February 22, 2016
You’ve hired an agency to help you with your social media content. The task has been absolutely draining to you as a business owner or marketing manager. Creating a strategic plan for your social media channels is one thing, but bringing that strategy to life with valuable content is another. It can be a lot to create unique and engaging content for multiple platforms – and still run your business and plan promotions and present quarterly to the Board, capital ‘B’.
So you’ve hired an agency. And they’re awesome. Together, you’ve honed in on your core community. You’ve identified your goals and your success metrics. You are firmly convinced they are going to help you take your business to the next level with social media. In fact, they are so awesome that you are going to just ignore social media completely from now on and let them handle it – I mean, they’ve got it! Right?!?
Yes. And no.
You see, the agency has the tools to make content creation into an efficient process. They’re good at taking valuable brand information that you give them and turning it into a cohesive strategy, with fun and engaging content, and graphics that truly stand out online. But that’s the key: they can only work with the information that you give them.
And with social media, that information has to be as up-to-date as possible. Social media is where your brand is connecting with its audience in real time. There are no business hours. There is no end of day or lights-out kind of moment.
So… How Do We Make This Work?
There are several ways you can maximize your own time and your agency’s time, while still developing a top notch social media content plan. Here’s how to get started:
1. Build out a yearly editorial calendar.
Sit down and map out as much activity as you can at once. Start in January, or even follow your own fiscal calendar. Get input from other internal departments, take a look back at previous social posts, and fill in as many dates as possible. Keep it pretty high level at first to see what you have to work with – it’ll break down into more manageable pieces a little later.
2. Get a bit more detailed.
Think about how your business operates – do you have monthly promotions, quarterly ones? Or maybe you work in such a fast-paced industry that you want to focus in on bi-weekly or weekly content. Work with your agency to decide what amount of time is the right amount of time to be drafting social content for, and then fill in all the gaps for the next segment of time on the calendar.
3. Create placeholders for content that doesn’t exist yet.
Know that on March 16th you’ll be at a high-profile event in your industry, but won’t have pictures until then? You and the agency can add a placeholder to your content calendar with as much detail as you have at the moment. Then, you can send a quick photo or two while you are at the event and some tips for a caption, and the agency can handle posting it while you are busy chatting with new business prospects. This way, the agency knows to devote some manpower that day to this specific post – even if it is on the weekend – and your content gets posted at the best time for your audience while demonstrating that your company is keeping up with the industry.
4. Use technology to your advantage.
Texting photos to your contact at the agency and calling with every single update is going to be a bit unpractical for both of you, but using shared Dropbox or Google Drive folders is like having a virtual assistant. Keep a shared document where you can add more details to dates that are already on the calendar, or add new ones as they arise. In fact, you can even have a folder where employees can submit photos from events or around the office. Give the agency access to this folder and it eliminates you having to send a dozen emails with an attachment or two each.
5. Don’t be afraid to regroup and revise.
There are going to be some hiccups as you begin working with an agency on your social media content. The agency will be learning your business cycle and the pace at which your industry operates. You will be learning all the details that go into a successful social media presence. Together, you have the information that can elevate your business’s perception in the social landscape. If something isn’t working – a process, the timing of posts, etc. – say so. A good agency will be more than happy to take a step back, evaluate what is working and what is not, and move forward in a way that is even more beneficial to both of you.
Are you facing any hiccups in your content creation process? Let us know what you’re struggling with in the comments below – we’d love to offer a tip or two to help out, and we’re happy to sit down with you and see how we could work together to create a stand-out social strategy and content creation process that makes your business shine online.