A few weeks ago, I blogged about a list of things I could give impromptu speeches on including developing a social media calendar. Several of my readers showed interest in that topic, so this is what I’ll be discussing in today’s post.
Twitter and Instagram are the social media sites I’ll be focusing on since they’re the two I use, but rest assured that much of this advice can apply to any social media account you may be managing.
Why Develop a Social Media Calendar?
Why is it important to develop a social media calendar? Well, there are a few reasons why this is a good idea.
One, posting on a schedule helps you to attract new followers and readers. For example, I know that my friend April Munday always tweets about her new weekly post on Sundays.
Two, you can write and schedule content ahead of time if you use one of the many platforms out there that were created for this purpose. While this should probably be a post of its own one day, pre-scheduling posts can come in pretty handy in case of illness, travel, or an Internet outage.
By developing a social media calendar ahead of time, you’ll still have something to say even when life reduces how much time and energy you have for coming up with new material.
8 Tips for Developing a Social Media Calendar
Tip #1 Stick to a Schedule
No, developing a social media calendar does not mean that you have to come up with something to share every hour of the day. I generally aim for three tweets set to go out per day.
If I have a post going live that day, the link to it tweeted out first thing in the morning. If not, it might be a funny story from my life or some other lighthearted conversation starter.
A little before lunchtime, I share something like a quote, link to an interesting news article, or photo.
The final tweet is always my question of the day in the afternoon.
Tip #2: Post at High Traffic Times
For Instagram and Twitter, high traffic times seem to be 8-9 am before people start work or school, lunchtime, and about 5-6 pm once they’re winding up their days.
Obviously, the precise times will vary depending on which time zone you’re in and when your followers are most active. These are only general guidelines to get you started until you’ve figured out the unique rhythms of your audience.
Tip #3: Mix It Up
Yes, consistency is important, but you don’t want to post the exact same sort of material every single day. That can get repetitive after a while.
Here are a few of the many different types of updates you could share:
- Relevant Articles
Tip #4: Ask Open-Ended Questions
Ask “what is your favourite colour?” rather than “do you prefer purple or yellow?” It leaves room for improvisation and for answers you might never have expected to receive.
Tip #5: Keep a File of Ideas
I kid you not, I have a file of stuff to share on social media that stretches out through summer of 2021. It’s organized by month for this year and season for 2021. Some of it is season or holiday-specific. Other ideas are simply things I’ve jotted down but haven’t yet used.
Each month I look through the material that I’ve already gathered for that time period and decide what to share and when.
Tip #6: Check Idea-Generating Places Regularly
Obviously, idea-generating places are going to vary quite a bit from one person to the next depending on the topics you plan to post about.
I generally discuss sci-fi/fantasy, mindfulness, food, fitness, and all sorts of random bookish stuff, so the following sites give me plenty of material to work with:
The Quotes, Discussions, Events, and New Releases sections of Goodreads
And relevant subreddits like:
- Ask Science Fiction
- Ask Fantasy
- Scifi Concepts
- Fairytale as Fuck
- Today I Learned
- XX Fitness
- Strong Curves
- Bodyweight Fitness
- Healthy Eating
- Dairy Free
If I find something in February that would be perfect for a Halloween post, I’ll squirrel it away in my ideas folder until then. It’s a great way to make sure I’ll have things to share weeks or months from now.
Tip #7: Engage with Your Followers
As far as more immediate ideas, talking to your followers can be a good way to come up with them.
This really should go without saying, but if someone asks a question on your site or social media page, answer it if at all possible!
Not only is it good for your brand and reputation, I’ve gotten ideas for future tweets, blog posts, and stories from interactions with folks online.
Tip #8: Keep Experimenting
One of the things I love about developing and cultivating a social media calendar is how often it can be improved upon. What worked last month might not be as effective now. There is always room to try something new and see if it works better.
If you’ve developed a social media calendar, what other tips would you give?
Blogging Changes I’m Making This Winter
Every time one of my favourite blogs shares a post with a title similar to this one, I get a little nervous about them shutting down or going on hiatius. If you’re the same way, don’t worry! lydiaschoch.com isn’t going anywhere.
I have and will be making some changes to this site that I wanted to let my readers know about, though.
All of these changes are being done in hopes of driving more traffic to this site. I’m confident about my writing abilities, but in 2019 I’d like to become better at marketing the things I create so that new audiences can discover my blog and my stories.
Marketing is something that I honestly struggle a bit with, so if you have any advice I’d sure like to hear it. Comment on this post or send me a DM on Twitter if you’re interested.
In the meantime, here are the things that have, will, or may be changing on this site in the near future. Not everything is set in stone yet, but this is the direction I’m thinking about taking in the new year.
Comments on Old Posts
As of earlier this week, I’ve opened up comments on all of my old posts. I’ve received some messages from people who were disappointed to find comments closed on posts that were shared more than 10 days ago. Originally, I’d set them to close after that amount of time to combat spam that was overwhelming my inbox.
The spam has been much more manageable this time, so let’s see if I can make this a permanent change. If your comment doesn’t show up right away, it probably got caught in my spam filter. I do my best to release those posts as soon as possible, but do feel free to nudge me if it’s been a few days and you don’t see anything yet.
At the end of this month, I’ll be blogging about a question that a reader asked me in the comment section of a post recently. Her question was so big that it might take more than one post to fully respond to. Stay tuned for that post. It’s going to be a fun one.
I’d love to make this a recurring feature if or when other readers ask me questions, so fire away if you have any!
Book Blog Memes
From talking to other writers and bloggers, I get the impression that participating in weekly book blog memes like Top Ten Tuesday can be an excellent way to drive new traffic to your site.
I’m still looking into which ones would be best for me to participate in, and that list is one of several online that I’ll need to go through between now and January. Top Ten Tuesday is extremely popular, but I’m also curious to see if I can find something that’s specifically related to sci-fi/fantasy, mindfulness, or fitness. Whatever I pick, I will only be doing one or two of these a week at the most.
As much as I enjoy doing Suggestion Saturday posts, they are having less and less of an impact on drawing new visitors to this site with every passing month. They also require an investment of my time that I’m wondering might be better spent writing other types of posts.
I have not yet decided if I’ll keep doing this in 2019. I need more time to think about it.
Guest Posts from Others on This Site
Yes, I will continue to offer other bloggers the chance to write guest posts on this site if they contact me first. I’ve seen some bloggers become pushy on this topic, and that’s not something I’m comfortable doing at all. This is something I only want to do with people who are enthusiastic about it.
With that being said, I will be on the lookout for sites that list guest post opportunities to see if I can sign my site up for such a thing. It would be interesting to introduce you all to other bloggers who write about the same sorts of stuff I do.
Guest Posts from Me on Other Sites
If I find such a site, I may also be signing up as a guest blogger there. You all will receive links to any posts I write for other blogs, although I’ll have to come up with a creative way to do that if I put an end to Suggestion Saturday.
How Do You Attract New Traffic to Your Blog?
Please let me know in the comment section! I’d love to hear your tips.
Filed under Interviews, Writing
Tagged as Blog Business, Blogging, Comments, Marketing