Need a social media planner to cover the entire week?
This is part #2 of the Build Your Audience + Traffic series, where we’re drilling down on how to drive traffic to your content and convert visitors into subscribers.
In part #1, we talked about fundamental ways to increase traffic and build your audience. We uncovered how important it is to really, really know your target audience, and to set monthly goals so that you know what to aim for.
We also touched on the tasks involved with putting your content out there like you mean business…like you want people to find it.
Today, let’s dive into the HOW.
How can you promote your content effectively on social media?
What things should you be doing each week, and in what order, to maximize your reach?
Time for a 7-day social media plan, yo. What I really want is for you to have a blogging workflow that yields amazing results for all your hard work.
Here are the weekly tasks I’m covering in this post:
- Sunday: Research blog topics
- Monday: Write your post
- Tuesday: SEO your post
- Wednesday: Create images
- Thursday: Promote on social media
- Friday: Repurpose for other platforms
- Saturday: Add to schedulers
- Rinse + repeat 🙂
Ready for it? Let’s dig in.
Bonus: I created this 7-day social media plan template to help put what you learn into action.
ON THE FIRST SUNDAY OF EVERY MONTH
1) Research blog topics
To get the most benefit from this social media plan, you need to stick to a regular blogging schedule. One of the best ways to do that is to have your topics ready to go, so that all you have to do is to start writing.
Remember the blog themes we talked about? On the first Sunday of every month, jot down blog ideas that support your themes. This extra effort upfront will save you loads of time plus give you valuable insight about your audience.
- Knowing what you’re going to cover ahead of time means less time struggling with what to write during the week.
- Your content is going to speak to what your audience really needs vs what you think they need, which is priceless.
- Researching content is about more than just blog ideas – you’ll see how people spin their blog titles too, which is a biggie for driving traffic.
Now that you know what you want to write, it’s time to create your blogging workflow.
Related: 3 Places to Find Your Next 30 Blog Ideas
2) Write the post
Try to write when you feel most productive and when you can block out time with no interruptions or distractions. What this looks like is no email, no calls, no texts. Time to shut out the world and focus here. Writing is a creative process and you need the mental space to be all in…
You can even use my Time Blocking Template to help protect your sacred writing time!
In terms of how much time to set aside, it depends on the length of your posts. I tend to write longer posts that take me about 5-6 hours. You may need more or less time and that’s perfectly ok.
What you can do, if you like, is to alternate between longer and shorter posts. The first week, maybe you write a longer post. Then the next week, you write a shorter one. Whatever you do, please don’t write less than 1000 words! We want to provide real value for our readers, PLUS give our work a fighting chance to rank on Google.
Good so far?
Oops…almost forgot one thing:
Make sure you format your posts with subheadings and bullet points so they’re easy to read. Use short sentences and even shorter words, e.g. hard vs difficult. You want that when people scan your posts, they get what you’re saying without having to work for it.
You’re doing great! Next, let’s get a jump on Tuesday’s tasks.
3) Optimize for search engines
Tuesday is the perfect day to choose your target keyword and add it to your content, tags, and blog title. This way you have a final title for blog and social media images, which we’re going to create on Tuesday too, right after we sprinkle some SEO magic on it.
The reason I recommend optimizing your post AFTER you write it, and not before, is because it’s so important to focus on Step #1 first. The only thing you should be thinking about when you’re writing is how to get your readers from point A to point Z.
Then, after that, we can get jiggy with SEO.
If you’re curious about how best to optimize your posts, this post includes an SEO blog checklist you can download to help you remember all the steps.
Before we move on to images, let’s look at how to select the perfect target keyword. We’ll need Google’s Keyword Planner for this.
I usually select “Search for new keywords related to a phrase, website or category”. Your results will look something like the image below. What you’re looking for are keywords related to your search term that have a decent search volume and low to medium competition.
Once you select your target keyword, follow the steps listed in the SEO blog checklist to add it to your post.
And just in case you have a hard time finding the keyword planner once you log in, it’s hiding out in the “Tools” menu.
4) Create blog and social media images
#2FORTUESDAY We’re doublin’ up on Tuesday, so right after you’re done with step #3, it’s time to create share images.
Canva is a great tool for this. You can create and save branded templates with your logo, colors, fonts, and other brand elements all in there, ready to go.
I like to take my images one step further and use Photoshop. If you’re curious about Photoshop, this tutorial and social media template will help you get started.
Ok, so now you’re probably thinking What social media sites do I need images for, and what size should they be?
I’ve got all of that covered for you right here!
5) Create a content upgrade
High five! We’re jammin’ and it’s only Wednesday. Let’s keep at it.
Content upgrades are extra freebies…things like checklists, cheat sheets, eBooks, worksheets, and templates…that extend on your post with even more value. They’re optional, meaning that you don’t have to create one in order to publish your post and promote it.
