Social Media Planning Made Easy

In social media, consistency is key. Failure to post in a regular cadence will result in your marketing or informational posts getting lost in the shuffle or worse–never reaching the eyes of your desired audience.

Social media is a funny beast. Engagement is much easier to gauge than print campaigns, as there is the immediate gratification of a “like” or a “re-tweet.” Gaining that traction is tricky, however. Every business has a different identity and core client, so creating content that reinforces the brand and resonates with the audience should be a thoughtful exercise.

Most social media professionals follow the 50/30/20 Rule.

What does this mean?

  • 50% of your posts should be of general interest or entertainment value. They keep your audience engaged and happy to follow you. They can still reinforce your brand by presenting items that show your style, tone, or taste.
  • 30% of your posts should be direct marketing of your business.  Your other posts are in place to build the audience and open its reception to your products or services.
  • 20% of your posts should be content related directly to the sphere your business occupies. It can be curated stories that relate to your field, or short, informational posts that reinforce your message and expertise.

Building a calendar

The best way to ensure consistent, fresh content is to build out a calendar and to schedule your posts. This helps you make sure you are following the 50/30/20 rule and prevents gaps in posts due to heightened workloads, client meetings, or forgetfulness.

There are a number of systems out there to assist you, but often, it takes multiple ones to build images, source content ideas, and schedule your posts.

Here at Cirrus VA, we are all about saving time, so we’re going to let you in on our secret scheduling weapon, PromoRepublic.

A calendar page that shows scheduled posts and also gives ideas for additional ones? Yes, please!

With an events calendar that highlights holidays, events of note, and obscure observances, it is easy to create a varied post schedule.

Visual Appeal

Engaging posts often start with a compelling graphic. If you have been creating posts the “old-fashioned” way, you likely have built out an image elsewhere, then posted either in real time or through the individual platform’s scheduling tools.

Another reason we here at Cirrus VA love PromoRepublic? The ability to create an image for your post, then schedule it in your content calendar across different platforms without ever leaving one place.

Edit images, add text, stickers, icons, and objects, then schedule to one or more social media accounts all in one place.

You can utilize one of their pre-existing templates or build your own from scratch. By never having to leave one site, you can save time and energy, and quickly build out your social media calendar(s).

Reviewing your Statistics

Once your posts have become public, it is important to understand how they are resonating with your audience. Are they getting in front of potential clients? Are people liking or sharing what you are posting? Each platform is different, but one of the other things we love about the PromoRepublic service is that you can review page stats in an easy to read format with the single click of a button.

Statistics at a glance for each social media page you manage. Know what works with your audience and which posts fall flat.

Want to give it a try?

PromoRepublic has partnered with Cirrus VA to give you the opportunity to take their platform for a test drive. They offer a free 14-day trial where you can try their scheduler on one of your social media platforms.

Once you decide to become a part of the PromoRepublic Community, you can become a Premium (5 social media accounts) or Pro (15 accounts) member. You will also have access to weekly webinars, customized content, and a private community of social media marketers.

As a special offer for Cirrus VA clients and fans, they are offering a discount of 20% off an annual Pro account package when you use Promo Code PR20.

Cirrus VA invites you to click on the image and try PromoRepublic’s Social Media Scheduler for Free. Ready for a Pro account? Use promo code PR20 to save 20% off the annual package fee.

*Cirrus VA chooses all of its affiliate partners very carefully and will never suggest any platform that we do not personally use and endorse.

Would you prefer to have your social media professionally managed? Cirrus VA has plans for that! Visit our Services page for more information and pricing.

To blog or not to blog?

It’s a question that often arises when businesses are plotting out their digital presence: “To blog or not to blog?

The answer greatly depends upon a few factors:

  1. Do you have expertise to share? If you do, a blog is a great way to establish your knowledge and grow your brand awareness and presence. If not, what is the subject matter that is going to drive people to engage with your posts?
  2. Do you have a desire to write, or are you able to hire someone to handle blogging? If you have the knowledge but are too busy to write and cannot hire someone to convey your message, your blog will likely not get off the ground. Have you ever visited a website and noticed that the last post was written months or even years ago?  It is difficult to come across as an expert if it seems your expertise is outdated.
  3. Is there an audience or a space for your blog? Some markets are saturated, while others are untapped. If you have a strong message or point of view, it will come across in your writing and assist in creating a space and following. If you are simply going through the motions because someone (possibly a blogger) told you it was a necessity for maintaining your digital presence, you may want to rethink your strategy. Maybe you present material in a traditional blog, or maybe it takes shape as something else–a “useful information” or “knowledge you can use” section.

If you have a knowledge base you would like to share but simply don’t have the time or inclination to write, find someone who can take your information and present it in a clear and professional manner. Harness someone else’s passion for writing for your passion to share your knowledge.

A blogger for your website may be closer than you think.

Agility training isn’t just for athletes

Anyone running a small business knows that one has to wear a lot of hats.  Until the business is can be scaled to include a number of specialized roles, the owner must handle the bulk of work from all areas, not just the company’s primary function. As client workload increases, managing the tasks of the business can become burdensome–particularly if they fall in areas the owner considers outside of his or her wheelhouse.

When an owner isn’t ready to hire an entire team or subscribe to the considerable niche services many companies offer, having an assistant who can flex with the needs of the business can help to alleviate some of the stress points.

Not all assistants can wear all hats, so an owner should be sure to ask A LOT of questions. The following list is a good starting point, though certainly not comprehensive.

  1. What core services do you offer?
  2. Are all of these available through one service plan?
  3. What is your experience working with [X] platform?
  4. How do you go about learning a new process that is specific to my business?
  5. How do you communicate with your client(s) regarding progress on various projects?
  6. What sort of lead time do you need to complete a given project?

Any potential assistant should be willing to have a conversation highlighting how your business can be supported. An ideal one will also assess your current systems and tell you ways in which you can automate and find greater efficiency.

Want to know more?  Contact us to see how an assistant could help minimize the growing pains your business may be facing.

Getting Social

Brand Identity.
Digital Marketing.
Going Viral.

Many small businesses struggle on creating a consistent and compelling social media call to action. There can be a number of reasons for this.

  1. Failure to articulate the mission of the business. If owners and employees cannot speak to the business’ core values and vision, the interactions will lack a sense of direction and purpose.
  2. Consistency.  In order to build an audience, a business must be able to live up to an expectation. If posts come in a flurry one week, but the communication channels go silent the next, no real engagement can occur. Likewise, tone and content should be consistent from post-to-post so that the audience can know what to expect.
  3. Time. This is one of the top reasons businesses fall short on cultivating their digital farm.  Social media posts and interactions are pushed aside for work at hand. Consistency falls by the wayside. Once work quiets down, posts may begin again, but if a business falls into an ebb and flow cycle of social posts, the audience will likely atrophy.
  4. Inclination. Some people would rather get a root canal than post a tweet or a Facebook post. If cultivating a media presence feels like “pulling teeth,” natural interaction with digital customers is unlikely to develop.

To create a strong digital presence, one should:

  1. Establish and reinforce the company vision and mission statement with all employees.
  2. Prioritize and/or delegate.  If social media is part of your marketing plan, you need to make it a priority. Find the person within the company or an outside dedicated source who can manage the social media engagements so that the business can keep growing.
  3. Schedule posts.  Source and create a content calendar.
  4. Analyze.  Review what is creating engagement and what is being passed by.

Authenticity is the most important aspect of creating a devoted social media audience. Trust your voice and stay true to your vision.

If you need help determining a plan for social media, check out our offerings here.