Social Media Content Calendar

I got a new trick I’ve started with my social media clients that I wanted to tell you about today.  It’s pretty simple: create a social media content calendar.

What is a social media content calendar, you ask?  Great question.

A social media content calendar is what I and my clients use to know what they’re posting that day to their various social media networks.  This helps you be prepared so that you don’t have to create a post on the fly that day.

This also helps you to tackle your social media content for the week all in one day.  One of the biggest complaints I hear from people is they don’t have time for social media.  I understand that completely.  This helps with the time factor because you already know what you’re going to post, to what network and when you’re going to post.

Let’s talk about how you create this social media content calendar.

The first thing you’re going to need is a template in Excel or Numbers.  I did a Google search for “calendar template” and downloaded that to get started.

Now that you have the calendar template setup in Excel or Numbers, open it up and find the month you want to work on.  I create shortcuts for each social media platform I’m working with.  For instance, “T” is for Twitter, “FB” is for Facebook, “IG” is for Instagram etc.  You get the picture.

Put down what you’re going to post that day to that platform in the grid.  It’s really that simple.  Once you do this for the full month, just start posting to that particular social media platform.

Let me give you one caveat: my social media content calendars are always fluid.  These are great guides.  However, if I need to insert something to that day, I just move that days post or cancel all together.

A social media content calendar has become standard in my social media toolkit.  Try it for a month, and see if it doesn’t help you manage all your social media platforms.

Pinterest For Events

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day who was telling me she is using Pinterest to drive traffic to her blog. I asked her what the percentage was, and she said 45% was coming from that social media platform. That’s by far the biggest source of traffic for her blog.

Adding Pinterest to your social media toolkit is something you should consider, especially if your event is geared towards to women. Statistics show Pinterest has 80% women. Probably the 20% of us men just want to know what’s going on in there.

With all things social media, I believe you have to have a strategy for adding that platform.  Don’t just do something to be doing it. Have a strategy for content and implementation.

Let’s look at the different kind of content you could pin to your boards:

  1. Quotes from speakers.  Your event has wrapped, and you heard some great quotes from your speakers. Find an image at a place like Big Stock Photo that ties to the subject matter of the quote, add that quote to the image and pin to your board.
  2. Quotes that apply to your event.  If your event is on leadership, pin some great leadership quotes to your board.
  3. Re-pin content from speakers. This is a big one, and a great way to promote the speakers at your event. Add some fun to this by teasing speakers at your next event.
  4. Pin area attractions. Pretty self explanatory, but a great way to let your attendees have an idea of what to do in their free time.
  5. Pin resources.  This might be my favorite one. Share resources by pinning them to a resource board. This is also a great way to generate some affiliate income.

Don’t forgot to promote that your event is on Pinterest. That can be as easy as Tweeting or posting to your Facebook Page about your board. Another idea is using apps to add Pinterest to your Facebook Page. However you do it, an awareness campaign is a must.

Adding A Content Marketing/Social Media Specialist To Your Event

Chances are you have several different people on your team, but I bet there’s one position that you don’t have. In this day and age, I consider this position to be vitally important to the success of any event, and that is the position of Content Marketing/Social Media Specialist.

A Content Marketing/Social Media Specialist is a needed position because this role can help you push content to your events various Social Media platforms.  These platforms are essentially free marketing for your event.

Let’s outline the responsibilities of this position within your organization:

  • Responsible for posting to Twitter, Facebook Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram and other Social Media platforms.
  • Responsible for writing and posting three blogs a weekly to event blog.
  • Responsible for using analytics to gauge interaction with blog and social media platform.
  • Responsible for coordinating social media marketing campaign with input from Event Planner and Marketing Manager.
  • Responsible for connecting and engaging with followers on various Social Media platforms.

These are just a few of the areas a great Content Marketing/Social Media Specialist can help you with, and I’m sure you can add to this list very easily.

In this current environment, this position might be a luxury. There are some creative ways you could add this to your team.

