Tell me if this sounds like you: You KNOW you “should” have a strong social media presence, where you post and engage consistently, but it keeps getting pushed to the back burner.
I get it – juggling all the responsibilities that come with running your business is a full time job in itself! Creating consistent content for your brand on social media can be overwhelming, especially when you’re pressed for time. But it can be done with some planning and thoughtfulness.
In this blog post, I’ll share my best practices to simplify the content creation process and help you maintain an authentic AND professional social media presence, even when you’re short on time, skills, or inspiration.
First off, I’m going to give you full permission to do LESS. So often I hear food founders say they should be on Tiktok, or should post reels a few times a week, or should work with influencers, or should do giveaways. But here’s your permission slip to do what’s right for you and your business. After all, you’re the one who has to execute it. So as we think about developing a digital marketing strategy, let’s make sure that it’s doable, week in and week out.
Develop a cadence you will stick with
That being said, there are two steps to ensuring your plan is achievable. First, you must prioritize the most important platform for your brand, and get really good at it before you expand to other platforms. How do you decide? Go where your target audience is! Where is your audience already spending time on social media? Once you’re feeling solid on your core platform, you’re welcome to expand to others, but only when you have the desire and capacity to post consistently on those platforms.
Now, for those of you who are feeling the pressure to be on all of the platforms, but only have the bandwidth for one, you can either ignore that pressure and continue to focus on one platform first, or you can put a placeholder up on the platforms that you’re not actively building. As an example, at Food Biz Wiz, we simply don’t prioritize Twitter; our audience doesn’t hang out there much, so we’ve given ourselves full permission to pause on that platform, but we let folks know where to find us instead by updating the banner and pinned post on the top which directs them to come hang with us on Instagram instead.
Next, you have to set a realistic goal for publishing your content. Consistency is much more important frequency when it comes to most social media algorithms. This means that rather than post four days in a row, then take two weeks off, then come back and post every other day for two weeks, and then pause for a month, you should create a regular cadence of posting that you can execute most weeks.
For example, on Instagram, a doable goal might be posting two in-feed posts per week, and two stories or reels per week. Or two to three posts on LinkedIn each week. There’s no right or wrong cadence; the key is to set a frequency and rhythm that works for you – and stick to it.
Once you have your audience, platform and frequency that works, it’s time to plan your content & calendar and batch it out. Let it be easy here!
Planning your content
If you sit down to create social posts and your mind goes blank, you’ll benefit from having social media themes set up in advance for your platforms. They are relatively easy to create, and will keep you out of a creative rut. To brainstorm your four or five themes, ask yourself the following questions:
- What does my target audience care about from my brand?
- What do they need to know about me to trust me, and become a superfan?
You’ll find that there are likely several themes that come up from these questions that you can use as inspiration for your content planning. For example, for a food brand there might be themes like “quality ingredients,” “aligned values,” “easy recipes,” “humor & entertainment,” “founder’s story,” and “behind the scenes moments.” Different types of brands will have different themes.
Take your themes, and brainstorm the types or topics of posts that align with them. If you know your audience cares about quality ingredients, you might come up with posts around ingredient sourcing, and why you chose the particular ingredients that you have, the functionality behind the ingredients, the flavor profiles of your products, and the people who produce the ingredients that you source. I simply use a note app on my phone for each theme, so I can add ideas to the list each time inspiration strikes (which often happens when I’m walking my dog!).
Once you have your themes, you can create a monthly content template that blocks the themes throughout the month, ensuring that you have a thoughtful spread of content each week. Note holidays or other important dates and events that you might talk about on your channels, and build it out from there. Reuse that content template month after month (no one will notice that you talk about your sustainable sourcing every 2nd Tuesday of the month, I promise!) and half of your work is already done.
Batch out your content
You batch your production runs, shipping days, and deliveries, so why wouldn’t you batch your content creation? It simplifies the process, allows you to “get in the flow” and allows you to put a committed time on your calendar for creating multiple social media posts in one sitting. I recommend starting by batching one week’s worth of content at a time. Once you’ve got the system down for batching out a week and you feel confident about gathering the material, you can extend it to batch several weeks worth in one shot.
How do you do it? You simply sit down (in the right headspace!), pull out your themes and the bullet pointed brainstormed list of topics, and map it out on your calendar. Write your captions, choose your graphics, and schedule it into your content scheduler. Most social platforms have native schedulers that make it extremely easy to plan, draft, and schedule your content in advance.
Repurpose and recycle
Don’t let your hard work go to waste! Repurposing and recycling content is a smart move. Did a post work really well? Reuse the caption three months later with a new photo. Keep the image but try a different take on the caption and call to action. By repurposing your best performing content (both on the same platform at a later date, or across different platforms once you decide to add on), you not only save time but also cater to different audience preferences and maximize your reach. Plus, you’ll hit any new followers you may have added after that original post.
Leverage user-generated content
Why not let your customers do the talking for you? User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful tool to engage your audience and build trust with your followers while lightening your content creation load. Encourage your customers to share their experiences with your products on their own stories and feeds, and then feature their content on your social media platforms. UGC adds authenticity to your brand (it shows that real people use your products and love your brand) and frees up time for you to focus on other important aspects of your business.
With a bit of planning, you can get out of your digital marketing overwhelm. You’ve now got the tools to tackle your social media content creation challenges head-on, and they set the foundation for all of your digital marketing tools (website and email marketing come next, but you can layer that on).
By knowing your audience and understanding what is important to them, and using that insight to develop a solid content strategy, you’re on your way to social media success. Remember to leverage time-saving strategies like batching and monthly content calendars, repurpose your content, and embrace user-generated content to amplify your brand’s reach and trust. With these tips, you’ll create a doable plan of consistent and engaging content that reflects your brand’s values and resonates with your audience. You got this!