Hmm…or do you?
Nope. Changed my mind. You need ’em.
The reason is that this is the Blog Audience + Traffic series. What that means is that we’re building a community…our crew, our tribe. To do that, we need a way to stay in touch with the people who visit our site. The last thing we want is to throw a slammin’ blog party and then have people peace out before the fun starts.
Also, if you remember from part #1 of this series, freebies are a huge piece of our content funnel.
To give you an example of this, I’ve built my list to 4K in the last 3-1/2 months with nothing more than freebies. We’re talking no guest posts, ads, webinars, landing pages…none of that noise! Just straight up opt-in forms and freebies.
Can you see how powerful they are?
Now, I get that freebies take a lot of time to make, so believe me, I’m not recommending that you include one with every post.
Instead, you can alternate each week, the same way we’re alternating between longer and shorter posts (Monday, above). So one week you add a freebie, the next week you skip it, and so on.
If you’re wondering how to create your freebie, Pages, Word, Google Docs, and Canva or all good choices. I’ve been using InDesign forever so that’s what I prefer. Oh, and if you’re interested in learning how to create eBooks with InDesign, please let me know in the comments!
6) Add the upgrade to your post
This part sounds simple, right? It actually takes a few more steps than you might think. What you’re doing is creating a 2-step opt-in form, where an image or a link triggers a pop-up. So let’s break that down, k?
First, there’s the link or image
I’ve found that a graphic button with a call to action like “Click here to download” works better than a text link. Images grab people’s attention more than links, especially if you’re following the blog SEO checklist and interlinking posts for search engines. All of those links can get lost after a while.
But a big, bold, graphic button? No one’s glazing over that, friend! The other thing to include in your button is an image of your worksheet or checklist. You want to let people see how helpful your freebie is, type thing.
Ok, so what tools should you use?
Great question! See those tools you used on Tuesday to create blog + social media images? You can use the same ones for your call to action button.
Next up, the opt in form
This is the form that pops-up when someone clicks on the button.
I use Thrive Leads because I just loove it so much, but you can use OptinMonster, Leadpages, or SumoMe too. Just remember to connect the form to MailChimp, ConvertKit or any email platform you currently use.
Finally! Write a delivery email
We need a way to send the freebie to new subscribers.
What that looks like is when someone signs up for your freebie, they get a “tag” that triggers an email sequence (which is just a fancy way of saying “send more than one email”). Here’s an example of a delivery sequence:
- Your first email will say something like “Thanks so much! Here’s your download.”
- Then you follow-up a few days later with a reminder “How’s it going with the freebie? If you haven’t downloaded it yet, here’s the link again.”
- The idea is to schedule these emails ahead of time, so it’s all on autopilot.
Ok, I know you’re probably thinking This is so much stuff, and it all sounds pretty techie!
I hear ya! There are a lot of steps here, which is why I like to think of Thursdays as #TECHTHURSDAY. Setting all of this up definitely takes a different part of your brain than writing or even creating images.
Remember too that once you set up your first sequence, you can duplicate it for the next one. And you only have to connect your service once to the form. Then you’re good to go.
Like anything else, the more freebies you create and add to your posts, the faster it will go. This is another one of those things where, if you hang in there with it, your investment will pay off later on as your audience and community grow and grow.
Now, I know you’re probably thinking If this is a social media plan, why are we spending so much time on blogging tips? What about tips for social media?
I hear ya! Everything we’ve covered so far is about blogging and creating content.
The reason is because content is the glue that makes social media so sticky. You need to focus on blogging from Monday through Thursday so that you have original content to share. That’s where the traffic part comes in! If you hang in there, over the next few days we’ll turn our attention to sharing and promotion. Everything will come together into a bangin’ social media plan soon. Pinky swear.
Real quick before we move on, there’s one more thing to do:
Check your Google Analytics at least once a month. What you’re looking for are the top 5-10 posts that are most popular. These are the ones with serious muscle, the ones driving the most traffic to your site. Make sure you go back and add a freebie to each of these if you haven’t already.
Next up: Time to pounce on social media!
7) Publish and promote
#TGIF Almost there…just a few days left. You can do this…
First, publish your post
Whatever you do, please proofread your post before you publish it! I’m terrible at this… I’m always finding grammatical errors and typos in my posts months after they go live. Ugh. Sooo frustrating…and the longer the post, the more typos.
Do me one better here, friend. Give your post a once-over before you publish it.
Next, promote your post
This is the most important thing to do next, and I’m going to show you how to do it so that you get maximum visibility and traffic. Let’s look at the blog promotion tasks in 3 stages, done over the next 3 days:
- Share on social media, bookmarking sites, and content communities
- Turn your post into other types of content to reach even more people
- Create and schedule additional updates, tweets, and pins
Some experts, like Derek Halpern, recommend applying the 80/20 rule to blog promotion. This means that you spend 80% of your time promoting, and 20% writing. Honestly, I think my split is more like 100/100 🙂
Can you see why Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are such important days?