  1. Outsource.  There are many people who do this type of work who would be willing to come on-board for a short period of time to help you handle these responsibilities.  These people can be paid hourly or via retainer.
  2. Intern. Interns are free work. and they do leave you at a certain point. Many colleges have added a Social Media degree. College students do have new and fresh ideas. Worth getting them involved for sure.
  3. Volunteers. There is a chance you could find a volunteer who would be willing to help in exchange for free admittance into your event or some other swag. One way to find them is to mention it at your event or on your Social Media platforms.
  4. Internally. This one might be tricky. Could these responsibilities be divided amongst your current team? What is that one more thing they could take on concerning social media?

In what other ways could a Content Marketing/Social Media Specialist help your team?

3 Ways To Stay Up To Date With Social Media

If you haven’t noticed, I’m a big social media fan.  We’ve talked about social media a lot on this blog, as well as the importance of social media to the success and the marketing of your event.

A while back I shared with you some blogs that I read to help me on personal development.  Today, I wanted to share with you some blogs and resources that keep me informed on the latest developments in the world of social media.  Without further delay, here they are:

  1. Mashable.com.  Mashable is like a newspaper for all things Social Media, Tech and Tech Business.  I subscribe to their daily email updates which provides the reader with a recap of headlines from the day before.  To really stay up to date, subscribe to their Twitter feed as well.
  2. Microexplosion.com.  Bill Seaver, who runs Microexplosion, was instrumental in the design and implementation of the Ministry Serving Ministry blog.  Bill writes three posts a week: Monday stats (which I find very helpful to insights of consumers), a weekly post on usage of social media in marketing and then a Friday fun video post.  Bill has been a tremendous resource of knowledge and is worth the follow.
  3. SocialMediaExaminer.com.  Michael Stelzner is the Social Media Examiner.  He writes daily posts on all things social media.  I find his weekly “This Week In Social Media” posts to be the most helpful.  For added insight, check out his Social Media Marketing podcast.

The social media landscape is ever changing.  One day it will be this, and the next it will be that.  It’s important to continue to educate yourself and stay up to date with the latest trends, and these three resources will help you stay even more in the know.

What do you use to stay up to date with social media?

Vine For Events

Vine_apps_logo-1I enjoy talking about new tools in the social media world, and how you could incorporate them into the social media strategy for your events.

One of the newest tools to come on the marketplace is Vine, and it’s an important one to take note of because it’s owned by Twitter.  I sign up for new social media mainly so I can say I was there before it got big, but also to experiment with it and be able to talk intelligently about the new piece with my artists and consulting clients.

A recent trip to the zoo with my family reminded me of the power of the app.

What Is Vine?
Vine is a video sharing app that allows users to create and post short 6 second video clips.  These clips can be shared with on your Twitter and Facebook feeds as well.  The video clips do not have to be a continual 6 seconds, but can be shorter snippets.  Recording is started by pressing your finer onto the screen, and removing your finger stops the recording.  Audio is recorded as well.

Getting Started
To get started using Vine, download the app from the Apple App Store.  (Sorry Android users, but Vine is currently not available on that platform.)  The user will be prompted to login with their Twitter account or setup a new account using an email address.  My recommendation would be to use your Twitter account since it will tie those two accounts together for easy sharing.

Now that your in, find others to follow, view their vines and start sharing yours.

Using At Your Event
Here are two ideas on how to use Vine at your event.

  1. Share a short video of an artist or speaker.
  2. Share quick testimonials from attendees.

Conclusion
Vine may not be the best platform for you, and to be honest the jury is still out on attracting users.  However, it’s certainly worth exploring as an easy way to share video across your event’s Twitter feed and/or Facebook page.

And as I always like to point out, share that you are on Vine with your attendees and share exclusive content only to Vine.

One last thing, find me on Vine by my user name of @KyleBJohnson.

3 Event Must Haves

I attend a lot of events, and work with event planners for our acts.  This gives me a unique opportunity to observe different events, and to also critique these events as well.

I’ve started a mental list of “must-haves” for events to be successful, and I wanted to share three of them with you today.

  1. Wifi. Having wifi is a must.  But not just having wifi, but being able to handle all your attendees as well.  This was something I wasn’t aware of, but did you know wifi routers can be limited to the number of people who can get on the Internet?  This setting can be changed to unlimited but by default is capped.  When department stores like Target and JCP are offering free wifi, your event must have it!
  2. Sound And Lighting.  Us Artist Managers are always concerned about the sound and lights at events.  Mainly because we want our artists to be seen in the best light, so to speak.  Making sure you have the right sound and lights for your event is important.
  3. Social Media Use.  Being a social media guy, I love see hashtags in use.  When I see that, I want to Tweet or Facebook about what I’m seeing at the event.  I saw one the other day that was perfect: the hashtag was on the bottom right hand corner of the screen showing video.  Very similar to how TV networks are using hashtags.  Including a Twitter feed during breaks is another way to incorporate Social Media.

I didn’t mention speakers or artists because those, in my opinion, are a given.  I’m probably not at your event unless I’m attracted to the right speakers.

These are three of my event “must-haves”.  I’m curious what would be on your list.  And also, what have your attendees put on their “must-have” lists?

Using Instagram For Your Event

My new favorite app is Instagram.  This app takes your pictures, lets you alter with a cool filter and post to Twitter and/or Facebook.  Matter of fact, it’s become my go to app before Facebook and Twitter.

Instagram was purchased by Facebook a few months ago, and has seen an influx of new users.  I’ve seen my follower count go up, and some of these followers are not on Facebook or Twitter.

I’m big on having a social media strategy for your events.  Not just leading up to the event and during, but it’s also important to look at how you use social media after your event.

Let’s see how Instagram will work for your event.

Starting Out
Signing up is easy.  One thing to note is Instagram is only available as an app in the App Store or Android Store.  Once you’ve downloaded to your device, create your own account (suggested) or sign in with your Facebook credentials.

Once you’ve signed in, you can follow users who follow your Twitter and Facebook accounts.  I would do this, as well as post your Instagram images to your events website.

The first step is to start posting pictures from past events.  This will help you build excitement and anticipation of your next event.  Maybe do this about twice a week.

During Your Event
Post away.  I would post pictures of speakers, people at your event, signs.  You can get as creative as you want with this app.  Posting these pictures to Twitter and Facebook is a great idea as well.  However, posting some “exclusive” pictures is another great idea.

In another post [http://ministryservingministry.com/2012/10/15/3-reasons-you-should-use-hashtags-at-your-events/], I looked at creating a hashtag for your event.  That hashtag can be used for Instagram as well.  It’s another great way of creating excitement around your event.

After Your Event
Don’t let up on posting the pictures from your event.  Using the strategy from your pre-event, post twice a week.  Remember to keep that hashtag going.

Conclusion
Instagram is a great and fun addition to your social media strategy for your event.  Add that to your arsenal and be visual.

3 Reasons You Should Use Hashtags At Your Events

Have you attended an event recently and noticed somewhere on the screen there was a symbol that looked like this: “#wcagls”?  That’s called a hashtag, and it is used frequently on Twitter.

Twitter defines hashtags the following way: The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.

Most events don’t utilize hashtags correctly.  Here are three reasons why you should:

  1. More Social Interest In Your Event.  People can follow along with your event by searching on Twitter for a particular one.  This is a great way to see what others are saying about your event.
  2. Encourages Tweeting.  When I attend an event, I love to share with my followers great content.  If I see a hashtag used, I’m more likely to Tweet more and get involved.
  3. Allows Other Attendees To Interact With Each Other.  Social media is a great outlet to meet other people.  Hashtags are a great way for people to meet other event attendees.

It is important to register your hashtag.  The last thing you want is to use a hashtag that has been used with another event.  Registering is very easy.  Visit http://twubs.com and follow their simple instructions on registering your events hashtag.

It is also important to publicize your hashtag.  I would recommend starting with early publicity material.  This would start the social conversation before your event takes place.

But it’s also important to publicize your hashtag at your event.  Put it everywhere:  tickets, banners, on the screen, lanyards.  You get the idea.

Hashtags also allow you to show Tweets on the screen.  This is a great way to engage your attendees.  Everybody likes to see their name on the screen.

How have hashtags worked for your event?

3 More Social Media Marketing Tips…

Oh, social media. Everyone uses it. Most people love it. Others wish they could avoid it with a 10-foot pole. No matter what your opinion, you definitely understand the importance of it for your business, event, and marketing. Here are 3 important tips to consider when marketing your event using social media.


1. Don’t use social media just because it’s out there.  Sure, almost every company needs a Facebook and Twitter, and every businessperson should be on LinkedIn, but what else? Does your company need a YouTube account? Or a Pinterest account? Know what your company and event are truly about, do some Internet research on social media networks, and carefully pick the ones you implement. If you’re signed up for multiple, use a couple, but are only using two correctly and efficiently, then why have more than that duo?

2. Express important event information in a productive manner. Switch your brain with an attendee’s. If you were a guest, what would you want to know, and when…and where? If you think posting directions to the event on your Facebook page would make it easier for attendees, then do that. Would you not want 4 emails a day telling you to sign up for an upsell or reminding you about the discounted room rates? Then don’t do that. Think like your attendee to decide on all of your marketing (and followup) tasks.

3. Pay attention to everyone else. Social media isn’t all about you. If you want Internet followers or friends, you might have to take the first step on your own. Do some research on your niche and friend or follow important people and companies. Now, not only will you be able to see their marketing strategies, but it’s even more likely that their friends and followers will connect with you as well.

Any other tips you can think of?

3 Common Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

I think it’s safe to say social media is now mainstream. I would wager those of you reading this post use it for personal use and, more than likely, have started using it for your ministry or business as well. By utilizing social media, organizations and ministries can talk about anything from daily happenings to innovative ministry ideas; from new products and services to an exciting event you’re throwing.

But, as we’ve seen during this year’s Olympics, you can also do social media wrong. (just ask Hope Solo) There are tons of mistakes you can make while using Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media, that will deter customers and fans so we want to help. In addition to utilizing a heaping dose of common sense, here are 3 big social media mistakes for ministries and organizations to avoid:

  • Not monitoring/responding – Too many times I’ve seen organizations establish a presence on social media and then put it on autopilot. Not good! Someone must be monitoring your accounts and, when someone comments on your brand or messages you, respond. It’s that simple. To do otherwise is the same as ignoring a person standing next to you who’s trying to talk with you. You don’t want your customers and clients, or potential customers and clients, to feel neglected. Customer service is key for any business. Answering a Facebook comment with a unique response will help make the person feel noticed and important to you. This will undoubtedly increase their loyalty to your brand and help you build relationships.
  • Not speaking enough…or speaking too much – Yes, you need to update content on your social networks frequently, otherwise you run the risk of not being noticed. However, there are a few guidelines about posting you need to keep in mind. As a general rule, posts to Twitter should happen about three times more often than Facebook posts. Twitter is real time; no one really goes back in time to read tweets…or at least not as frequently as people do on Facebook. On Facebook you can get away with posting less updates because most users will scroll and/or look at your profile for new information. In either case, you want to make sure your tweets and posts are not so frequent that your followers are tuning you out, or even worse, unfollowing you!
  • Not using each social network independently – Over time we have learned linking Twitter to Facebook, and vice versa, is not the best idea. This is because your “friends/fans” on Facebook are usually different than your “followers” on Twitter. Facebook is for posting pictures, sharing ministry stories and encouragement, updating with “inside” information your customers love to get and anything else that helps your fans connect with you on a more personal level. Twitter is for quick, short updates about your ministry or organization, industry news, links to helpful information, etc. While conversations and personal details are available on Twitter, more people look for that on Facebook.

Bonus content!

Did you know there are certain days and times that you should update Facebook and post to Twitter? Here’s an excellent article explaining the ins and outs of posting on Twitter, with a little information on Facebook as well!

What lessons have you learned when using social media?