic, plan ahead, and track key performance indicators. Remember though, plans can change, real life and situations always creep in, so give yourself and your team the flexibility to change the editorial calendar as needed and get that last-minute change out as soon as possible.

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