social media

Break out the beach balls and sunscreen because Friday is the first official day of summer.

Is that not marked with a big star on your calendar? That’s not surprising. I even checked my iPhone calendar thinking it might be listed, but it’s not.

Work meetings, kids’ events and medical appointments are more likely taking up space on your personal calendar. But if you’re struggling to feed your business or organization social media channels on a regular basis, pairing content with seasons, holidays and awareness celebrations is an easy way to be proactive so you can stay focused on those bigger to-do list items.

A quick glance at the iPhone calendar shows Eid Al-Fitr, Flag Day, Father’s Day and Juneteenth just so far for June. Those recognition days and celebrations might not all be applicable to your organization. However, by planning ahead for the ones that do fit can ease some of your everyday work stress.

Take the first day of summer, for example. If you’re a medical practice, relate being outside in the warmer weather to what you do (emphasize exercise for a healthy heart, give tips on safe outdoor activities, recommend healthy picnic foods, etc.). Educational institutions and nonprofits can help parents with tips to keep kids busy during time off from school. Financial groups can emphasize the importance of a teenager’s first summer job or budgeting for a summer vacation, and consumer/retail businesses could advertise a “start of summer” giveaway.

And you don’t have to overthink the content. Take Flag Day – snap a photo if you have a flag flying outside your building or encourage people to wear flag-related attire and take some pics. You can also pull statistics from your pertinent industry associations, pair them with a stock photo and educate your followers on a certain topic.

Most of us know planning ahead will help in the long run. If you struggle with it, you’re not alone (this is a safe space). Here are some simple steps to keep in mind when planning your social media for the year.

Do the research.

We have a saying here at Chartwell called “respect the block.” So, block some time on the ol’ calendar and do some research about what social media topics fit with your business or organization. Check industry websites and look for what they’re doing on their social media channels for some inspiration. Make sure to watch for hashtags and other identifiers you can include with posts so your content is part of a larger conversation.

Make the plan.

Once you’ve done the research, plug the ideas into a plan – a simple Word document, Google sheet or Excel spreadsheet. Make it quarterly, if you want, so you don’t get overwhelmed. You’ll have some unplanned news, photos, events and more to share throughout the year that will fill in the gaps.

Follow the plan.

Don’t just file this super useful plan away. Keep it handy for referencing, even on a shared drive so others can follow along and help with planned posts in your absence. Schedule posts in advance to further reduce stress (try a platform such as Hootsuite or TweetDeck to manage multiple accounts).

Wash and repeat.

The beauty of the first day of summer is it happens every year. Update your calendar with content ideas that did and didn’t work, but keep those awareness months, holidays and celebrations as an outline from year to year – you can brainstorm new content around them.