How to write a week’s worth of social media posts in 4 hours

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Social media can be a pain in the arse.  Just when you think you've finished your work, there's a huge gaping hole where your tweets should be.  We've all felt the pressure to post... or at least we think we have.  

The truth is, unless you're Justin Bieber, no one really cares if you update your social media account or not. There's no one sat at home thinking 'IF ONLY MY FAVOURITE CHEESE SHOP WOULD SAY SOMETHING!'

Logically, we know this, but it doesn’t stop that nagging thought that an imaginary follower is looking at your timeline thinking ‘dude, where’s my hashtag?’

This blog is for those days when you really, simply must fill up your timeline and put a big fat tick next to the bit on your to-do list that says ‘post some interesting stuff on social this week’

We’re always telling our clients (all 2 of them) that social media doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming, so we thought we’d prove it.  This week we set ourselves a challenge - write a blog and schedule all the social media posts about it within 4 hours.  One woman with one laptop and a slight headache, just about managed it.  If you want to do it too - this is how:

1.  Find some content.  It could be a blog post from earlier in the year, it could be some pictures of an event you held.  If you’re struggling to think of something - look at your website, or look at the emails you send your clients.  Is there one thing that you keep banging on about?  A topic, or piece of advice that you return to again and again and again? If there’s something that immediately springs to mind, use that.  Whatever you do though - don't just bleat on about your company’s success.  No one likes a show off. 

2.  Once you’ve got a couple of things that you want to say, use this headline writer to write as many different tweets and Facebook posts about it as possible.  Just bash them out - really quickly in Pages or Word.  You can always edit them later.  Don’t obsess over hashtags. They’re rarely worth it.

3.  Now for the pictures.  Posts with pictures will get 44% more engagement than posts without pictures, so they’re pretty important - but fraught with difficulties.  A few dos and don’ts:

  • Don’t steal photographs from the web - all photographs belong to the photographer and technically that photographer could sue you if you haven’t asked permission first. If you use ‘free stock shots’, make sure you credit them.  Read the small print carefully.
  • Don’t think you need a fancy camera.  All the photos on all our social media accounts were produced using a smart phone.
  • Don’t think you need Photoshop. We don’t use Photoshop and we’re social media ‘experts’ (whatever that means).  There are so many other tools for the job, like Pixlr and Fotor (to name but two).  To prove a point, we used this very cheap and cheerful download from Hubspot plus this lovely tool from Buffer to create ALL our social posts this week. And we did it in less than 1 hour because there was no editing required.  We’re not going to win any awards for our sparkling visuals, but they’ve done the job.
  • Do look around you.  To create this picture, we found a balloon and drew on it.  Sometimes the simplest option is the best. 

4.  Finesse and check.  Make sure your posts are varied and that they make sense.  Also double check your links and use Bitly to shorten them.  Doing this also means that Bitly will help you track your stats.  You'll be able to see who clicked on your link, when and where. Beware though - stats are addictive. If you find yourself checking them at 2am, you need help. 

5.  Schedule.  Use a tool like this one from Buffer to schedule all your posts.  Make sure you’re not posting the same pictures again and again - mix it up a little.  Scheduling can be a bit dangerous, so make sure you check the news every day. (Imagine you'd scheduled something frivolous about Paris on the day that they were attacked by terrorists.  Not good.)  If scheduling seems a bit too advanced, save all your social media posts in a document and save the pictures in an easy to find folder.  You can then post them manually when the time is right, smug in the knowledge that all the hard work has already been done.  

6.  Make a cup of tea.  Maybe even eat a biscuit. Your work is done.

Debbie Sheringham