Content Planning: a Must for Community Managers

By: Jozefien Verhaeghe

May 7, 2013

Tags:
calendar
community management
content
conversation management
planning
posting frequency
timing

Community management: a series of blog posts – part 5

Since you are a loyal reader of this blog (no doubt about that!), you probably remember that we already covered the importance of Community Management, how to create a channel and content strategy and finally how to get started with the actual creation of content.

But something that is often overlooked, is the importance of content planning.  Sure, living in the moment is pretty cool. But when it comes to content, you’ll notice that it can be quite stressful when you have to write something in the spur of the moment. It will often lead to posts of a lesser quality. So please do yourself a favor: plan ahead, and spare yourself the last minute writers’ block (no worries though, you can still wallow in self-misery and smoke an endless amount of cigarettes if you want).

Posting frequency

First thing you have to decide on, is the posting frequency. If you rarely update your content, there’s no reason for people to keep coming back. But if you post too often, your fans might think you’re pushy. So there’s no such thing as the ideal frequency. Each brand has to figure this out for themselves. Here are some useful tips:

  • Focus on quality, not quantity. If you have no good content available, then don’t post ‘just because you have to’. You will quickly lose your followers’ respect by doing this.
  • Keep your audience’s activity in mind. Why put all your effort in creating new content on a daily basis, if your followers aren’t interested in that many updates?
  • Maintain focus on the goals you’ve defined earlier. You might for example want to obtain a meaningful interaction with your audience. Make sure not to post too much at once so your fans have the time to actually comment on your posts.
  • Keep in mind that your posting pace can change. For instance, when you launched a new product line or campaign there will be more posts than usual.

The Perfect Timing

Next up on your to do-list, is to take a look at each platform individually and figure out when your fans are most active. You have some genius tools that can calculate this for you (Engagor! Yay!). Are your fans most active in the weekend? Well then schedule your content to be posted on Saturday and Sunday. This can be done in Engagor as well (just stating the obvious ;-)). However, keep in mind that if you want to excel in customer engagement, you must be willing to reply to their feedback on that content during the weekend.

Content calendar

Once you have determined how often and when you should post, all that is left to do is put all of this in a useful calendar so you can keep the overview. Usually, people use a spreadsheet with different columns for the different platforms.

Content Plan Example

Try to think ahead as far as you can. You don’t always have to plan the exact posts from the beginning. It can for instance also be useful to put important dates in this content calendar such as your company’s birthday, the launch of a new product, the start of a new campaign… This way you can anticipate and you won’t forget to communicate about these topics.

Planning and flexibility: opposites attract

Last tip when it comes to content planning: be flexible. Generally, community managers sit down at least once a week to go over next week’s planning. If however something more urgent pops up, you should be flexible enough to move things around a little.

Now that your content is created and your planning is prepared, you can move on to the next crucial step: interacting with your audience! Stay tuned for next week’s post!

 

Community management: a series of blog posts: