Recently, I have had the opportunity to learn from various NGOs, particularly about their experiences in running their own social media pages – be it in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other such sites. One key takeaway is learning how lack of time and/or not having an in-house content manager act as major barriers in exploring social media marketing.
Let’s be honest though, while not having much in the way of either are justifiably inconvenient, having either – or even both – also wouldn’t ensure a successful experience as well. So, instead of skimming through resumes of content managers to hire, how about we explore a more cost-effective solution first – using content calendars.
What are content calendars? How can they help?
Content calendars are simply just calendars. These can help you track which posts to publish on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Some use a separate platform, such as Hootsuite, though a simple spreadsheet will also work just fine.
How can they help keep content flowing? While content calendars cannot solve your shortage of content per se, it does resolve a deeper and less noticeable issue that causes your lack thereof. That issue is what we refer to as content mismanagement, or posting without any strategic intent.
Going through the Facebook pages of the NGOs I’ve conversed with, I noticed a couple of shared traits one could identify as a result or by-product of mismanagement:
- First, the pages’ content tends to be repetitive, whereas there is an overuse or over reliance on a particular type of content, news articles, your own blogs and more. Outside of potentially having less return on engagement, repetitiveness also hint at over-relying on a single source. This can be problematic if it doesn’t produce any new content.
- Second, there are noticeable gaps in between posts that fall side-by-side with days that have two or more posts published then. Hey, if you’ve found multiple articles in a single day, you don’t need to post them then and there too. Distributing them across multiple days actually helps (here’s why).
Circling back to content calendars again, how do they help with content mismanagement then? Simple, content calendars – even in its simplest use – can give you a better oversight on what and when you publish, thus allowing you to balance the types of content you publish and how often you publish them.
How is this less work for an already busy me?
Naturally, as easy as a solution running content calendars may be, it will be all for naught if the time issue is not addressed. That’s entirely understandable, on an average day, a nonprofit employee is already buried in work and at this point, adding content calendars seem to sound like another item in that already long task list.
So, how will content calendars then ease the burden and make social media management more efficient? Here are a couple of tips and tricks:
- Plan your content ahead of time. One of the best uses of your content calendar is using it as a thematic template for your general week or month. By that, what we mean is associating certain themes on a daily or even monthly basis (i.e. Casual posts for Monday, news for Tuesday, program promotions for Wednesday, etc). By doing this, you’re providing yourself with a general thematic equation that you can follow to make finding content way easier.
- Pre-schedule in one go. Posting everything in one day isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in fact that’s what we’re recommending here – just don’t end up publishing all in the same day. Pre-scheduling is the most efficient way to manage your social media pages. Rather than finding, drafting and posting on a daily basis, pre-scheduling allows you to prepare your content in bulk in a single session, freeing up your entire week (or more) to then accomplish your other work.
Sounds very easy, right? Hope this was able to empower you to take more control of your social media pages. So go ahead and give this a try and am looking forward to hear if this has helped you grow your following!