Lisa Bullen outlines how to save time by planning out your social media and suggests some easy wins.
Keeping on top of your social media can become a chore, which is why having a content planner (nothing grand or fancy) will save you both time and sanity. It will also mean that your social media output remains varied, interesting and relevant and doesn’t resort to numerous posts of the same thing.
Where to start
I suggest that you start by looking at the metrics relating to your previous posts. Go to your profile on Instagram, click Insights and head to Content You Shared, then choose from the drop downs between Reach, Likes, Comments, Saves etc. You can pinpoint which posts have performed the best based on your own criteria. It makes sense to repeat the most successful “style” of post as this is resonating with your target audience.
On Facebook you can view your metrics in a similar way. Choose Insights/Posts. There is a myriad of data here relating to your posts. It’s worth having a good look around. Interestingly you can view the most popular posts from pages that you follow too, which is useful for competitor analysis.
Create a content plan
There are a number of ways to do this, and it’s very personal depending on what you want to post about. Split your year into 12 monthly segments and fill in ideas that are immediately obvious:
● January – New Year bookings, book for this year’s holidays while there’s availability etc.
● February – Valentine’s Day, shortest month of the year (leap year?), half term
● March – Easter holidays
● April – Easter holidays
● May – May half term
● June – Summer Solstice
● July – school holidays
● Aug – school holidays
● Sept – harvest time, schools go back, adults only camping
● Oct – Halloween, pumpkins, scary fungus in the woods
● Nov – autumn
● Dec – Christmas/winter scenes, prices go up after 1 January etc.
Then think three to six months at a time. What local events can you tie in with or collaborate? Speak with your local tourist office as they have all the listings some way in advance eg. near us we have numerous walking festivals in September. What is your local area or county known for eg. literary fairs, food fairs? Add them to your monthly segments.
Social media awareness days are often irrelevant but there are some that may be helpful eg. Earth Day. Ensure that you use the hashtag around that particular awareness day, in this case #EarthDay, so that your social media post will have a greater reach. See www.awarenessdays.com for a complete listing. Again, add them to your monthly segments sheet.
What can you use from a wildlife/nature point of view? Instagram is always flooded with gorgeous images of bluebells and butterflies in the relevant seasons. Can you create some lovely posts utilising what you have in your fields or garden? The allure of nature and wildlife is very strong, particularly when many of your guests may come from more urban environments. Do you have lambs, ducklings etc? Again, incorporate these into your planner. Don’t worry if you haven’t got photos available just yet – this is just a wall planner to give you some inspiration.
Forward planning can be a real time saver here too. Save and archive photos by category and add to them each season (eg. I have a great bank of butterfly pictures that I add to each season).
Once you have mapped out an overall content planner by month you can start to plan your social media around it. I have a list of content pillars for one of my camping clients that includes: Campsite Cooking, Nature and Wildlife, Family Fun, and What’s On.
From there I will broadly use the following types of posts: blog posts, promotional posts, user generated content (ie. you repost someone else’s content on your feed with their permission) and events/newsy posts.
Then I create the actual posts (captions and photos), normally about two weeks in advance. Blog posts tend to not be part of my “batch planning” as they require a different thinking head on. I totally recommend using a scheduler, either Facebook Business Suite or an external third-party scheduler like Planoly, Buffer or Later.
So, there you have an overview of what a content calendar year may look like, the content pillars (topics to cover) and the actual style of posts that can be used. Happy posting!
About the Author
Lisa is a campsite owner and runs a social media consultancy. Her online course “How to make the most of social media for your site” is available to buy at £97 from www.socialmediasussex.com/courses
Lisa is part of Pitch & Co (www.pitchandco.uk), a collective of glamping specialists offering business services to the glamping industry.