Now you’re probably thinking How the heck am I going to do all of this without pulling my hair out?
I get it, I really do! It took me months to figure out a workflow that didn’t leave me feeling flustered. This is another one of those things where you need to hang in there! It’s going to get so much easier as you move through it. First of all, the weekly blogging plan we’re covering today will help you keep a consistent schedule, where you’re doing the same tasks, on the same days, each week.
And once you run through the steps yourself and nail down your best workflow, it’ll be easy to pass the promotion tasks off to a virtual assistant. You will get your weekend back later on. Pinky swear.
Here’s the template I use to share my blog posts:
You can download the blog promotion worksheet to share your blog posts too.
Ok, with that being said, Friday is all about sharing on social media and bookmarking sites.
- And so many others…
Too much to list in this post… For the full list of sites, I recommend downloading the blog promo worksheet above.
Repurpose your post
Repurposing your post is a techie way of saying turn it into something else, like a video, quick tip, Slideshare, or podcast. For our purposes today, let’s just focus on turning the post into:
- A 1-2 minute video
- Second Pinterest pin
- Quick tip graphic
- More tweets and updates
This is a much shorter list, and a lot easier to get your head around, right? Another way to think of it is that at the end of the week you’re going to have these assets for your post:
- The post itself
- A video
- A quick tip graphic
I know that this sounds like a lot!
But really, it goes much quicker than you think. What you can do is use the same quick tip for your graphic and your video. And if you think about it, all you’re really doing is taking what you’ve already “scripted”, selecting a few highlights from it, and turning them into something new. Plus, in my experience, recording video takes sooo much less time than writing a post.
For the video
You can use whatever you have available right now. Let’s not get hung up on techie recording gear, k? Your iPhone or webcam is the perfect starting place. The point here is to simply get into the habit of turning your posts into videos.
Once you’re recording video on the regular, I recommend the Blue Yeti mic to help amplify your audio.
To record the video itself, I started out with QuickTime and now use ScreenFlow, mainly because of the editing features. And my brother has been bangin’ out amazing videos using Camtasia on his PC. All of these are good choices, in my book.
For the quick tip graphic
You got it. Same tools from Tuesday, step #4.
Additional tweets and updates
For each post, I write 15 additional tweets, and 3-4 updates for Facebook and LinkedIn, all linking to the post.
Here’s what those look like:
I should point out that these tweets and updates are all slightly different. What you don’t want to do is to repeat the same tweet over and over again!
In the next step, we’ll schedule these tweets (plus our new content + graphics) to be shared over the next week. This will give us an initial spike in blog traffic.
Related: How to Promote Your Blog Posts Effectively on Social Media
Schedule updates, tweets, and pins
Woo! You’re really hangin’ in there!
This (almost) last step is actually pretty easy. All we need to do is to queue up our content for sharing.
Can you see how all of your hard work is paying off here? You have more content to share on more platforms, which means more people seeing your post.
More types of content = more platforms = a broader audience.
This is why I love social media scheduling tools so much! Even though you’re building your following on just 1-2 social media sites (as I mention in this post), these tools allow you to “set it and forget it” on the others, so to speak. That’s a win-win, no?
If you’re curious, in this post I share my favorite scheduling tools.
THROUGHOUT THE WEEK
Share to Facebook group promo threads
Almost there! One last thing…
If we’re really going to nail this blog and social media plan, we can’t forget Facebook groups, which can leave your head spinning if you don’t have a system in place.
Hmm…why is that?
I’ve been thinking about this, and the answer is that it really comes down to each group having its own rules, daily prompts, and promo days. The schedules are different enough that it makes them hard to track. You can feel like a scrambled egg trying to keep up with which group has a promo thread each day.
That said, FB is my #2 source of traffic, and I’m sure it must be because of groups. It’s got to be. I only have 400 or so fans. 🙂
So how do you promote your posts through Facebook Groups?
Great question! First of all, if you’re not in groups already, I would spend a few days looking for groups in your niche, reading through their descriptions, checking their rules, and so on.
What you’re looking for are groups with high engagement that have “Promo Wednesdays” type thing, where you can share this week’s post. Even if the group doesn’t allow promotions, you can usually include your link in a thread comment. Of course, you should check the group rules first.
Once you’re in a few groups, I recommend using a spreadsheet to keep track of each group’s promo days. From there, all you need to do is schedule Facebook posts in those threads (aka remember to share on those days).
If you’re curious, here’s what my Facebook promo schedule looks like:
So there you have it! If you follow these steps every week, you will start doubling and tripling your blog traffic and building a huge audience. Here’s the 7-day social media planning template again so you can get started: